The Crooked Link

Life of a Low Stakes Gambler...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dirty Sanchez

No, not that dirty Sanchez...

This dirty Sanchez:

Mexico managed to beat Ghana yesterday 2-1 but even so, this douche bag of a coach has got to go. It was the players that grabbed the victory yesterday, with individual efforts, because as a team, the players have been playing a shitty game of soccer.

Don't get me wrong, I was happy as hell that Mexico was able to pull away with a victory and myself collecting a cool $50 that I'd all but kissed goodbye. But yesterday's game should not have any barring on the Mexican Federation's decision on whether or not Hugo stays. In a year and a half that Hugo has had the Mexican team under his wing, they have yet to win a cup and most importantly, they failed to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.

This is just completely unacceptable given the fact that the CONCACAF is one of the weakest regions and thus, should have been able to qualify easily. They got beat by Guatemala for God's sake. Guatemala!

But what pisses me off the most is the way Sanchez criticized the hell out of the previous Mexican coach, Ricardo Lavolpe, saying that Lavolpe's team lacked identity and offensive mentality. Well guess what Mr. Sanchez? At least they won the Gold Cup, had an amazing run in the confederations cup and got eliminated by a far superior team in the World Cup. What have you done so far? Bitch and moan about how you need time and criticize the younger players for not being able to play as a team. It's your job to make sure they do, isn't it?

And what's even funnier is the fact that after all the criticizing of the last Mexico team, Sanchez's lineup for yesterday's game against Ghana was basically the same team that Lavolpe put together in his 4 year coaching stance. Sanchez also criticized Lavolpe for using players that weren't born in Mexico but that had become Mexican citizens in order to play for his team. He called this unpatriotic and shameful for Mexican soccer. Yet, there was Franco and Zhina on the field yesterday. One born in Argentina, the other in Brazil, yet both sporting the Mexican Jersey. Can you say WTF?

This Sanchez dude is one egotistical maniac. I have never once heard him praise the effort of any of his players in a news conference. It's always about him him and him. Truth is, he had one good year managing Pumas and besides that hasn't done shit in his coaching career. Sure he was a great player in the 80s something he doesn't fail to remind us every 10 seconds, but great players don't translate into great coaches. And I hope that when all the Mexican League team owners meet this Monday to decide the faith of Hugo, they realize that they need someone who's a little more humble and connects better with the players if they hope to have any chance of Mexico reaching the World Cup in 2010.

End Rant

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One Time, Mexico!

I think I may have placed a sucker bet earlier today at work. I've got Mexico beating Ghana in an international friendly tomorrow afternoon for $50. I haven't followed soccer for a while, or any other sport for that matter, but when a dude from work said he'd take Ghana I couldn't say no. I guess I'm known at work as the dude who'll take action on just about anything. Poker, blackjack, rummy, coin flips, or sports betting, whatever. I was a little hesitant to take the bet at first, because Mexico had such a poor showing in the Olympic qualifier matches a couple of weeks ago.

But that was the Under 23 team, and most of the star players who play in Europe weren't on the team. So I figured Mexico had to be a big favorite in this match. And oh did I figure wrong. I go online to find out Mexico is a +175 Moneyline underdog at Right, so if I'd done my research, I could have placed the $50 bet online getting a much better odd percentage with a payout of $88. Instead I took the underdog at even money.

Damn it if only I hadn't been so foolish, lol. It would have been helpful to know that Ghana has been on fire lately, and currently considered the best team out of Africa. Oh and they're also the 15th best team in the world, according to FIFA Rankings. Where does Mexico rank? 16th...

So I failed to do my research and that along with my cockiness and pride to not turn down a bet against my team Mexico, especially in front of co-workers urging me on to take the bet, is probably going to end up costing me a cool $50.

I was sandbagged, and I know it. Cool, I got suckered, it happens and it will probably teach me a lesson. But all hope is not lost. Mexico can still win this game. The Mexican coach Hugo Sanchez knows his job is at stake in this match. If he loses this one, he's all but out. And Mexico will be fielding a strong side with most of the European Star players. It'll definitely be a great match. Too bad I won't get to watch it. Being that they're playing at a neutral venue in London, the game kicks off at 2:00 pm. I actually get out of school early tomorrow at 12:30, but I have to serve a 3 hour detention that will keep me in school til' almost 4 o'clock.

In conclusion:

Dear Mexico,

Please win tomorrow.



You better be instructing them to kick Ghana's ass tomorrow, you piece of shit Sanchez.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sleepless in Chicago


Why do I keep doing this to myself?

I'm on yet another all nighter at school right now, and it really sucks. I woke up at 3 P.M. yesterday afternoon and figured I'd go to sleep around 1 A.M. at the latest. Nope! I tried to fall asleep around 2, but wasn't tired, so I read for a while, watched some TV, cleaned my room and was still not the least bit tired. Next thing I knew it was 4 A.M. and falling asleep then would have just been pointless. I think I read somewhere that unless you can get in at least a solid 3 hours of sleep, it's more beneficial to just stay awake until you can get a good power sleep in. I don't know, I may have just pulled that out of my ass, but I guess it sounds reasonable. Maybe not, I don't know, I'm kinda delirious right now.

The good thing is I managed to get my guy Furcio to cover for me at work today cause I would have literally fallen asleepon the job, especially since it's Monday aka the slowest day of the week. So I plan on crashing as soon as I get home from school. The problem is I'll just be repeating this cycle all over again as I'll probably wake up around midnight and not be able to fall back asleep. Plan B would be to try and stay up til' around 10 or so, that way I'll be dead til' morning and hopefully regain a normal schedule.

Anyway, I just got out of Spanish class a few minutes ago. Man, sometimes you think you've got it rough, but check out what's been happening to my Spanish teacher. First, her mom passed away last summer, then her grandma passed away around Christmas time, then she found out she's losing her job and this'll be the last year she's at our school because the administration thinks she's to easy of a teacher so they're letting her go and to top it all of, her 12 year old son just got diagnosed with some disease that could make him permanently blind within a couple of years. Oh yea, she too is blind from her right eye.

Dude, talk about having a shitty past few months. And what sucks is that she's about the nicest fuckin' person you could ever meet. She's one of those teachers that actually cares beyond the classroom. She's always trying to track me down when I miss class to make up the work so I don't fall behind. And a while back when I stopped going to her class for almost a month, she allowed me to make up all the work I'd missed, cause she knew I needed the class to graduate. So it sucks to see the rough times she's going trough right now. But she still has a smile on her face every class and actually tries to make fun out of her situation, saying shit like "Ok guys, we're just going to watch a movie today, because I feel like it, and I don't really care what the administration says. What are they going to do, fire me?"

I've got about 20 minutes to kill before my next class, so I think I'm going to go clean out my locker cause it's starting to smell funky in there. Might be the half eaten orange chicken I stuffed in there back in November.

I'm out, Peace!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Idol and Spring Break

Avid Crooked Straight readers, I have a confession to make; I'm hooked on Idol. Yes, as in American Idol. This is the first season that I began to watch from the beginning and have been following along week after week, elimination after elimination. Sadly, my favorite contestant got eliminated yesterday, Amanda Overmyer.

I knew she had absolutely no chance to win, but I would have liked to have seen her go deep into the competition. Maybe even top 6 or so. Her elimination yesterday came as a bit of a shock because there were some weak performances this week. I really felt Brooke White should have been the one to get booted this week, and she wasn't even in the bottom three! In the end, I think Amanda's inability to showcase her vocal range beyond the screaming rocker chick was what ended up hurting her.

Simon commented on her last performance about how she was becoming predictable and how she needed to change her style and try something like a ballad, for example. Amanda gave what I thought was a great response. She said something like, in the minute and a half of stage time that she gets each week to perform, her purpose is to try and show America what she is about, and what they can expect of her if she is to become an accomplished artist and sign a record deal.

This just makes sense to me, and it's something that has always bothered me about American Idol. I mean, if there's a dude who's style is country, or Amanda who's a rocker chick, then why have her sing something that will completely take her out of her element, when that's not the kind of stuff she'll be singing, once a record deal comes along.

Anyway, like I said, I was pretty disappointed with her elimination and now there's really not much more rooting interest for me in the remaining contestants. If I had to pick though, I guess I wouldn't mind David Archuleta winning. Dude can sing.I predict a David Archuleta-David Cook finale.


So, this has been a pretty shitty Spring Break thus far. It's been in the low 40s the whole week so there hasn't been much of an incentive to actually go out and do much. Instead, I've been a bum at home having some marathon viewing sessions of ER season 8 on DVD. Awesome show, can't wait for season 9 to come out in June.

I've also become addicted to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007 on the PS2. I bought the game a while ago but hadn't really gotten into it until this week. Now, I'm freakin' hooked on the game. It's so much fun that it's actually motivating me a little bit to actually learn golf in real life. Seems like ever poker player out there is hooked on golf, so maybe I'll try to make that a goal for this upcoming summer. Learn to golf. I'd be starting from scratch because I've never set foot on a golf course in my life, but then again, how much different can it be from the PS2? LOL!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Live Game Statistics

After Sunday's session I decided to backtrack a bit and figure out where I stand as far as live cash games. I made a quick table for all five sessions I've had, which looked something like this:

So in five sessions:

I've played: 12.5 Hours

Total Net Profit: +$254

Hourly Rate: $20.72/Hour

Obviously with such a small amount of data it's nothing conclusive, but I definitely feel like my live game is a lot stronger than my online game. It just seems that when I'm at home, there's way to many things going on that make me lose focus on the game. And it's just more natural to want to bluff more online and make dumb moves. So what's this all mean? I don't know, I think I'll be playing live a lot more often and stick to SnGs and Tournaments online.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Feel Good Sunday

I've noticed that my blogging has become somewhat inconsistent. Not sure why really. And now that my internet access at home is limited for reasons beyond my control, I'll have to do most of my blogging from school. But I'll still try to post something up at least once every couple of days. If not here, then on one of the other sections at

Anyway, the weekend was pretty fun. Well, actually only Sunday was fun, since I had to work on Friday and Saturday. My plans for Sunday kept changing as first, my guy Furcio and I were going to host a poker game at his place but we failed to generate enough interest so we bailed on it. Then Chris from FCP was going to do a small FCP get together at his place. The plan was to just chill, play a little bit of poker and some Wii, while a couple of guys played the Sunday Majors online. So I was really looking forward to this but he ended up canceling late Saturday night because of some family thing.

So Sunday I was like, shit now what do I do today? I decided to take a drive up to the Charity Casino in Skokie to play some cards. I was suppose to meet up with Kurt, but I never heard back from him after an earlier text. Anyway, once I got there I got myself on the $1/2 list and a new table started right away. I bought for $200 and planned to stay out of any early pots and focus on trying to get some reads on the table. But nope, first hand of the night and I get dealt pocket nines in middle position. One limper before me and I raise it up to $6. Three of us see a flop that comes 7 5 2 rainbow. Not to shabby for pocket nines. First player checks and I bet out $10. The third dude mini raises me to $20 and I call. We go heads up to the turn and a King drops. Check check to the river where another blank falls. I thought about betting out here, but decided to check instead, planning to call any mid size bet from my opponent and he checks behind, flipping over pocket eights. Cool, first hand of the night is a winner. Can't feel to happy though, considering last time I was there I won my first hand with pocket Kings and ended up having a horrible session.

Fortunately that wasn't the case on Sunday and I went on a mad rush of cards. It seemed like every time I looked down at my cards, I had a playable hand. I won my first huge pot of the night when I got pocket sixes again in middle position. I raise it up to $11 this time and get 5 callers. Yikes! Flop comes something like Kc6c2h. Gets checked around to me and I throw in a $15 bet. 4 callers this time. Geez, no respect for my raises what so ever, lol. The turn is a heart putting two clubs and two hearts out there. Again it's checked to me and I bet $20 this time. Only one chick calls and we see a blank river. She checks and I bet out $25. She folds what was probably a missed flush draw and I win the pot.

Another interesting hand came up with pocket Kings which I think I played horribly. I'm in early position and UTG makes it $11 to go. Now I contemplate for about 30 seconds whether I flat call or raise here. I decide to flat call only to have 4 other callers after me. Now I'm just praying that an Ace doesn't hit the board, and instead a beautiful King drops. Gets checked to me and with a King high flop with no straight or flush draws I decide to slow play my set and check as well. The two other players check and we see a turn card that now brings possible straight and flush potential I finally bet my set only to see if get folded around. So many things I feel I did wrong in this hand, starting with the pre-flop flat call instead of a raise. The check on the flop is questionable as well.

The good thing is I found myself putting my money in with the best hand, for the most part. Except on a couple of occasions, one being a hand where I flopped top pair top kicker with AQ but with a flop with 3 diamonds. I bet out $20 and my opponent went all in for like another $60 more. I went into the tank for about a minute or so, and finally decided to make what I was sure was a bad call. My opponent flipped over AQ as well, but with the Ace of diamonds. Ouch! He was free rolling and with a 30% shot at winning the pot. Fortunately for me the turn and river bricked though.

Right when I was about to leave I announce to the dealer that this was my last hand, and I obviously get dealt pocket Aces. Oh man, no good could come out of this, lol. I was so sure I was going to go bust in this last hand that I almost didn't want to play it. I made it $7 to go and got 5 callers. Flop comes something like 10 7 4 and I bet out $12 this time. I get just one caller, this middle eastern dude who'd just sat at the table. Unfortunately for me he only sat down with about $40 dollars or so, because when I put him all in on the river for his last $12 he insta called me with jacks. So my Aces miraculously held up and I stuck around for a couple of more rounds before finally cashing out for $438. A solid +$238 profit.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I had yet another "talk" with my counselor on Wednesday, and she devised a plan that might just make it possible for me to graduate in June instead of August. After I dropped my Saturday school class a couple of weeks ago (the teacher was the biggest douche bag in the world) , I figured Summer School was inevitable, so I started slacking off in the rest of my classes also.

As things stand right now I am currently taking 7 classes:

Honors Spanish III

Weight Training

Lifetime Activities

Honors Aquatic and Marine Biology

Honors Web Design

Honors World Literature

Honors Advanced Band

Right now I have a total of 21 credits, and I need 24 to graduate. The 7 classes listed above are another potential 3.5 credits. However, I still need a mandatory first semester Literature credit which is what I was making up in my Saturday class before deciding to drop it. So my counselor recommended I make up the credit through a program called School of America that let's you make up credits with classes over the mail. They send you workbooks and stuff to complete and then you mail it back and get the credit.

Alright, so if we add the over the mail credit, that sums up to a total of 4.5 credits that are up for grabs, of which I only need three of them. Which means I could technically fail 3 of my current classes and still have 24 credits by June. Realistically speaking, and because of the amount of work I've already missed, it's a pretty safe bet that Aquatic and Marine Biology, and Computer Web Design are two classes that I probably won't be able to pass. As far as the other classes I'm pretty sure I can pass those without a problem. The main thing is just showing up to class. This past couple of days that I've been showing up to all my classes haven't been so bad. I'm pretty lucky to have some extremely cool teachers who actually give a shit about how their students are doing.

When I first got accepted into Northside I was happy as hell that I'd be attending the #1 High School in Illinois, (obvious brag) but then around my sophomore year, I started wishing I would have gone to my neighborhood school instead. It wasn't until I started going to a neighborhood school for evening classes, that I finally realized how much better off we have it over here at Northside. Being a Selective Enrollment school, the students here just get a whole lot more freedom to do whatever we want. We don't have shit like hall passes, and we can eat in the classrooms and walk out whenever we want, because the administration trusts us.Hell, we play poker in the cafeteria, with chips and everything, and the security guards come and join us. We have absolutely no gang activity what so ever, no vandalism to speak of or anything like that, so the student body in general, just feels a lot safer. Take a 10 minute walk over to Roosevelt High School in Albany Park and it's the complete opposite. Gang fights every day, under paid and over worked teachers which translates into under achieving students, and a graduation rate somewhere around 50%.

So why am I writing about all of this? I have no idea, lol. I guess it's been a slow gambling week. I did play a bit on Full Tilt yesterday. First a Heads Up SnG with an FCPer. It was a really fun match lasted almost 30 minutes but I finally took it down, after I caught my opponent on a huge bluff.

Then I played a $5.50 Double Stack 90 man tourney, but I couldn't get anything going in that one and busted out in 56th or so. I made a big lay down early on with a pair of Aces, on a somewhat scary board, for a huge pot. It was just to early in the tourney to gamble, so I folded what was probably the best hand. If I knew how card dead I was going to run for the rest of the tourney, I would have pushed instead, lol.

Anyway, I don't think I'll be able to make the Deep Stack tourney this Sunday, because my guy Furcio wants to set up a home game at his house. We're trying to generate some interest right now, but unfortunately there's not a whole lot of poker players at our school. Hopefully we can get at least 6 guys or so and play a cash game.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Who's Pulaski?

I don't know, but thanks to him there's no school today. I think Illinois is the only state to observe Pulaski Day. According to Wikipedia he was some Polish Soldier, and that's all I need to know.

Anyway, weekend was alright. Friday I had work and after being down for most of the night in blackjack and prop bets, I made a crazy comeback in the last hour or so to net a $28 dollar profit for the night. Saturday night I went out to see a comedy show with a friend that turned out to be really fun. They had a decent lineup of local talent, including this one dude named Junior that just creeped the hell out of everyone, including myself. 80% of his jokes had to do with raping people, lol. My favorite though, was this dude named Rob (actually that wasn't his name. But he looked like a Rob.) He had some funny material, along with some other dude who made some joke about latinos and then asked me and my friend if he made us uncomfortable, because her and I were the only hispanics in there, lol!

Sunday was a total veggin out day. I was literally in my room the whole day, mainly because my mom had some party thing going downstairs that I didn't feel like being a part of. So I spent the day watching TV and surfing online. I watched Barbershop 1 and 2. I'd never seen the second one, and I wish I hadn't. It's pretty horrible. And I also started re-watching Season 1 of Everwood on DVD. What a great show that was? I wasn't into it much when it was still running on TV, but I decided to but the first season on DVD a while ago and I was completely hooked. It's really shitty that they only released the first season though and they don't plan on releasing the rest. I guess I'm going to buy some of the bootleg versions on Ebay.

So yea, that was the weekend. And today, I woke up around 1pm, browsed the forums, showered and came to work. Not much going on this week, except school. At least it's a short week. I was also thinking about playing the Rockford Charitable Deep Stack tourney this Sunday but I haven't made up my mind yet. It's a $300 Buy In, with a $75 bounty on everyone's head. Even though it's a deep stack tourney with 12,000 in starting chips, the structure still isn't that great with only 20 minute levels. I imagine it'll play like an online turbo and will just become a shove fest towards the later part of the tourney.

But like I said, I'm still undecided on whether I'll play or not, because $300 isn't exactly in my BR range, so we'll see.