April172014

Every single day is a constant struggle to keep the problems of my life in perspective, but it is so hard sometimes.

One Year Ago Today

All I did was play poker for over 13 hours, and it was a roller coaster.  I took beat after beat to dwindle down, then get back to even, then back down again, and ultimately I lost just $20. 

Thoughts

I don’t think I need to explain the title but I’m in a contemplative mood right now so I will.  I’ll start by saying that lately I’ve been really having a hard time accepting my perpetual singleness, more so than I can remember in the last 8 years.  I get so angry and sad because all I’ve ever wanted since as long as I can remember is to find a girl to be with the rest of my life, and to have kids and start a family.  It’s the one thing I’ve always wanted, yet it’s the one thing that seems so impossible.  Some days I want to curse at God for giving me this intense desire with nothing more than infrequent shreds of hope that it might actually come true.  Meanwhile I see couples every day who managed to find someone that they care about and who cares about them in return.  That seems like a miracle to me and maybe it is, yet it seems to happen all the time. 

I could go on about this forever but my point is that it’s easy for me to wallow in self-pity about this, and think that my life is terrible because I can’t seem to have the only thing I want.  But through the pain of solitude there are moments when I remember how easy I have it in other ways, and how many hardships other people have to deal with which I know nothing about.  I have a loving family, a warm apartment, and enough money to live comfortably from my good job of which I enjoy most days and work less hours than most people.  Those things alone should be plenty to be thankful for.  There are also problems that I don’t have in my life, like trying to support a parent or a child on low wages, physical or financially-crippling addiction, or fear of danger.  One reason I don’t think I would ever commit suicide is because I always think about the blessings I have, and no matter how much I think my life sucks I always remember the ways in which I know it really doesn’t.  You could look at these timely revelations as rationalities of a logical mind, or divine understanding from God.  For me, I think it’s clearly from God since I don’t think I could deal with any of this on my own.

My Day

I woke up at noon to check my phone and see if I heard anything about going or not going to Foxwoods, but since there was nothing I assumed we weren’t going still.  I went back to sleep but just laid there for another hour, and then I got up.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to spend my day, but I called my dad and then just started playing Second Son.  I didn’t feel like leaving the house today although it was nice out, but I did go out to get Chinese food for dinner.  I played for about 3 hours and then watched the last Knicks game of the season.  It was an intense one since we got down by 21 but quickly came back and won a tight one.  We still aren’t in the playoffs but at least we finished as strong as we could.

After the game I watched the ESPN game while playing Diablo.  I tried beating Malthael (the expansion’s final boss) again, and I tweaked my strategy which was really all I needed.  Once I got him down below halfway he went to his second form or stage, and I was able to then beat him in that try.  So I’ve finished Act V and now I have to beat that act with my other characters.  I also started a crusader finally, and I got him to level 8 and stopped for the night.  I like starting a new character, and since it’s a new class I get to learn all new moves and understand how he fights.  What I’ll probably do is play him through an act and then play through Act V with one of my other characters, and then keep alternating like that.  I also cleaned out my stash so I freed up a lot of room for new weapons and equipment and got rid of the crap I didn’t need. 

I caught up on Jeopardy and Cosmos, and I really wanted to watch Swordfish.  Ever since starting it the other day I felt I needed to finish it, which is why I watched that instead of the other shows I’m behind on or my Netflix movie.  I really didn’t remember any of it, but it was an enjoyable movie.  I thought John Travolta was a really great bad guy, and the opening monologue was pretty intriguing (which is why I couldn’t play Diablo before when trying to watch it).  Now I’m going to bed after 7am, although I feel like just staying up.  There’s no reason to though since I was tired all day and have done everything already.  So tomorrow I’ll just do it all again.  Thanks for reading, and “Please just don’t play with me / My paper heart will bleed / This wait for destiny won’t do / Be with me please, I beseech you / Simple things that make you run away / Catch you if I can.”

—Eric Del Medico

April162014

I hate to comment on the terrible weather, but come on New York. This is just completely uncalled for.

One Year Ago Today

I wasn’t feeling well so that was a bad night’s sleep.  When I did finally get up I got a haircut after 6 weeks, after a combination of laziness and experimenting with growing it out.  I washed my bed sheets which I need to do more often, and my mom came over to visit.  We had pizza and wings and watched the Knicks game, and later I watched the movie That’s My Boy which was pretty funny.

My Day

So last night when I posted my blog I checked Twitter to make sure it linked, which I always do.  I noticed some tweets about the “blood moon,” where the moon looked red due to light from the sun refracted/reflected off the circumference of the sun (something like that).  I was upset, so I immediately put on a shirt and walked outside hoping it’d still be out there somewhere.  After I saw nothing I looked it up to figure out when it was or is.  I found out that in our area it was between 2-4:30am, and I was pissed because I was inside at the gym during that entire time.  I’m always awake at those hours, and I love looking up at the sky and staring at the moon and the stars.  So I was furious that I didn’t know about it and missed it.  I’d get tweets from NASA sent to my phone if I knew I’d only get updates for things like this, but I feel I should know about these things since I love it so much.  I heard that it was cloudy all night so we really didn’t get to see it anyway, but I didn’t even get to not see it. 

I slept in today because I was really sore, and I had just enough time to get ready for work.  I still didn’t know if I was going to Foxwoods tomorrow because Brian hasn’t been feeling well, so I’ve been waiting to hear from him whether he knows he’s too sick to go.  That’s what’s been hard because he probably didn’t want to count it out yet in case he felt better at the last minute, but for me I wanted to know so I could figure out what else I’m doing.  The immediate thing would be going to work early to sign the EO first so I could play poker tonight, but I waited to sign. 

On my way to work I was stuck behind a slow driver in a piece of crap green Kia Soul, which was bought from Fuccillo so I had no respect for that guy.  But behind me a car was right on my butt, and he followed me to the parking lot.  Even when I was going 60 in a 45 he was right on me, and I said that I admire his spunk.  Then when I got on the bus I found out that was Pete behind me so he was just messing with me so I thought that was funny.

I heard a lot of complaining from players about not catching their draws and how other players beat them on the river.  That’s normal, but in most cases today the player was so wrong.  First at $2-$4 a guy was complaining about having “all these outs” and not hitting, when in reality he had like 8 outs.  One time he said he just needed an Ace or a Queen, and I’m guessing he had AQ since those weren’t needed for a straight.  So that means he really had only 6 outs at most which is not a lot.  Later a player was chastising another player for calling with a bad hand and catching on the river.  But as the table pointed out to him, the guy had top pair on the flop and a double belly buster straight draw.  So he had a good hand already but still had 8 outs for a straight and something like 9 outs to make a better two pair.  It’s astounding how most players misunderstand the basics of this game.

So I waited until the first few dealers signed the EO, and then I was fourth to leave.  I also figured that since I have four days this week I shouldn’t be the first to leave, whether I go to Foxwoods tomorrow or not.  I worked an easy three hours and then was out, so I made almost $60 which I thought was good, but I dealt four games (which is good) but I felt I was making more than I did.  I grabbed some food before leaving and then got home by 11pm.  Brian was asleep so I still didn’t know what the plan is for Foxwoods, because even though I assume he’s still not feeling well he could feel better tomorrow.  It sucks for me because I don’t know if I should go to bed early in case we are going, and I can’t plan to do anything else until I know for sure.  I decided not to play poker tonight anyway because it was already late, and I’ve done so well lately that I can take this week off without feeling like I’m missing out like I usually would.

I watched the basketball game and then the first half of the Knicks game from earlier, where we beat the Nets again.  I played Diablo and I was close to getting to the boss, and I tried to beat him for about an hour but was having a lot of trouble.  The connection was lagging too so I decided to wait and try again later.  Then I watched SNL, Community, and Parks and Rec to get those off my Hulu queue.  Then I finished Season 4 of King of Queens, and now bed at 6am.  I could have tried to go to bed earlier, but I didn’t think I’d be able to fall asleep and figured I might as well stay up as usual since I doubt we’re going to Foxwoods now.  Thanks for reading, and “If I come over there, there’s gonna be two sounds:  Me hitting you…twice.”

—Eric Del Medico

April152014

I’m on a weird oldies/classic rock music kick. I’ve now bought best-of albums of Neil Diamond, Cream, Styx, and REO Speedwagon.

One Year Ago Today

I woke up earlyish to watch the Knicks game, but I wasn’t feeling well.  I went back to sleep for a couple hours and then went to work, where I signed the EO and got out after a couple hours. 

Thoughts

When I went to the bank today the teller asked me how the weather was outside, and I wondered if she asks every customer that.  It’s decent small talk and I understand that she’s cooped up inside, but I always hate answering that.  I try to be accurate but who really cares?  Like she asked if it was still really windy, and I didn’t remember lots of wind so I said no.  Then when I walked out I noticed it was very windy, so I felt bad for not being accurate.  Then I thought, “Come on, is she going to be mad that I didn’t give her an accurate weather assessment?  Is she gonna say, ‘Oh man, that guy said it wasn’t really windy.  It’s TOTALLY windy!”  After playing that in my head I thought it was pretty funny, and I could try to work it into a bit if I wanted to. 

My Day

I was able to get right up at 2pm so I could enjoy my day off, but it turned into a day of errands.  I had breakfast and started my laundry, and I thought about getting the oil changed in my car but they were busy last minute.  Then I went to the bank to deposit some money, and I quickly ran to the mall while my second load of laundry was going.  I finally switched to shorts today, but all the ones I have are way too big.  They just fall right off me without a belt, and that feels good but it meant I had to buy new ones.  So I found a section that had some good ones, so I bought four different kinds (colors) of size 32s, and they were still a tad loose but that’s okay.  When I came back home I put those new shorts into the wash and ran to get some groceries, but first I checked out the Kirkland Town Park to see what that was about.  They aren’t open yet so I just parked outside the gate and walked in a bit, and it seems like they have tons of open land and fields for every sport.  I hope to shoot some hoops there eventually so we’ll see what’s up with that later.

When I got back home I finished my laundry and then finally sat down to play some Second Son.  I played for a couple hours, and I cleared 3 of the 7 districts of the first half of the city.  I’m making good progress and it’s a lot of fun just killing everyone and destroying everything, although it gets tiresome hunting down civilians all the time.  It made me think that if you were a ruthless dictator like Hitler, you’d be better served not to kill all the people you hate, but let them live in your world knowing how much you hate them.  Because when I play the game during this run-thru, if I kill all the civilians then there aren’t any to tell me they hate me which fuels my bad side. 

Anyway, for dinner I went to Subway because I was really in the mood for a sub, and then I played Diablo.  I think I’m in the last area before the final boss, but I really don’t know.  I had a couple hours to play and I decided to watch a movie while playing, and I went with Swordfish.  I watched the first few minutes, but then I realized I wanted to pay attention to it since I don’t remember it at all and the Blu-ray picture quality looked great.  It looked like a movie I should just sit and watch again, but since I wanted to play Diablo more I decided to stop the movie and save it for another time.  Instead I just watched Whose Line which I had recorded, so I only half paid attention to that while I played. 

I finished an area in time to finally go to the gym, even though I still tried to talk myself out of it.  It’s been almost three weeks since I’ve gone, and although I can sort of keep up my biceps and triceps, I don’t like seeing my chest or back muscles losing definition.  So I’m glad I went of course and I feel so much better, and I lost a little weight so I’ve lost just under 42 pounds now.  I don’t ever want to give up going to the gym completely, but if I just go once a week and do my daily exercises too I should be in good shape (pun intended).  I worked out for three hours and started late, so now I’m going to bed at 7am.  Thanks for reading, “And I meant every word I said / When I said that I love you, I meant that I’ll love you forever.”

—Eric Del Medico

April142014

My whole life is and has been believing things (in the hopes that they’re true) to make myself feel better. Because the alternative is far too sad.

Dreams

I dreamt that I was telling my brother how I bought a best-of album by Cream which is his era of music, and he didn’t like how I bought a whole album just for the two songs I liked.  He meant that I should listen to all of the songs and not just the popular ones, but I felt it was better to listen to them all than to just buy the two I knew I liked.  This is from how I wanted to tell him I bought it since he’d appreciate it.

Then I was at home on Christmas, and I forgot to get anything for my mom.  I guess I didn’t realize it was Christmas already (because in real life it’s nowhere near), and then to make matters worse I remembered I forgot about her birthday which was around the same time.  So I had nothing to give her and already missed my chance to wish her a happy birthday first, so I was upset with myself.  This came from talking with my mom the other day, and from an episode of King of Queens I watched last night that took place during Christmas.

One Year Ago Today

I didn’t feel like being at work so I had a very blah night.  It was about as long and as bad as two days ago, but not every night can be a good one.

My Day

I got up shortly after 3pm, and I turned on the Thunder/Pacers game just to see where they were at.  But then I decided I wanted to watch the end of it, so before taking a shower I had breakfast and watched the last 15+ minutes of the game.  I decided the Thunder are going to be my playoffs team, so I’ll try to watch every game anyway but their games especially.  Then I showered and watched the rest of the last Knicks game, and then played Second Son for just an hour.  I’m at the second karma level, but it’s weird just going around and killing every person I see.  It actually almost carries over into real life because when I’m driving I think about crashing into other cars and running over pedestrians and whatnot.  I know that sounds horrible, but as long as I stop myself from doing it I’m okay.

I went to work at 8, and we were scheduled all different times between 1 and 9pm tonight.  We were doing drawings and high hands, but I only had that for the first two hours and then the room cleared out a lot.  We went from a peak (that I saw) of 21 tables to 12 in a little more than an hour.  I was at the table of the woman who won the last drawing, which was funny because she was away from the table at the time.  At first I thought she missed out, and since she previously got mad at me when she missed her blind and then took off I thought she’d cut my head off if she missed out on the money.  But when she came back I expected no goodwill or happiness coming in my direction, and I received none.  I don’t expect to get tipped from that though because it’s not related to a hand she got, but it was still “funny” how she was complaining and yelled at me before she left and still got rewarded for it.

I didn’t have long strings which was good because I wanted to eat and just wanted to do my time and get out.  I ended on a five-table run after three table-table-break runs before that.  That was the best though because I didn’t care at that point, and I was happy that it looked like I’d be out at 3 instead of 4.  I was trying to figure out how many tables we needed to be down to, and we just had enough for me to leave when grave came in.  But at my last table I pushed Brian a huge pot which was good, but then I screwed him out of another pot when I burned and turned.  I’ve only done that twice before I think, and the last one was like two years ago.  So it’s a rare thing for me but I felt bad, especially since the card that would have been the turn would have ensured Brian won that pot so he was upset with the money he could have won. 

Anyway, I worked for 7 hours and made over $250 which is fantastic, so this ended up being a great weekend after a bad start to it on Friday.  All three nights I thought about leaving early if I could, but it’s good that it worked out this way.  I made $65 in redbirds tonight so that was just more than what I made over the $200, so that was huge.  There were a lot of great tippers and the tables were generally good.  I got home after 3:30 and typed this up first, and I wanted to play a little Second Son again but this took longer than I thought.  Plus I bought more music (by Styx this time), and Swiss was laying on me for a bit.  But I did watch all of tonight’s Knicks game, even though we’re out of playoff contention now.  I’m going to bed at 7am, and I’d really like to get up early/on time tomorrow to enjoy my day off.  Thanks for reading, and “When the lights go down in the city / And the sun shines on the bay…”

—Eric Del Medico

April132014

Some days you just gotta belt out some Neil Diamond on your way home from work. “Sweet Caroline, ba ba ba…”

One Year Ago Today

First thing I did when I woke up was order tickets for The Airborne Toxic Event in Albany in June, so I was pumped to finally see them.  At work I remember the kid who was talking about how he’s folded Aces pre-flop a few times, and he kept trying to rationalize it when that’s never correct.  It amazes me how bad some players are, but the beauty of this game is that people always think they’re better than they really are.  One funny thing though was when a guy won a pot he tossed me a redbird and asked me to chop it, and then threw me another redbird as a tip.  I looked confused, and then he said, “I bluffed you.”  I loved that. 

My Day

I almost got up at 2pm but then said, “Dude, just sleep another hour like you want to.”  So I did, but I did get right up at 3pm this time.  I had some time to play Second Son again, and now I’m into the game where I can start running around and causing trouble.  I actually had trouble at first being bad, not just because I’m used to being good and not killing civilians.  But I can’t do drug busts and free prisoners, but I learned that instead I have to kill the drug dealers but leave the drugs, and blow up the cages where the prisoners are held rather than letting them out.  It’s weird though chasing down any random people I find and killing them, which I wouldn’t bother to do if it didn’t give me bad karma which I need.

Then I went to work, and it was a little busier than last night like almost every Saturday is compared to Fridays.  It was a strange night in that I seemed to alternate between tables that were really loud and not paying attention, and tables that were quiet and very nice.  I had three breaks but they were well-placed, so the night went by fairly quickly.  For the most part I had a great night, even with a few tables that were bad (like my last table).  I again told the boss I’d leave if it helped them out, and that would have saved me from a bad last table again. 

At one table a player asked me, “Are you the dealer who has the blog?…I guess that means yes.”  I told him he wasn’t the first player to ask me that, and another player asked how to find my blog.  The first player said he found it by Googling Turning Stone poker which is how my friend Jamey told me you can find me, and how the other players said they found me.  Whenever this happens I immediately think of the bad things I’ve said about players, and then I feel awful.  But for the most part, I love these players because that’s how I make my living.  It’s just the random players who are mean to us and the new players who are oblivious that give us dealers headaches. 

So I had my last table at 2am and hoped to get out afterward, but the dealer ahead of me left so my string continued.  Thankfully my table was short and they broke after my last hand, which I knew meant I could then leave.  So I worked just a down shy of a full shift, but I made well over $200 unlike last night.  I made about the same as last night in two less hours, so tonight was much better.  When I got home I typed this up and played a little more Second Son (I’m addicted to it), and now I’m going to bed at 6:30am.  Thanks for reading, and “Sweet Caroline / Good times never seemed so good / I’ve been inclined / To believe they never would.”

—Eric Del Medico

April122014

So I really enjoyed playing through inFAMOUS Second Son as a hero, but I think I’ll enjoy becoming infamous more.

One Year Ago Today

This was a typical crappy Thursday night of work dealing with the college tournament.  I’m happy that it’s now over for the year (next week is the final but I won’t be there), but we’ll still have a cheap tournament on Thursday nights so we’ll still get a lot of those players.  That night I watched Moonrise Kingdom which was a weird but good movie. 

My Day

I woke up by 3pm but it took a long time to figure out what I wanted to listen to while getting ready, so I basically got out of bed a half hour later.  Sometimes I get bored with the music I have, or I just can’t find one album or playlist that will be about an hour long.  I don’t like listening to only part of an album, and I don’t want the album or playlist to stop in the middle of my shower where I can’t go to something else.  I guess you’d call these first world problems.  I had about an hour to play some Second Son, and there might be an achievement for defeating a certain number of government raids in the game so I might keep messing around with that before starting it over.  The internet said you can have multiple save files so I should be able to start a new one and keep playing this one if I want, but for now I’ll stick to it on these days where I can only play for maybe an hour at a time.

Then I went to work at 7, and again it wasn’t very busy.  It seemed like we’d be out around midnight since we had all short runs early, but I think people volunteered to leave and the runs stayed about the same.  I started with $2-$4 and there were two loud women on it, but they were nice and entertaining.  I went to the tournament but only dealt one hand before it broke, and they sent me back to that first game.  Then I had the main $500 max game which was nothing special but decent. 

Later I dealt another $2-$4 table, and one guy got mad when I asked if he checked yet.  He said he tapped the table with his finger five times, and when he mimicked me asking if he then checked I was a little offended.  I thought about fighting back and saying that the more you tap on the table (especially with one finger) the less it looks like a check and just a nervous motion.  He said I didn’t see him but must have been doing something else, and I wanted to say that the “something else” was taking the rake which is part of my job.  But I decided to just apologize and forget it.  A few minutes later he said to the guy next to him that he didn’t know why he was attacking the dealer (me), and how it wasn’t really my fault but he was just tired and frustrated by not getting cards.  So although he didn’t apologize directly to me, I appreciated him saying that and realizing there was no call for that.  But I was pleased with myself for not engaging because otherwise I would have given him a reason to be mad at me.

The only other thing that bothered me later was when players were talking about how boring the table was and how there isn’t any action “at this casino.”  I hate how they say that like it has anything to do with us or the management, when it’s just a matter of how the current players are playing.  One guy even said something like, “Wait until there’s competition,” like having other casinos around would change how the tables are here.  They wanted us to have more big games going, but if the players just aren’t there then what can we do?  We’d spread those games if we had people who wanted to play.

At 1am I just dealt the main $500 max game again, and I saw that next I had a break and then the one remaining $2-$4 game which looked awful.  I asked if I was next to get cut because I’d just go now, but I didn’t have many hours so I wouldn’t have been.  So I stayed, but I knew I’d regret it.  That table was full of newbies and stiffs, and I made maybe $5 that down.  Then I went to the must-move game but I was tapped out after just three hands which was fine.  I almost made as much in those three hands than the whole last down.  So I was out just after 7 hours, and I only made $140 which is terrible for 7 hours and not good for 9 downs.

I got home by 3am and wanted to play some more Second Son.  I decided to start a new game after all, and I was scared at first that I was saving over my other file but it’s all good.  I just played until the first choice which leads to my path to becoming infamous (rather than a hero), and I’m really looking forward to how the game will be different now.  And I can always play as my other guy whenever I want so I’m happy.  Now I’m going to bed just after 6am before another night of work.  Thanks for reading, and “Your time will come / If you wait for it, if you wait for it / It’s hard, believe me…I’ve tried.”

—Eric Del Medico

April112014

Today I beat inFAMOUS Second Son from my first run-through, and now I’ll play with a bend for evil which should prove to be even more fun.

Dreams

I dreamt we were back in our old trailer, where I lived from about ages 4 to 12.  It wasn’t like I was young again but we just moved back in, but the place looked a little different.  The living room had weird plants in the middle blocking the TV from the couch, but it seemed bigger than before.  The kitchen was really small, and the oven was weird and had like an old pot underneath instead of how a real oven works.  I made one comment about the kitchen light switch that I remembered was there, and I commented that it was my favorite light switch which is a weird thing to say.  It was cool being back there because I spent a third of my life in that little trailer. 

One Year Ago Today

This was my errand day, where I went to the bank, got some groceries, and did my laundry.  I also talked with my dad and then my mom so that was good.  Then I played some Diablo and still had time (or the willpower) to go to the gym that night.

Thoughts

I’ll give you a little something since I haven’t in a while.  Last night when watching an episode of King of Queens they talked about Lasik surgery, and I started to think about that for myself.  I have some money now, and something like that could be a good investment for the future.  I’ve needed glasses since I was in second grade, and I’ve had to put in contacts every day since I was 16.  The problem with that surgery is that it doesn’t guarantee perfect vision, and I might still need glasses to read or drive or whatever.  Plus I know that it could wear off or get worse over time, so in 10-20 years I might need to get it again or be back to where I am now.  Plus I tried to look into the cost, and it seems to be between $2,000 and $5,000 which is more than I’d want to spend.  If it would give me perfect vision for the rest of my life then I’d consider doing it, but with the risks and no guarantee for results it doesn’t seem worth it.

My Day

I didn’t want to get up so at 4 I finally did, and I only had a little bit of time to chill before work.  I started work at 7 instead of the beautiful 6pm start I’ve had the last few weeks, but I tried to get in early so I’d be first for 7pm starts.  But I really didn’t mind either way because I’d still have to be there for a few hours.  The college tournament got 100 players which is really high, but it’s the last week before the final next week.  So we had mostly tournament downs of course, and after alternating between tables and tournaments I was out after 4 hours.  I made around $50 which is as expected, but it was a fairly easy night.

When I got home I again caught the end of a basketball game, and for dinner I had the leftover Spanish rice and corn.  I don’t like eating the same meal two nights in a row (it’s bad enough I’ve limited the kinds of meals I’ll eat now), but I figured I might as well eat that since I won’t need it any other time and I didn’t eat at work.  Then I finished Second Son, and I cleared it 100% although they keep having random government presences or whatever it’s called.  So I did a few of those and then called it a night.  I could have then played some Diablo, but figured my night would be better spent watching a movie.

So I watched High Fidelity which my mom recommended the other day.  It’s about a record store owner (John Cusack) who revisits his top five break-ups to see what the problem is.  I love how it wasn’t just narrated, but he talked to the camera throughout the movie.  I’m a sucker for anything like that.  It was an enjoyable movie, and a lot of what he said was really good and made a lot of sense.  It was very honest too in how guys and people interact and reflect on events, and a lot of it reminded me of myself.  Now I’m going to bed at 6:30am and hopefully I can get myself out of bed tomorrow.  Thanks for reading, and “I’m only a man with a candle to guide me / I’m taking a stand to escape what’s inside me / A monster, a monster / I’ve turned into a monster / A monster, a monster / And it keeps getting stronger.”

—Eric Del Medico

April102014

Today I finally watched 300 again and got to see 300: Rise of an Empire after waiting for months. It was mostly worth the wait.

Dreams

I dreamt that I was by a lake, and I went out for a long swim.  I went really far like I’d do with a canoe at our camp, but I don’t think I had a boat but some kind of raft to cling to.  I noticed an alligator in the water so I made sure to steer clear of it, and that was about it.

One Year Ago Today

I finally got my first Hellfire Ring part after hundreds of hours building up to it.  We had a poker game and I made another small cash, and after reading that I said, “Just be patient Eric.  The big scores will come” which has been happening in poker lately.  That was a good lesson for me in general because I have to be patient and trust that good this in my life will happen eventually. 

My Day

My dad called and got me up around 3pm, and then I showered and did some stuff around the apartment before my mom came over.  She brought a pot of Spanish rice and corn which is my favorite meal, and we ate that and chatted for a bit.  Then we watched 300 which I bought on Blu-ray a while ago and have been waiting to watch again.  We saw that first and then went to see 300: Rise of an Empire after.  It wasn’t just a sequel but also a prequel and showed other things happening while the events of the first movie were happening.  It was a good movie and had great sweeping speeches and tons of blood like the first, and they beheaded so many people it was crazy. 

When I got back home I played some Diablo again finally, and then relaxed with some shows.  I still had a little time left so I decided to play Second Son, and I ended up doing the last mission and then beating the game.  I did not plan on doing that tonight, and there was still a little area to cover in the game.  Thankfully after the credits it put me back in the city and will let me complete the other stuff, and now I get to use my new ability.  So I have four different abilities in all: Smoke, neon, video, and now concrete.  Once I’m done with this I plan to immediately start playing through it again but going for evil karma, so I’ll see how different that is.  I think it’ll be more fun to get to kill all the bad guys instead of just subduing them, and I don’t have to worry about killing civilians. 

I would have been able to get to bed by 6am but the ending took longer than I hoped, so now that time has come at 7.  Tomorrow I start my weekend of work, and it’ll probably be the start of six straight days but that’s okay.  Thanks for reading, and “If I told you what I was / Would you turn your back on me? / And if I seem dangerous / Would you be scared? / I get the feeling just because / Everything I touch isn’t dark enough / That this problem lies in me.”

—Eric Del Medico

April92014

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’ve had a great two months of poker so far, and this week was by far my best ever.

One Year Ago Today

Work was nice and short which is just how I like them on days like Monday.  That night I watched a documentary on Netflix called Holy Rollers which is the story of a Christian card-counting team.  Later I watched a movie from Netflix called The Red Violin which was recommended to me by Nick from work.  It was actually a really good movie.  It told the story of one particular violin from its creation in the 1600s to the present day, and showed how it impacted the lives of all those who owned it. 

My Day

I got up around 3:30 and got my laundry started, and I wanted to play some Second Son but wisely did not.  Instead I did more research on laptops, and I thought that’d make me feel like I was making more progress but I just feel further from deciding on a new one.  There are so many choices but none have everything I’m looking for.  It’s like each one has at least one big flaw that makes me choose against it.  At this point I feel like I’d spend a lot extra just to find one that has everything so I don’t have to sacrifice something important.  Laundry took a bit longer than I hoped, so I left late for poker but still made it in time for the start.

I specifically didn’t wear my jeans this time because I’m superstitious, and I even didn’t listen to M.I.A. on the way there either.  I remember a couple times losing after listening to her to get pumped up, and as stupid as that all sounds I just feel better adhering to it.  I quickly lost half my stack from playing stupid and losing some rough pots, so I added $100 to be in for $300 total.  My general rule is to have enough chips so if I double-up I can at least get back to even.  I’m almost always glad I added on because this time I doubled-up shortly after that with Aces against Kings.  Then I won a good 3-way pot with AQ for top top, and the key was recognizing I was good and getting value from it.

So I was at around $350 when I got pocket 5s in a multi-way pot, and I flopped a set on the 9 7 5 flop.  I checked, Lightning bet, another guy called, and Rachel called.  I raised to $50, and they all called (or maybe the other guy dropped out).  The turn was a Jack and I bet out $100 this time, and to my surprise Lightning and Rachel both called fairly quickly.  The river was a 9, so now I had a full house and there were no flushes on the board and only two highly unlikely straights out there.  In the past I might have just checked the river in case someone had a bigger boat with the 9, but I’m getting better at extracting chips when I get these big hands.  So I went all-in and was correct that Lightning had an overpair, and Rachel was practically all-in by the turn and folded on the river (I have no idea what she had).  That pot put me over $800 (after tip) so that was huge.

I was happy to actually play with the chips this time and not loan them out, although I had to have mostly quarter chips.  I didn’t mind too much because I got a full stack of quarters ($500 which is always nice) plus $300 in reds so I had a good stack.  We had one guy I knew from the casino who is a good player, and he had a big stack and was the only one I didn’t want to play against.  I got Aces and reraised him from $17 to $55 pre-flop and he called.  The flop was Jack-high and I bet $60, really hoping he’d just fold.  He called, and when the flop came out I felt that he really liked it so I was very worried he had a set of Jacks.  The turn was a King and I checked this time, and when he bet $90 I was kind of hoping he’d think I was weak and would bet Queens there to get me to fold like 10s.  Really I just didn’t know where I was but didn’t want to give it up so easily so I called.  The river was a blank and we both checked, and he did have Jacks.  He said he was a little worried I had a set of Kings because players know I can always have a huge hand like that. 

So I lost $200 that hand which put me at $540, and that felt like nothing compared to the $800 I had a while ago.  I was eventually able to work it back up when I made a good (or fortunate) read with A 10 against A 9, and when I had Jacks and played them a little stronger than usual and made a good river-call.  I got most of it back and by the time we finished I was up to $755, but I did a 7-card no-peek with the last few guys for $35 of it and lost.  So I finished up $420, which means that this week I made $1,050 from poker.  That feels so good, and I’ve never made that much in one week before.  Before losing $400 the week prior at his house I won $1,160 in two consecutive weeks.  So I won big 4 of the last 5 sessions, and I’ve profited $1,910 which is definitely my best streak and in just a one-month span.  I can’t expect it to keep running like that, but I feel like I’ve entered a new place where I can start to make bigger cashes each time I play rather than grinding out a hundred or two.  But this was with a $400 loss when everything was going wrong, and I’ve taken a few beats too but have still proved resilient and came back.  So that feels great.

Most of the guys quit the game at once so we stopped playing around 5am, which was fine since only the better players were left so making anything more would be increasingly difficult.  I never care about trying to make more and more when I’ve already won a lot, so I was fine with leaving with my nice profit.  I really thought about stopping at McDonald’s on my way home because I was starving again, and I got a craving for a Big Mac (and I’ve had a burger craving for like a year).  Thankfully there was only a Burger King on the way, and it was breakfast time anyway so I just went home and had a banana.  I knew I would have regretted eating that crap, so just having a banana was so much wiser.  Now I’m going to bed at 8am, but I have no problem with that when I had a great winning night and have the next day off.  Thanks for reading, and “Heaven forbid you end up alone, you don’t know why / Hold on tight, wait for tomorrow, you’ll be alright.”

—Eric Del Medico

April82014

I love Seinfeld moments in my life, but I hate how often I do something that only an idiot like George Costanza would do.

Dreams

I dreamt I was in a mall, and I was sort of involved with three girls at once.  I didn’t really do anything with any of them, but I guess I had expressed feelings for each of them so I felt bad.  I was really only interested in one of them, so when Brian came over I told him about it and asked him not to “blow up my spot” until I could straighten this out.  What kind of an idiot am I who dreams about having three girls when I can’t even find one who would express feelings for me?

One Year Ago Today

I got up early to see my Knicks beat the Thunder, and then I played some Diablo before work.  Work was really slow, so we left after 3 hours and I didn’t make very much.  We got Taco Bell after which was not long after an earlier trip, but it didn’t become a regular thing again which is good for my body. 

Thoughts

Ugh, I just can’t share all that I got going on in my head.  I wish I could because I need to get it out constructively.

My Day

I got up around 3:30pm which was perfect, and I didn’t get called off from work.  I didn’t really expect to but it would have been nice to just do my laundry and play video games.  I was in a really bad mood when I went to work, which was all my fault because I’m an idiot sometimes.  So I signed the EO although it didn’t really make a difference.  We had drawings and giveaways for the championship game tonight, and it was about as busy as I expected with 10-12 games going. 

I was lucky to start with $500 max although I only enjoyed it because they don’t care if you’re engaging and smiling, as long as you just follow procedures and call the game right.  I made $6 my first hand and slightly more than double the rest of the down so it was nothing special.  Then I went on break, and then had another table-break.  I was lucky not to deal any tournament downs, and I finished the night with five straight games that were pretty good.  I went on break but then they let me go home, so I worked almost 5 hours and made almost $20 a down which is good.

When I got home I played Second Son for just a little bit, and I finished the mission I started the other day and stopped when I got back to where I was before.  Now I can finish clearing the last two districts and then do the final stuff.  For the rest of the night I caught up on almost all my shows, leaving just Jeopardy and whatever was on tonight.  Unrelated to anything else, today I listened to Imagine Dragons and I bought their single “Monster.”  Now whenever I hear it I think of wrestling because they played it when showing Daniel Bryan’s journey to WrestleMania last night.  I admit it’s a perfect song for that, but now I think I’ll never be able to think of anything else when I hear it.

Before bed I watched the Seinfeld episode The Phone Message because it’s had some significance for me lately, especially today.  Then I got excited because I thought I had another new one for today in The Maid, which came from the newest episode of Family Guy where they did a gag at the counter of the bar.  But I then noticed that I had already seen this episode in my latest run-through but forgot to mark it down, so that was disappointing.  I still have 12 left and it’s been almost a year since I started.  Now I’m going to bed at 7am before two days off.  Thanks for reading, and “People this stupid shouldn’t be allowed to live.”

—Eric Del Medico

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