Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Home Alone! (Kinda)

My poker playing as of late has sucked. I've lost 80% of my bankroll in the last week. Pretty soon I'm sure that I will be felted. Oh well. I'm giving it the good fight. I have been playing a lot of no limit lately and been getting my money in with the better hands but keep getting sucked out on. Sigh. That's part of the game I guess.

In life news we had a full house this weekend. Letty's parents and one of her brothers came down for labor day weekend. Plus Letty's granddaughter was here for most of the weekend. This means little sleep for me as the parents get our room and I get one of the kid's beds to try and sleep in during the day with everyone running around crazy. Missed church on Friday, I was too tired to get rolling. I'm a little grumpy the last few days. I've been real short with Letty which isn't my normal self. So many things going on around here that I think we have both been a little stressed out.

The in-laws went home Monday afternoon. Tuesday Letty, her oldest daughter, the kids, and her sister were supposed to go to L.A. Koshe(oldest daughter) is taking her cosmetology state license exam this week. She thought on Wednesday, but it was actually Thursday which threw everyone off. Letty's sister who was to be Koshe's model had to take an extra day off. She wasn't happy. So they had a false start. They left again this morning and won't be back until tomorrow evening. Tio Roberto is still here but he is so quiet, just napping in the living room watching T.V.

It's so quiet in here. A rarity. I look forward to it then when I'm alone I miss them. The whole loud, Spanish speaking, children screaming lot of them.

Didn't make it to my meeting last night either. I fell asleep at 5pm and didn't wake up until 2 in the morning. One of the hazards of working overnights. Sometimes I get home and can't fall asleep until the afternoon. I missed my meeting and the padres getting clobbered by the D-backs. OK, I think it's my time to nap. I will set my alarm so I can see my padres take the rubber game of the series.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I got tagged by Carmen so here goes:

THE RULES: Elaborate on the words below.

Accent – A seasoning that my mom used to throw on everything we ate when we were kids.

I Don't Drink – Alcohol. For 2 and 1/2 long, bitter years. LOL. Just kidding. About the long and bitter part.

Chore I Hate – Emptying the bailer at work. It's just a pain in the ass and cuts deep into my time. I am sneaky and wait to bring my cardboard back when I know it has been recently emptied. Also car washing. Though I'm getting better at it.

Pets – German Shepards. Those were our pets when we were kids. I loved them. I still do, just not enough room for them in my apartment. My new love (that I do want) is a chihuahua. My girl's parents have one named Paloma that after I got to know her is just an awesome little snuggle buddy.

Essential Electronic – Hmmm, one that I couldn't live without? Probably the computer. I love to learn about different people and cultures so it's great for that. I would be naked without my cell phone though.

Gold or silver – Gold is 1st place baby!

Insomnia – A really wrenching movie with Al Pacino. Get some sleep! Oh, I work graveyard so this is a little insomnia inspiring.

Job Title – Senior Account Executive. That was my fancy schmancy title for 15 years. It translates in to human as Sales guy.

Most Admired Trait – I think my sense of humor. I can be pretty funny once you get to know me. Also my coolness under pressure. Oh, and I can type 60 wpm. That's pretty awesome.

Kids- No more Please! I already have Rachel, Kassie, Bekah, Grace, and James Landon. Plus my beautiful grandson Jeremiah!

Religion – Open minded christian. Baseball and football also. Go Pads and Chargers! Oh, and go Jesus too! LOL

Siblings – One beautiful sister that is 18 months apart from me. Loves me through all of my bullshit in my younger days.

Time I wake up – Work days between 3 and 5pm. Days off I am an early riser about 6 am. I don't want to miss anything!

Unusual talent/skill – I remember everything someone does or says.

Worst habit – Hmmmm, nowadays? Probably the internet.

X-rays – I always wanted a pair of those x-ray glasses that they used to advertise in comic books when I was a kid. What a pervert, huh?

My favorite meal – Wow, this is a tough one. I'm not very fancy. I LOVE Filippi's Pizza in Little Italy here in San Diego. With an antipasta salad. Hold the wine, just a coke please. Also prime rib. Anywhere. Las Vegas on the cheap especially.

There you have it. I don't know who else to tag since I don't have any regular readers. How about 4dbirds since Carmen already got jusdealem.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A tourney cash!

OK, it's not a big score, but it is how I spent my afternoon. I have hit double digits with my poker stars account, which when you consider that I had it down to less than $1 is a big deal in my little poker world. I just keep trying to build it up a little at a time.

PokerStars Tournament #59096672, Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: $1.50/$0.15
423 players
Total Prize Pool: $634.50 Tournament started - 2007/08/30 - 15:00:00(ET)

Dear bub66ohm,

You finished the tournament in 14th place.A $5.40 award has been credited to your Real Money account.You earned 68.33 tournament leader points in this tournament.For information about our tournament leader board, see our web site at

Random Thoughts

I have never looked so forward to going back to work after my days off as I am today. I have spent the last couple of days (except for a couple hours at my NA meeting) cooped up in my bedroom reading blogs and playing online poker. I even fell asleep during the Padre game before we got the winning runs in the bottom of the 8th. Letty woke me up to tell me. I'm bored. If I was in a meeting I'm sure someone would point out to me that's because I'm boring. Maybe. Can't wait to get my bills caught up so I can have some old fashioned fun again. I am such a whiner.

One of the things I have been trying to do is to find some interesting christian blogs to read. Verily, I tell you, they do not seem to exist. I read over 40 of them yesterday trying to find just one funny, entertaining blog. I got a lot of conservative christian blogs. No offense, but that's not my cup of tea. I don't hate gays, drug addicts, alcoholics, or degenerate gamblers. I'm not real fond of pedophiles. I guess that's my big dislike. A lot of them seem to have this "us" against "them" attitude. Maybe it's a "holier than thou" thing. I think maybe it's because the ones that I have been reading have been Christians all their lives and I don't relate. Then there are the "bible study" or "theological" blogs which is like reading quantum physics. Snoooooooze.

I want to read about struggle. I want to read about how people apply their faith in real life situations when everything isn't going their way. I want to read about how people overcome their addictions and fall back but still persevere. I get more of that in the poker blogs that I read than the christian ones. People doubting their poker playing abilities but persevering through it till the next big pot.

I don't know about anyone else. I struggle with all of this. I know, I'm too much of a thinker. An analyzer. I've never been able to go "Oh, that's just the way it is." Some days my faith is great and sometimes it's not so great. I've been going to self help groups for 22 years. I should know that I shouldn't judge my insides on other people's outsides. Yet I do it again and again. Human nature I guess.

I'm thinking about looking for some recovery blogs today. Maybe I will find some hope over there with the rest of the dope fiends. Thank God for the poker people. They keep it interesting around here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Never Drink Coffee after 8:00pm

Unless you want to be blogging at 11:17pm on a Tuesday night. Sigh. I went to my home group meeting which was good, I hadn't been there in a couple of weeks. It's strange now that Ron isn't going anymore. He used to pick me up and we would go together. He's changed up his regular meeting to Fridays so I am left having to make myself go. It shouldn't be that difficult and normally it's not. I just didn't want to go for a couple of weeks I guess. The bad thing about it is I have a tendency to isolate and if I didn't drag my ass down there tonight I might not go for a couple of months. But I did and it was good and I feel somewhat back in the fold, although not nearly as much as I used to.

I've been playing pretty decently online and had actually moved up a level only to get crushed. Back down I go again. I don't mind. As long as I have my little mini bankroll to play with I seem to be OK. I'm accepting my poker lot in life right now while I pay off the bills.

I have been following my Padres, getting back into the habit of watching every game. And whala, my magic is back. Before I started watching, 5 games back of the d-backs. Today, only a game behind after we chased their stud Brandon Webb off the mound in the 6th. They have been playing some exciting games the last week, it's been fun to get back into it. This is kind of a golden era in San Diego sports. If we could only get the Aztecs to do something. The Chargers and Padres are becoming perennial playoff contenders which of you know anything about San Diego team sports is an anomaly. We are so used to being cellar dwellers that we don't even know how to talk shit properly. It's not fair to have suffered this many years without a championship. Maybe the Chargers this year. I can only hope.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Normally, this is my favorite day of the month. Or 2 days. Or some months 3. I get my check and rush off to play a little poker at the Lucky Lady. I don't get to play live table action much because of my work schedule and Thursdays are perfect. I've slept all night and don't have to work until 11pm. Letty is in school and I have until about 5pm to play. Not that I play for 8 hours or anything. But I could if I wanted to. You know what I mean?

I had to take a quick responsibility check here recently. I've owed this one cat some money for a long time and I need to pay him back. It's been affecting my relationship with the fellowship I belong to which he is also a member. I'm not going to places to avoid running into him or anyone that knows that I owe him this money. That affects my relationship with God and my fellow man. Puts distance between us. I can't afford that.

Why don't I pay him? Good question. Probably because I'm a selfish, self centered, fearful jackass. I've got issues when it comes to being broke. It's not even that paying him back will make me broke. Just the possibility that I could not have money in case something happens freaks me out. Especially when Letty and I aren't getting along. The idea of being homeless with no money (which wouldn't happen because I have great friends and my pops) puts me into instant miserly survivor mode. I could probably use some therapy when it comes to that. It's just that I HAVE lived like that (homeless and broke) and never, ever want to be there again. No matter what the cost or who I screw over. Sounds awful, huh?

I paid him back about half of what I owe him today. We aren't on speaking terms so I just left it under the mat and texted him that it was there. Hopefully he will text me back that he got it. I did feel better after I left his house. It's one of those things. The only way that I can get right with God is to get right with my fellow man. I took a step towards that today. Yay for me.

In two weeks I'll have him paid off and can maybe get out of this little self imposed spiritual rut that I have been in. It's been a longtime coming.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Latest tournament finish

PokerStars Tournament #56816063,
No Limit Hold'em
Buy-In: 10 FPP
3736 players
$250.00 added to the prize pool by
Total Prize Pool: $250.00

Tournament started - 2007/08/21 - 12:40:00 (ET)

Dear bub66ohm,You finished the tournament in 63rd place.A $0.38 award has been credited to your Real Money account.Congratulations!Thank you for participating.

I am on my way!!!!!


Finally got some air conditioning up in this crib. The A/C guy came yesterday and got it up and running. Thank God. It's been miserable here the last week and a half. The last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer and type my innermost thoughts while sweating my balls off. Not only was I miserable, of course the other members of the household have been miserable as well. Leading to a "who is more tired and miserable" pissing contest at the house. At least between Letty and I. Tio Roberto is a gamer who doesn't complain about anything.

Pokerwise, have been slowly building up my mini poker bankroll. Playing in cash games mainly. Micro-limit limit poker. I'm a good limit player and I enjoy it. Hopefully I can build up my account money where I can play in some modest entry fee tourneys. I play the freerolls on Poker Stars and Ultimate Bet but they are such all-in fests that they tend to bore me and not make it worth the effort to play. Especially when it's 90 plus degrees in the house with no relief in sight.

Friday I went to church and Pastor Ed talked about grace. The subject of grace always chokes me up a bit. It's like I can be flying 100+ miles an hour in my mind full of my self and my needs and my desires and my triumphs and someone can mention grace. Something you can't earn. An unrequited gift from God. For a person that lives the life that I have (and still do) grace is a life preserver. He used a great parable to describe how grace works and why it is such a hard concept for humans to grasp.

Matthew 20:1-16

1"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.
3"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5So they went.
"He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'
7" 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'
8"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'
9"The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'
13"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'
16"So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

One of the key points that he wanted us to take from his sermon (I don't really like to call it a sermon, it sounds so formal, it's more like a talk) was, unlike the hired men, To celebrate God's generosity wherever we may find it. Grace frees us from jealousy and celebrating the grace in the lives of others increases our own ability to experience it.

The point that I took from it is I'm glad that I'm not getting what I deserve, but what God wants me to have through his love for me. Oh, and of course he is not talking about other blogger's high finishes in poker tournaments. I'm still allowed to be plenty jealous about that. ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Viejas limit tourney

What a fancy title huh? That's the excitement I felt today for this tournament. First, I arrive at
Viejas about two minutes too late to qualify for the tourney promo. There's also no room at the $3-$6 table which leaves me in the inevitable quandary of having to sit in a casino for an hour and fifteen minutes without playing a machine. Yeah, right. Actually after playing for that hour and fifteen minutes I broke even which is a win for me.

the tournament started and about 3 hands in, I catch J-J in the bb. I raise and the 3 limpers that were ahead of me all called. Flop comes A-X-X rainbow I believe. I bet out, get called by the guy to my left and the other two fold. the turn is a K. Now I'm a little scared, two overcards on the board. I bet out and again I get called. The river is a deuce, I bet out again and he calls. Q_Q! I was thinking right there it wasn't going to be my day. It's a bounty tournament so later on with A-Qo I raise, the guy to my left raises all in and the guy directly to my right re-raises all in. I call the guy on my left has 10-10 and wins the pot when no one's hand improves. It leaves me with 500 in chips and the blinds are at 200-400. Blah. Next hand I'm UTG and push with my q-8 of spades. I get 3 callers. The flop comes 3-4-5 of spades. Whoo-hooo! I am back in business I think and confidently show my concealed hand (there was still 2 guys playing) to the guy next to me. Turn comes another spade. Not so good. The river I can't remember. Anyway the first guy bets and the second guy calls for the side pot. Dude flips over 2-6 of spades. My side of the table only notices smaller hole cards and thinks I have the pot. I actually got the dealer to hand me the chips before the guy and his side of the table flip out saying he has the straight flush. I hand the chips back to the dealer, I think a "hee' haw" escaped my lips, I tucked my ears and pinned on tail back in my hat and pants respectively, and made a beeline for the exit. I did apologize to the guy on my way out. What a donkey. The dealer AND me.

Thank God tonight is bingo night with my baby. There's no beats in bingo. A lot of friendly Mexicans though. Every time we go to play, we sit down next to a different Mexican family who like to help us play. What's that all about? Maybe because Letty picks the seat. As a matter of fact, Letty was mad last time we played because a white older lady wanted to hog a whole table to herself. She basically kicked my baby off the table. I was busy buying our cards. When I came back, I don't know what happened, Letty says it was because I was a guero. She started chatting me and Letty up the rest of the night. Bingo is a strange business. I like the idea of winning $1,000 bucks though.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Family reunion

Not a lot of poker being played here. A couple hours online a day at minimum stakes. I'm a little jealous reading everybody's big scores on their blogs. I'm trying to build my bankroll up from single digit numbers. We will see how that goes. Usually, I would put money in through my epassporte but my method of putting money on it has been closed down. Sigh. I'll probably go and play at Viejas on Wednesday in the $20 limit tourney.

I DID get to go to my family reunion on Sunday. My daughter and her man came down and brought my beautiful grandson. Here's a couple of pics:

What a cutie huh? I mean I know I am a little biased but he is a handsome guy. That's my daughter I'm hugging in the first pic. There's my update, hopefully I will have a big tournament win to talk about on Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Move along...

There's nothing to see here. Haven't been able to muster much except dragging my ass to work every night. One thing I have realized in the last couple of years of realizing things about myself is that I am really manic. I get a lot accomplished and am very creative during these times, but when they are over they are over.

I haven't been even playing online. I've been sleeping a lot. My waking hours have been consumed by my blog reading, myspace visiting, and watching TV with my baby. I'm going to my NA meeting tonight. I wonder if blogging about being an NA member is a direct conflict with the traditions. Probably. Oops. It's the first meeting I have gone to in a couple of weeks. To be honest, I only go to ONE meeting a week. If I miss it then I am done till the next week. I did go to church on Friday. I dug it as always, The music was good and Pastor Ed had a great message as always. I wish that guy had a blog.

Tomorrow, my baby and I are revisiting Viejas for some bingo play. She loves it, I love doing things with her that she loves. I would never admit to actually liking bingo on here, I wouldn't want to be excommunicated from the poker blogger world. OK, the WSOP 2007 is coming on. Lates.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

B. I. N. G. O.

Headed back to Viejas for a little bingo with my baby. We didn't win a dime but we had a great time. Unfortunately, my bankroll is thin so I will be confined to my nickel and dime online poker exploits for the next week or so. Did I mention I had a good time? We sat next to this older Mexican couple that helped us keep track of our boards and explain the patterns of the game to us. We are a little bingo re-tah-ted. We also ate lots of bad, greasy food. All in all, a wonderful time had by all. Oh, and I took a $20 bill and doubled up on Shrimpmania? I think that's the name of it. Got our bingo buy in back. Am I typing in rhymes? I hate when I do that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

One Armed Bandits

Man, I hate slot machines. They kill my profit anytime I get ahead in poker. If I'm not ahead, they make for big losses. The problem with them is I can't quit when I am ahead. Unless I am really ahead. Anyway, got knocked out early in the Viejas tournament this morning. My schedule was kinda screwed up and I got there late. Had to pick up my things from my dad's house. Then I donked off $100 playing those damn machines. My girl wants to play some bingo up there tonight so maybe I can recoup my losses. LOL. With her there, NO machines. Which is good.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pervert on Board

How to start off this post. I'm not sure. One of the things that you will find out about me is that I have this innate ability to be 100 percent self confessional. Even when it sounds silly. Even when it's something I would rather not admit to. Especially something that makes me lose all vestiges of any coolness you might have had of me. Enough. Let's get to the point. I got busted. Looking at porn. Absolutely ruined my weekend and almost my relationship.

Having said that I have absolutely nothing against porn. This isn't a "Oh my God, I'm sorry for my egregious sinning, please strike me with a lightning bolt" kind of posts. This is more of a "I know my girlfriend has a problem with it yet I ignored her wishes and did it anyway" kind of posts. That's the "sin". I know my girl absolutely hates it. She has issues with it. I did it anyway on our computer and she found out.

I'm at work on Friday night about midnight when I get a text on my phone. "YOU GOT BUSTED! IT"S OVER!" Then another telling me where my clothes and money were. As in, they and you are no longer in the house. She won't answer my texts or calls. I leave work because I'm more than a little upset about the situation and the welfare of my meager possessions. I get a hold of Anna (one of my best friends in NA, like my sister) and she comes and picks me up, takes me to where my things are, and takes me home with her.

She won't talk to me for 2 days. She will text me but won't tell me what I did. Here's where poker sometimes gets me in real life trouble. I'm not going to cop to watching porn if I'm not sure that is what she is mad about. I've got my poker face on and I think she's bluffing. Maybe some pre-menstrual stab at trying to get some weird ass confession of adultery from me.

To make a long story somewhat shorter she finally breaks down on Sunday evening and shows me the nuts. The stupid sites I was going to were leaving cookies on the computer. I had no idea. She has me dead to rights but I'm still pissed. I was still displaced for 2 days. I missed a couple of days of work. I had to inconvenience my friends and my pops. I don't even think of watching porn as a moral issue.

Here's the rub. She does think of it as a moral issue. She thinks of it as a sign that if I lie to her about this I will lie to her about something else. She hates the idea that I am looking at other women. She's Hispanic and pre menstrual. I know that. I should know better. I should take her feelings into consideration. I'm not always the best at that although I am getting better.

The final result is that we had a good long conversation about porn, lying, and our commitment to each other on Sunday night. Everything is straightened out for now. I won't watch porn. Not because their is anything wrong with it. Because it hurts my baby. She's too special to let get away. That's enough.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hot In The City

San Diego is smoking hot. I don't know the actual temperature but I know that I have no air conditioning and I am downing a propel an hour. I love those things. The problem is it's too hot to sleep. I slept for about 3 hours after I got home. I woke up a sweaty mess. Now I can't go back to sleep. I go to church tonight (Sunday mornings I can't keep my eyes open after work) and then it's off to work.

I'm teaching myself how to play Omaha. I've found there's a couple of different variations. I've been having a lot of beginner's luck because I am consistently having winning sessions. I'm really enjoying the game, it's fun to learn something new and not have it cost you tons to learn it.

Yesterday, I drove over to The Lady Luck and sat down at a $3-6 limit hold'em table. The same guys I have been seeing for the last 3 years. I won a big hand early when my A-6s ran into a A-A-x-6 board. Here's the funny thing. Maybe my thinking's wrong on this. I'm playing against this old guy I see a lot in there. He's been leading the betting. So I check to him, he bets out and I raise. He mucks his hand and storms off on tilt to have a smoke. I could have really run the guy into the ground if I had wanted to. I check-raised him to save him some chips. At least I thought I did. I guess there's no such thing as a friendly check-raise. Sigh.

I must have drawn the wrath of the poker gods for the next 10 hands however as I couldn't win a hand to save my life, I was down to my last $15 from an original $100 buy in and put my last chips in with pocket 7's. I hit a 7 on the turn to win the hand, went on a mini rush, got myself back over even and cashed the hell out. There's no worse feeling than getting your money back and then giving it all back. I came up $6 for the 3 hours I was there. Another big win for the bubster.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Final Table

I had the day off yesterday so I cruised up to Viejas to play in the $20 limit tournament they have every Wednesday morning. Got there about 8:30, checked in and sat down to some $3-6 action. They have a cool little promo if you get there that early. If you play for an hour you get $5 off your entry fee, a $10 dollar voucher if you go to the river in a live hand at the cash game and an extra $1,000 in starting chips for the tourney. It's a great deal and I like warming up with a little live action. I played my usual tight-aggressive game and I was up like $10 before having to take my seat for the tournament.

The tournament started off well for me. I had the chip lead at my table after the first 3 levels. The levels go up every 15 minutes. I scooped a couple of monster pots and collected 5 bounties (they pay $5 bounties for every player that you knock out). My table broke and I was moved to a table where I was about in the middle as far as chip counts go. I also went card dead. I was blinding off chips to about half of what I came to the table with. I semi-bluffed on a low pair and a straight draw against the small and big blinds they folded and I was safe. I was still card dead but was able to limp myself to the final table with 2 chips. 1 through 10 get paid, I just made it. 4 hands later 3 people had gone out, I had moved up to 6th and got blinded out. It paid $105. I ended up giving $60 dollars back to the damn one armed bandits (actually no armed bandits). I dragged myself out of there, came home, and took my baby out to a nice delicious Sizzler dinner. We be high-rolling. Actually, my steak was perfect and Letty enjoyed her teryaki steak, chicken and shrimp. All in all a good poker day off.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hi There!

I've probably doomed myself by putting God in the title of my blog. Probably depends on what I'm looking to get out of this. "To thine own self be true." OK, God it is then. My problem is that I love Poker. And God. And a whole bunch of other things that I adore from time to time. I'm not the greatest player, not the greatest writer, and definitely not the greatest Christ follower around either. Obviously. I've got a lot of issues. Children, addiction, alcoholism and gambling (the non poker variety) just to name a few.

I'm hoping that with this blog maybe I can bring all these things together in some kind of cohesive, smooth running machine. Yeah, who am I trying to kid. It's more that I enjoy the act of writing and the meeting of new people and sometimes actually posting something halfway decent. I can always dream.

The poker part of me: I've been playing pretty consistently for the last 4 years. I started playing online in 2004 in play money games that my boss at the time turned me on to. I graduated to playing cash tournaments at Viejas. Unfortunately, it was probably my 5th tournament and I accidentally went ahead and won. I've been hooked ever since. I played (and play) in cash games at Viejas, The Lady Luck, sometimes Barona and Sycuan. I nickel and dime it online (especially since I can't figure a way to get money onto my Epassporte account). Overall, I'm definitely in the black for poker which continues to amaze me.

The God part of me: The only way to do this is to put it in black and white. Maybe I will add a link to my old blog so that you can see what a mess I was. I've been playing in bands since I was 19 years old. I've had 5 kids with 4 different women. I'd developed a nasty alcohol and drug habit not to mention smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. I'd shrunk up to the point where I was fitting into size 28 jeans and they were loose. About 115 pounds soaking wet. Sores, speech problems, nervous tics, a general dark cloud over my head. I'd been messing with NA and AA since I was a teenager but it never stuck for more than a couple of years. In May 2005 I was at the end of my rope. I didn't want to live anymore. I was in a nightmare relationship that had me to the point where I was actually calling people's homes and threatening to kill them. I could barely work and I was living in the basement of my employer's house. (Thanks Gene, you were and are a life saver). I finally stopped everything on May 1st, 2005. My clean date. I started going to meetings with my guitar player and just didn't pick up. I did all the suggestions (except work the steps with a sponsor, oops) and haven't had the desire to pick up.

Oh yeah, where does God come into all of this? I started talking to this girl I met online in March of 2006. Craig's list to be exact. She was funny, I loved the way she talked, and attractive. Oh, and she was a Christian. Ugh. I believed that there was a divine presence in the universe but Jesus? Thank God she didn't make a big deal about it. She was much too clever for that. She kept inviting me to go to church with her but I would beg off with one excuse or another. Finally, one day I decided to keep an open mind (and to keep her happy) I went. I was scared. These aren't my kind of people. I felt like they could all see the evil that was in me. Finally the band started and my church experience turned into a rock concert. Huh? I was expecting either solemn hymns or folk rock john denver style of music. It was more like U2. That piqued my curiosity. Then the pastor gave his talk. A down to earth, normal talk based on the bible. It made sense. They got my guard down. Did I mention that while this was happening I was drinking a mocha in the service that I had bought when we were walking in? Good music, a nice talk, A Starbucks quality mocha? Did I mention very progressive church?

I enjoyed it. I still wasn't convinced about the Jesus as my personal savior but I kept going back. The message of the church stayed consistent. They weren't trying to force anything. They didn't want my money. They let me come to God on my own. Novel approach that worked. I don't remember the exact day that I turned my life over to Christ, I remember that it was at the end of the service and Pastor Ed asked if anyone wanted to turn their life over to Christ to please raise their hand so he could pray with us. I did and he did and that's where I am at today. I'm not a bible thumper. I'm not judgemental. I think it's God's job not mine. I have found some peace in my life that I've never experienced. Sometimes I believe that is just old age, most of the time I think it's God. I do have doubts. I do waver in my belief. I'm human. I have a hard time when people say that they don't. I try absolutely to remain humble and not be a hypocrite.

That's my story up to this point. This blog is probably not going to be G rated. I have lots of stories and I'm still not perfect although I have moved from a rated X live to maybe a PG. Thanks if you have read any of this and I hope to make a lot of new friends in the months to come.