[BEWARE! VERY LONG BLOG ENTRY]
So, I’ve decided to try out poker-blogging at this Blogger site. My old poker blogs can be found at http://www.cardrunners.com/members/index.php?option=com_mamblog&Itemid=29&task=show&action=user&id=15395 . I might make this the permanent location, update both, or switch back to Cardrunners. We’ll see. I apologize for not blogging for a while (my last post was on March 30). Because of this, this’ll be an especially long blog entry.
I haven’t played too much cash over the last 4+ months (about 18k hands in ~70 hours of play). Below are the hands played on my desktop:
Not too much to say here as it is a pretty small sample size (and considering the number of different games, a smaller sample size per game). In NL, I ran pretty well at everything except for a deep-stack 50NL HU match. At $3/6 and $5/10 LHE 6max, I pretty much broke even (lost a little, but made more in rakeback). I ran really well at $2/4 though (6max and HU). Some things to note about how the stats compare for different stakes (at 6max LHE):
- I played pretty loose aggressive at all three stakes: 32/22/2 at $2/4, 35/25/1.7 at $3/6 and 33/23/1.8 at $5/10.
- My W$WSF was about the same (44.35-44.99%) for all three stakes.
- My WTSD increased slightly with increasing stakes.
- My W$SD also increased with increasing stakes.
- My aggression factor (AF) decreased with increasing stakes (most likely due to having looser ranges).
- My Att to Steal was fairly high for all three (40-45%). This seems like a decent range though.
- My Fold BB to Steal was pretty low in all three and decreased with increasing stakes (ranging from 32% at $2/4 to 23% at $5/10). Don’t steal my blind!! I think this trend makes sense as the rake decreases with increasing stakes so I don’t lose as much to rake on my blind defense hands. Also, players at $5/10 will be more aware of profitably stealing from LP so their ranges will be looser than the players at $2/4 meaning I can more profitably defend.
Also, I recently purchased a 17″ MacBook Pro laptop (with poker winnings, as described later). It really hurt to withdraw that much for a laptop but I think I really needed one (my first laptop). Anyway, here are the [few] hands I played on it (with VMware Fusion):
While in Vegas for the Man-vs.-Machine Competition (discussed later), I couldn’t stop thinking about HU LHE. I decided to start playing it (which I need to get back into). I approximately broke even at $1/2 and $3/6 (after rakeback). However, I ran really well at $2/4. I also played some 50NL HU. I do something different than many, in that I use anti-game selection. That is, I search out players who seem decent (usually with bigger stacks too). The reason is that $50 is a small portion of my bankroll and I’d rather have a challenge and learn through tough decisions (which bad players don’t put you in very often). Anyway, notice the hugely negative number for my 50NL HU sessions. Here is one of the hands ($422 = 844bb pot) where I have no clue how to play:
Yes, that’s right, I was playing 400bb+ deep (not knowing how to play NL properly, used to minbetting in LHE; LOL!). Anyway, this guy was competent and decent. I had been 3betting a ton and playing overly-aggressive and quite spewy. He is capable of raising the flop as a semi-bluff (as he’d done it earlier with a flush draw). I think the 3bet PF is very standard (esp. being deep and considering how often I was 3betting beforehand). I think the cbet on the flop is standard as well. I can’t see folding to a raise on this flop being good here with bottom two. Now, if these assumptions are correct, WTF do I do on this turn. If I check to the aggressor, and he bets what he did, I have exactly a pot-sized raise left. Please leave comments about how to play deep-stacked OOP against a competent semi-bluff-capable opponent in a 3bet pot. I did come up with a reasonable looking range for him on the turn before and I had something over 40% equity vs. that range (by pokerstove). If that’s the case, I think CRAI on the turn is fine (esp. since I have fold equity, good equity, say 45% vs. his range, it charges combo-draws the most, and there’s already a ton of money in the pot; i.e. I don’t need 50%+).
Final Tables (sorted by most recent within each month): Here are the final tables (aside from SNG MTTs since the last blog entry). I think if you sign up for a free PXF account, you can view them. I had a gross $3k downswing (I guess $4k, if you count the whole downswing; which obv sucks) followed by two sizeable (for me) cashes in the Turbo Fiddy (a beautiful preflop tourney which only takes about 2.5 hours, and I run decently in :).
I’ve only played the Turbo Fiddy a handful of times but I already have 3 FTs with a win and a 2nd place exactly a week later (losing to FTP “pro” Mandy B who entered HU with a 5:1 chip lead). Here is the graph showing the $3k downswing and then the recovery (the two upward spikes are the Turbo Fiddy’s):
FTPoints: 142,896.85 (a laptop costs ~twice this many)
Iron Man Medals: 1253
* This is as of August 3rd or so (when I had my desktop/laptop together). I’ve since spend ~$200 on tourney buy-ins.
I have withdrawn a bunch ($7900) over the last little while for several reasons (bought a new MacBookPro laptop/ipod touch, bought plane tickets to PEI, went to Vegas, paying rent for two places in August, etc.). Considering my bankroll would have been about $18,300 had I not made these withdrawals is quite surprising considering I deposited $300 just over a year ago. I had never really anticipated making $18k in profit in a year in my free time (while doing my Master’s). I’m pretty proud of that. I remember playing with like a $20-$40 bankroll two summers ago and using horrible bankroll management to run it up to $150ish and back down again (a recurring cyclic process). I thought I was so awesome when I got it to $150 or so but I was actually really bad and probably just ran well playing above my head. When I switched from that site (Pacific Poker) to FTP last summer, that was when I really realized that I sucked at poker. I started playing the lowest stakes limit hold’em 6max games they had and just got completely run over at the start. I wasn’t used to playing TAGs and was just used to loose-passives which are very easy to play against and don’t really put you in tough decisions.
Now that I’ve learned a lot more about poker (through experience, books, training sites, discussion, research, bankroll management, etc.), I can’t wait to see where I’ll be next year. I think it will really depend on how much time I can put into it (i.e. how much free time I get during the second year of my Master’s).
I don’t know what game I want to focus on over the next little while. I thought I was going to give up tournaments for a while and focus on cash games (LHE 6max and HU). However, because of the WSOP and other things, I have caught the tourney bug again (damnit!). I would really love to get my game to the point where I could become ranked on P5s (my account can be found at http://www.pocketfives.com/profiles/tanglewizard. Im currently ranked in the top 90th percentile (top 10% of players) on the site. The problem with their ranking system is that it is very volume-based. That is, the previously top ranked players take a break for a month or two and they aren’t ranked (in the top 100 players) anymore. It will require a lot of play/work/study to get to that point but I think that it would definitely be worth it.
Here are the poker books I’ve picked up since the last blog.
- Harrington on Cash: Volume I
- Harrington on Cash: Volume II
- Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen
- Poker Tournament Formula II by Arnold Snyder
I’ve just about finished Gus’ book. I think it’s a pretty good book but I don’t think there is too much to learn from it (aside from Gus’ style and his outlook on the game). I don’t agree with his preflop hand selection (especially in terms of blind defense) from an optimal poker sense. I don’t think his style would be too successful in 100r or other HS MTTs online but I think his style is very good for live games (from what I’ve heard about their softness). I think some of the things he does are very good for getting players to play more predictably against him though. From the WPT, Gus has such a crazy loose-aggressive image (often saying he’ll play any two cards, which isn’t true). Because of that (and his blind defense), people don’t seem to steal his blinds as often or 3bet him light or defend their blinds as much as they should, etc. It’s cool to see his thoughts on hands though, because it shows you how even a super loose-aggressive player primarily uses logic and math to make good decisions. Another cool thing about his LAG style is that it kind of balances his range more than typical TAGs. That is, on many more flop textures (such as 876ss or 52Jr or whatever) he can nail it really hard (esp. random two pairs). Because his opponents know this, they might give up more than they should, or it might allow Gus to bluff more flops than his fair share because his opponents know how wide his range is. Overall, I think his style would work very well against almost any live field. Just look at his live record!
I just got Snyder’s new tournament book. I have the first one (and had started reading it before). This one looks much better. It is centered around something called utility for proper tournament play (as opposed to pot odds and other things). I haven’t really read about it yet (aside from leafing through the book a bit). I think it’ll be pretty good. Another book I want to get is the new tournament book with hand analysis by three online tourney pros: apestyles, PearlJammer (I got his pic in Vegas), and Rizen. The players go through and analyze hands they’ve each played in tournaments and then all three analyze the same hands that someone else hand played (so you get to see how three different top players with different styles approach hands).
So, the reason why we, the CPRG (Computer Poker Research Group), went to Vegas was for the Second Man vs. Machine Competition at the Gaming Life Expo in the Rio (near the room hosting the WSOP Main Event). Last year, we had the first Man vs. Machine Competition where we played our HULHE agent, Polaris, against Phil Laak and Ali Eslami. Some pictures from this year’s event can be found in the Live Gallery. I did some of the Live Blogging while we were there. Hands can be found in Results as links under the Match Number column (really cool display of duplicate matches). The highlight of the event was playing against [arguably] the World’s best HULHE player, Matt “Hoss_TBF” Hawrilenko. The post-game analysis showed that he broke even against us while we crushed some of the other contestants (also very good high stakes pros). All in all, we ended up playing very very good limit hold’em players and ended up winning (3 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw)! It was pretty exciting it was tied 2-2-1 before the last day. To reduce the variance, the humans played as a team (if Hoss got AA vs. Polaris 2’s 72o in one room, then his partner IJay “doughnutz” Palansky would get 72o in the other room vs. Polaris 2’s AA).
Jerry Yang (2007)
Some other players that I saw were Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Vanessa “fslexduck” Selbst, Death Donkey, Joe Tall, Joe Cassidy, Mark “newhizzle” Newhouse (we played a MvM match against him actually), Humberto Brenes, Barry Greenstein, Ali Eslami, Kenna James, Erik Seidel and others (some are in my facebook albums).
While at the Gaming Life Expo in Vegas, I got to see Daniel Negreanu up close (and got a video of him). The cool thing about the video is that I found the *same* video shot later online at rawvegas.tv. The first video below is the rawvegas version and mine is the youtube video underneath. Try playing the first one until ~0:14 and then click play on the youtube video, this should approximately synchronize the audio and you can see the video from two different (yet close) viewpoints.
In Vegas, we walked through many of the major casinos. Here is me and Kevin enjoying the roller coaster at New York New York:
We also visited the Stratosphere (a 1000 foot high building with rides at the top). I went on two: one which dropped us from very high up very quickly a few times, and one called Insanity which swung us out over the edge of the building and the seats eventually angled at 70 degrees. It was pretty awesome (yet somewhat scary) as you could see vehicles and buildings below you on the ground.
We did end up getting a chance to play some poker: $1-2, $1-3 NL cash, $2/4 LHE and a $45 NL tournament. The cash games didn’t go very well for me. The first night, I won $300+ (one buy-in) at $1-3 but that was mostly because of cards (AA and set of 9s) although I think I extracted the most on those hands from my image (very aggressive). The second night, I lost two buy-ins. I first bluffed half my stack where I strattled on the button (awesome option, I know; you get position and get to act last, that is SB and BB act first). Several people called the strattle, I squeezed (with Ax I think, although my hand wasn’t really relevant). Some hick to my right calls, and checks the flop OOP. I cbet on a low flop, he calls. On the turn, he checks, I fire a second bullet UI and he check/minraises. I folded. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the hand too well, as it was a while ago and I honestly wasn’t concentrating well enough during the hand. Then a hand came up where I overlimped with 96o in LP (a monster, I know!). The flop came 964hh, someone in EP donks $15 (~pot) and gets two callers. I only have ~$130 after my bluff recently and I decide to shove with top two as I don’t have enough to make a sizeable bet on the next round with a normal raise and I figure I’ll get called by a FD anyway. I shove, the donk-bettor folds, the original flatter folds and the second flatter says after some thought, “sure, I’ll gamble!”. He turns over K4hh for bottom pair + FD and gets there. I rebuy. After misplaying a hand with two-pair vs. a slowplayed flush, I ended up getting what I had left in on a low flop with T9hh with two overs and a FD by check/raising all in. The guy thought for a long time and almost folded but ended up calling (because of my spewy image, I think) with AJ high and held. GG. In another $1-2 NL game, I bought in for $200 and after losing a bunch of small standard pots I ended up getting it all in PF vs. a very loose-aggressive player who over-raised to like $20 PF. Based on previous hands played with him, I really didn’t feel that he was that strong. I ended up shoving AJo for like $75, I think it’s very close/marginal/thin but I don’t think it’s horrible given the information I had. Anyway, he called with ATs and won (he was running really hot that night, always getting it in dominated and winning). Oh well. I also played some $2/4 LHE. They had a 5-bet cap instead of 4 I believe. Anyway, I don’t really regret my play that night (aside from one hand, I guess, where I tried a 3barrel bluff and the guy just donk/called on the river with the nuts; i.e. he didn’t raise me with the nuts!!!!). I lost ~$100 that night, I believe, but it was all standard. It’s hard to win at showdown when there’s 5 people that stick around to the river. I played a huge pot where I cold-4bet from the blinds PF with KK and played it very fast/aggressive until the river where I check/called after a flop FD got there. The guy to my right (Doug, a nice old dealer/math teacher) who had 3bet PF with AJcc and hit TPTK on the turn J with a flopped NFD ended up hitting his flush on the river. Afterwards, he said “Ship it!” which I thought was pretty funny but it still kind of annoyed me because he just beat me in a huge pot on the river and kind of rubbed it in. I made a bunch of other really good folds that I don’t think anyone else there would make (folding the nut straight on the river on a paired board and other things like folded QQ to a single bet on an A turn vs. a straight-forward lady). As a general rule, I don’t like making “good folds” in spots like that because if the opponent is playing properly (unexploitably and balanced) then their range should be wide enough that I have to pay off (esp. in limit). However, these live players are sooooo bad and exploitable and straight-forward that you can make “good” or “bad” folds (depending on how you look at it). We also played a $30+15 40-some person tournament at O’Shea’s. Yeah, I know, 33-freaking-percent rake/tip. It was pretty ridiculous but we were just there to have some fun (and probably one of the cheapest tourneys you can find in Vegas). The tournament had a ridiculously horrible structure: 2000 chips at 25/50 (40bb) with blinds going up every 15 or 20 min. I really like how I played all throughout the tournament (aside from not noticing EP limpers occasionally). At one point, I raised after a limper with Ax (again, my hand isn’t as important), the EP limper (a big tough-looking guy) called. The flop came with low cards but I remained UI. He checked, I cbet, he thinks for a bit and calls. At this point, I thought it was very likely he had two overs. On the turn, I pick up a gutshot, he checks and I bet what he has left, he thinks and eventually calls it off with AQ high. I don’t hit my pair or gutshot, so I’m now short-stacked. After shoving a bunch of times and chipping up, I eventually accumulate a bunch more chips. Later some guy raises to 500 at 100/200 and I’m in the BB with 22. He raised for slightly less than half his stack. Now, I don’t know how profitable shoving there would be (seeing as I have close to no FE, I say “close” because it’s live and they suck at teh pokerz). However, I think that a stop-and-go is extremely profitable against a typical live player in such a situation. This is because if they don’t flop well (e.g. UI high cards), they will most likely call much less than they should (based on the assumption that I can stop-and-go them and how wide I can do that). I haven’t used many stop-and-go’s over all of the tourneys I’ve played (over 1500+ online) but I think this is definitely a good spot for it. Anyway, I call planning on stop-and-going. I end up flopping bottom set and I think in this instance, it’s okay to check/call their all-in. I do so and he has two overs but hits runner runner flush. Again, I have to chip up again. I end up chipping up pretty well (shoving a bunch) and the next hand comes up: Someone in EP limps or minraises (although I didn’t see it at all), my friend Kevin (in the roller coaster pic) had just been moved to the table and shoves from LP (CO or BTN, I believe). Now, remember I hadn’t seen the EP enterer and thought that Kevin open-shoved. I was in the BB with KTo and knew that Kevin would be shoving LP very wide with the 4-5BB he had (I believe). I call and then I notice the other guy is in the pot (I probably gave away live tells galore there where someone observant could probably tell I was worried because I didn’t know someone else was in the pot). The flop comes T high with three spades (I have Ks). I decide to check and let the other guy shove whatever he has (to induce a bluff or worse value-shove). He does, and I instacall. He flips over QTo for TP/worse kicker. Kevin flips over AQ (with Qs). The turn comes the As giving me the nut flush and the nuts (with them drawing dead). GG Kevin (sorry about not seeing the limper). I kept stealing/shoving until the final table (while accumulating more rum-and-cokes). I found it to be pretty fun to get drunk and play this poker tourney. It really loosened me up (LOTS of table talk from me) yet I don’t think I played any differently than I would have had I been sober. It’s hard to mess up in such a poorly-structured tourney (it can never be that bad to shove in whatever situation). Anyway, I believe I entered the FT as the CL. Another member from our group, Dr. Michael Bowling, was also at the final table. Although he doesn’t play poker, he was the one I was the most worried about at the table because he has some knowledge of hand-strength and aggression and knows that shoving in that structure can not be too bad. Anyway, he check/raised me all in on flops a few times and I folded (I found out later that he wasn’t as tight as I thought he was). I lost a pot where I cbet after raising and getting called in two spots. I cbet and got check/raised all in. I folded my unimproved hand (not sure whether I should cbet 3way in that spot with such shallow stacks; I just didn’t think too many people there were capable of check/raising). Now I have a lower stack. Some girl open-limps in EP for 1k at 500/1k with a stack of ~2k (WTF?), the guy that I doubled up with Ax vs. AQ high earlier in the tourney called in the SB. I look down at Kx-suited and decide to shove for >~4k in the BB. I figure that someone who is bad enough to OL for 1/2 their stack might fold and that the guy to my right wasn’t very strong. I had both outchipped and if they lost, they’d be out of the tourney (a few people before the bubble). Because live players put so much value in “tournament life”, I figured it was a decent spot to try to accumulate some chips so that I’d have more fold-equity with my shoves later. So, I do shove. She thinks and calls with QT and he thinks for a bit and calls with Kx (dominated by my king). Anyway, I end up losing to both of them (he hits a pair on the river and he had her outchipped). Anyway, the next hand I’m in the SB with 2k (1.5k after posting) and so there is 1.5k in blinds, I have 1.5k left. Someone in E-MP raises and I look down at Kx. I think this is a beautiful spot to gamble and try to accumulate some chips. Often, you can count the BB as being dead (unless they wake up with a big hand) because there is a raise in front. So, there is 2k (raise amount I have to call) + 1k (BB) + 0.5k (my SB) = 3.5k and I have 1.5k left. So, I’m getting 3.5:1.5 = 2.33:1 odds. Even if I have K4o against the top 10% of hands (probably too tight), I am a 70:30 = 2.33:1 dog. This means that even in an extreme case, I’m still getting the right odds. Anyway, I end up losing that (I think vs. Ax) and bust from the tourney. GG. The cool thing is that Dr. Bowling ended up chopping the tourney HU vs. a regular (haha!). Congrats Dr. Bowling.
Some of us (Johnny, Kevin, Dave, Morgan, Diane and I) ended up staying a few more days in Vegas to get to see Vegas a bit. Vegas is a crazy crazy city. It is soooo sex- and gamble-driven. We literally saw hundreds of Mexicans on the sidewalks while there and they handed out hooker cards all day long. You’d have stretches of 10 feet with 6 guys each trying to give you the same cards. Eventually, I started trying to hand stuff back to them (some comic about Him, God, that I got from some other person on the Strip). In most cities, on the corners, you have bins that contain newspapers/papers. In Vegas, they have booklets full of stripper/hooker numbers. Also, the cocktail waitresses are quite scantily clad (esp. at the Rio), they basically wear lingerie around serving alcohol. They also occasionally just jump up on a set of slot machines and start dancing. Crazy, I tell you! The guys I was with decided to head to a gentleman’s club (I think this is just a more proper name for a strip club). I had never been to one before and told Melissa the other guys I was with were thinking of going and she said “go ahead”. Well, I figured since I had permission, had never been to one before, and would have been alone since the other 3 guys I was staying with were going, that I’d go. We ended up going to the Spearmint Rhino which I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of (from poker players) before. It was a pretty classy place (only topless). It was $30 cover (plus almost a forced tip as you enter). We walked in and it really seemed like there was a 1-to-1 ratio of customers-to-strippers. Nice pot odds imo! Anyway, we went to get drinks, and it was $8 for a single and $16 for a double (WTF? No discount?). Before we got there, I had 3 small margaritas and two double rum-and-cokes (at an Improv Comedy Club at Harrah’s, which was a pretty good show). So, I decide to start off light: another double rum-and-coke!! We end up going to find somewhere to sit. Surprisingly, the guys choose the seats right in front of the stage. Now, I was kind of uncomfortable at the start as the people in the front are basically expected to be tipping the strippers, especially making it rain in the club! Anyway, because I was already spending enough on their freaking over-priced drinks (although they had a good rum-to-coke ratio) and am married, I didn’t really want to be sitting there tipping a bunch. Another thing they do is basically force you to keep spending tons on drinks (always coming by asking you if you want another drink). I decided that instead of paying with cash every time I would just start a tab (and charge it to my credit card). She says that the minimum is a $40 bill (i.e. they’ll charge at least $40 regardless of whether you drink that much). She seemed to stress this point (for some weird reason). She obviously didn’t know Nick “About Risk” Abou Risk and how much alcohol I can handle. I told her that $40 would not be a problem (esp. considering that that’s only 2.5 doubles). I ended up drinking a bunch more over the night (although I didn’t feel very drunk, as Johnny can attest to :). After almost getting kicked out for pocketing one of the strippers bras later in the night (pretty sure I was really drunk at this point), we ended up leaving the joint at like 4am or later. We get back to the hotel (The Flamingo) and I decide that I want to go dancing (one of my alcohol-induced passions) and to eat. Johnny takes me down to the restaurant (more like babysits me) and I with a few customers there, I start my own little dance party (of one) in the restaurant. After we finish eating breakfast (at like 6am), I ask some younger looking guys if there is a dance party anywhere and they say, “Yeah, out by the pool!”. Great, thanks buddies! I excitedly run out to the pool only to find an old lady there telling me that it’s closed. “You mean there isn’t a dance party??!?” I exclaim and Johnny walks me back to the hotel room.
The other fun thing we did in Vegas was take up prop-betting. We had pretty much constant bets of $5 each time but it was extremely fun. We bet on everything:
- price of sunglasses
- how many seconds it takes to travel from one end of an escalator to the other without walking
- the highest priced slot machine in a casino (we actually found one that was $5000 a pull)
- the number of creeps a Rio cocktail waitress has to deal with each day (plus double or nothing)
- the price of oreos
- the price of someone’s alcoholic beverage
- the amount of time someone would spend in the washroom
- the person who would be out of the washroom first (when people enter as a group)
- how long a song lasted
- many others
Before Vegas, Melissa and I were in PEI for about a week and a half. It was really awesome. We got to relax and see lots of friends and family. The beach was especially awesome (something we don’t get to see here in Edmonton) except for the associated sun-burns. I got to play some live poker at my friend Craig’s house. My family has recently acquired two adorable puppies which were fun to watch (they play-fight a ton). They’re growing pretty quickly.
Here is a list of the video games I’ve gotten since my last blog:
- Wii Fit
- Mario Kart & wheels
- Dance Dance Revolution (for the Wii)
- Wii Play + wiimote
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007
- Dr. Mario Online Rx (virtual console)
I got the Tiger Woods game primarily to play with Melissa’s father while he’s here visiting in Edmonton. Melissa’s mother is here with us now and her father arrives tomorrow. Her mother was a great help with our recent move. We’ve moved from a shit-hole to a relative palace. We are living in a 2-bedroom (all they had available) on the 16th floor with a bath and a half-bath (no shower). It is pretty spacious with the living room and dining room combined. There is also a very nice balcony which has a beautiful view and a nice breeze. The smaller bedroom is going to be used as a Study (for school/poker) and Scrapbooking (Melissa’s hobby). We really need a big HDTV though. As a TV, we’ve got a junky 13″ CRT. It really bothers me (event though I don’t watch any TV). Another really cool thing about the apartment complex is the second floor facilities: there is a game room (billiards, foosball, table hockey), weight/exercise room, pool, theatre room, 20-m pool, business room, dance hall, hobby room and boardroom.
Aside from that, Melissa and I had our one year anniversary on Monday (August 4). We decided to not spend too much on gifts (mostly because of the recent move and paying double rent this month + damage deposit). I took Melissa out for dinner and got her flowers and a gift certificate for The Tin Box, a store she really likes. I’ve started trying to get a bit more exercise recently too (although still not enough). I joined an intramural slo-pitch softball team (for CS), got a squash racquet (and played 5 games so far against Dave). Also, Melissa won a $400 mountain bike from the local grocery store and gave it to me (so I got a bike lock and helmet).
Anyway, this blog entry is probably long enough already.