deep thoughts

July 15th, 2013 by ten ton

four cafe is doing it right

fourcafe2finally my wait is over. four cafe opened in the space that used to be the black cat and previously mani’s. i wrote about the demise of the black cat in an earlier post – i’m so thankful these new guys moved in. the place is awesome. it’s a more open place and definitely feels wayyyyy more like it belongs in the neighborhood. the food is great and the decor is fresh and clean. all in all i have high hopes for this place and i dont think they can fuck it up like everyone else did. their menu is refreshing on a number of levels…presentation is beautiful as well. i’ve been there everyday since it opened last week. seriously people, i’m so glad to have my spot back. i’m going there again for a lunch meeting tomorrow. plus….they stay open late which i could never understand why the last guys didnt. i mean – this place should grow into a very popular spot if they keep doing what they are doing. the food is ultimately what’s gonna bring people back and after having 4 different dishes i dont think they will have a problem with unhappy customers. way to be fc!

btw – that is soo not the best picture to use for this post but the one i took of my blt was blurry. fourcafe1

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April 5th, 2013 by ten ton

i’m gonna pay your phone bill ted

tedlottnew illogical ritual alert. so…before every tournament i make it a point to call a few select people while im on my trip to the casino. i usually try to check in with courtney and then call my dad—that convo lasts about a minute if that:

“hey dad”
“hey fran”
“how’s it going dad?”
“good”
“im on my way to play a tournament now”
“ok good luck”
“how’s mom?”
“she’s good”
“ok what’s new?”
“nothing”
“ok dad, i’ll talk to ya later”
“ok good luck”
“yup later”

anyway, after my “dad call” on the day of the first deepstack event at the bike this month i decided to ring up my old buddy ted lott. ted is high school and college friend from grand rapids michigan. unfortunately for teddy – i ended up doing well that day so it was only natural he got added to my call list. the kid’s a fuking talisman though – i called him in route before the next 2 tournaments and low and behold i ended up 3 for 3 in cashes thus solidifying my ocd pattern/hypothesis as proven fact. i will stick with this plan for a while and see how it works out – it’s always nice talking to old friends anyway, teddy makes me laugh. if i take down a big one i will pay his cell phone bill for the year.

(i actually call my mom from airport terminals before i get on any departing flight but that’s another odd habit/superstition that will be discussed in the future).

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April 5th, 2013 by ten ton

why my coffee spot shut down

blackcatsee that piece of paper taped to that window. i will sum it up for you: sorry we’re closed cos we went out of biz thanks for coming here even though we did suck and never figured out how to listen to our customers. yup…the coffee shop in my neighborhood, the one that i walk to almost every day after i wake up, has abruptly closed down. what a f’n drag. ya know what though…i’m bummed but im not too fukin surprised. those owners were idiots from the start. i would go in there and ask them if they could put a suggestion box out because i knew other people had to be feeling the same thing. first off they had only one kind of coffee which pretty much sucked. how do you open a spot like this and have only one kind of coffee? they were just dumb and pig headed. it should have been called the pig headed bakery and cafe. i mean, the problem really started with its name “the black cat bakery” cos it’s not a real bakery. before these new owners bought it and changed the name and decor it used to be mani’s bakery and it was jamming all the time. mani’s moved to maple drive where it quickly failed because those owners were unbelievably even more dumb. how you screw up a great bakery/cafe and then replace it with another screw up of a faux bakery/cafe is beyond me. anyway, when it was mani’s bakery a huge portion of their business was baked stuff – cakes, sweets, breads etc etc. there were always a bunch of people buying baked goods and the food was super healthy. it was packed at nights with people on dates, people working – it was awesome. so my question to the new owners always was: why bother keeping the bakery part in your name if you dont really plan on acting like a bakery. it’s just gonna bum people out and ur gonna lose a big customer base. it’s like if my mechanic was called jimmy’s nail salon. you wouldn’t expect jimmy to be fixing cars right? fundamental naming problems.

tonymanisthe other probs with the black cat was that it didnt stay open late, the menu was pretty limited and the coffee selection wasnt great AND they opted for the lazy no server instead take a number routine. mani’s used to have cute chicks waiting tables which, as a single guy, is always win win. they even had a billboard on top of their building that they should have advertised on. it was a no brainer traffic driver….i dont get. if you think u know everything ur never gonna learn. i feel bad for a few of the super cool people that worked there cos now they’re suddenly S.O.L. that place should have worked if the owners listened to the customers and made adjustments. just like in a poker tournament – if ya dont make adjustments you will fail. speaking of not making adjustments…the minnesota vikings offensive coordinator had a huge problem making adjustments and that’s why they usually fuck games up. they only won games because of their super human running back. anyway, im pissed that my coffee shop with it’s pretty crappy tasting coffee closed down cos now i have to find somewhere else to go that isnt literally a block away from me. here’s a pic of when tony was alive – we used to go here everyday and sit outside for about 15 minutes. i would tie him up to the meter at the end of the outside seating. he was awesome – always ordered water though.

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January 15th, 2013 by ten ton

1.15.12 not so happy anniversary

tony_sobluelast year ago to the day i had to put my dog down after being given a whole 24hr notice that he wasnt going to live much longer than that. what a fucking shitty situation – you bring ur dog into the vet only to get this report “your dog has cancer – it’s terminal and oh by the way do u want to say ur goodbyes now because he isnt going to make it – it’s that bad.” (not the actual quote — i took out the medical jargon). i would be lying if i said i wasn’t gritting my teeth while i type this. it’s amazing how cancer can spread so quickly and so completely? chalk one up for having a stoic breed that doesnt show pain. chalk another one up for wishing animals could talk so they could let us know they’re in pain. still gritting my teeth.

that date, 1-15-12 has subsequently been tattooed on my chest simply because it was impossible to put in directly on my heart. i recently moved back into my place in la and yes it was easier being away for 8 months. quite often i find myself stepping over his imaginary sleeping body when i get up from bed. he spent so much time curled up next to me that this has become my own sort of phantom limb if u will. yeah, it sux – but to answer the question of “if it gets better” i would have to say no, not really. on one hand, life gets easier to “get on with” but for the most part i’ve become a card carrying member of the living dead – so “yeah” (rah rah) it gets easier but it still doesnt get any less shittier. there’s anger, there’s loneliness and there is a profound sadness that permeates the fabric of my soul like an old lady’s stale pall mall cigarette smoke. it’s gross.

to the “surprise” of some “casual observers” i haven’t had the desire to get another dog. i think that statement fell on deaf ears when i said it repeatedly throughout the year. i wish i wasnt quoting a movie here but “there can be only one” applies in this case. i was never really a “dog” person. sort of like i’m not really a “people” person. i’m specific in who i love and what i love and why i love – i dont just love. sorry mom, gandhi, jesus etc etc etc. anyway – tony… my man, my baby boy, my digger…i very very specifically love u and still wish u were by my side.

about the picture in this post. this was taken in 2008 in an alley in santa monica. magnificent pose aside, i particularly liked the blue garbage bin and thought it made for a nice background to his coat. throw in the orange and yellow lines and it’s an instant classic.

here’s a random video i found on my phone from a couple years ago – standard ignore mode. btw – despite how it might sound, i dont sit at home grieving and crying while watching old videos of my dog on repeat. in fact, i have still haven’t watched many of them at all. sometimes i pick out random ones to watch during a tournament though — just to put my head back in the zone. they bring me back to center – sort of like a scope on the end of a rifle.

there were 2 people who called me yesterday because they knew what today was. i want to thank them both for remembering. i appreciate it. it means the world to me that they even remembered. i honestly didnt think anyone would.

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January 5th, 2013 by ten ton

spewing a la facebook

selfpromospewing – probably my favorite poker term. when one “spews” they are basically pissing away their chips or cash by being either too loose or too aggressive. we’ve all done it at one point or another. spewing isnt good and if you still do it…u should really stop. why do i bring up spewing? well, because that’s the best word to describe my facebook newsfeed. it’s one long list of people spewing. spewing about, well, essentially nothing (ie their lives). not that that’s bad at all. it’s actually quite befitting of the social media-vomit automatons we have all become. oh shit – i think i’m channeling a biblical quote. “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” i think that’s the line. my mother would love me for remembering that. she used to drag me and my twin brother to church to sit right beside her like frozen dobermans. it was so painful that now i strictly limit my church goings to weddings and romantic trips to italy.

ok so yes…i was once a social media sinner but then came 2012. i just added up all of my fb updates in 2012 and there’s a grand total of 10 – that’s crazy right…how aptly last nom de fitting. (that makes no sense but it really does if u think about it – i just butchered a french phrase). i’m kinda proud i wasnt update status spewy last year – sort of gives me carte blanche (no butchering here) to dole it out this year. so, in efforts to keep up with everyones children, cat, dog, plate o’ food and shameless self promotion posts (of which i have medalled in) i’ve decided to make a concerted effort to spew/say something/update/boreuwithmylife in 2013. so far this year i’ve already updated a third of last year’s total. my 2013 goal started out as every other day but even that is proving difficult for me. it will be a challenge to say the least but i feel i deep sense of responsibility to this. cue the hackneyed cliches – if ya cant beat em join em or come on in the waters warm buddy or bend over this wont hurt a bit or are we havin fun yet etc etc.

this reminds me of what an ex gf’s mother told me one day when i said i didnt want kids. she told me that i was wrong and that because i was one of the smart people i should be having kids because too many dumb people are doing it. funny but that was my reason for not wanting kids…the too many dumb people part. well im sure there’s some loose connection to that thought somewhere in this post. you get the idea – basically, i’m spewing and it’s all gonna point back to my current piece of internet realty, that being my blog which, although, in theory, was started to talk about poker, is going to get a whole lot broader (without the women and multiple commas). as dave dameshek would say let it begin

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January 1st, 2013 by ten ton

the year in review – negative variance

soul_window_fevery good poker player understands the role that variance plays in the game and must be prepared to deal with it. variance can be both good and bad but most people ususally reference the bad (ie winning streaks/pos variance aren’t viewed as problems). how one deals with losing streaks/neg variance is the real the test. just like life, you’re not always gonna run well and understanding this will help any player deal with the low points while keeping a “big picture” perspective on the game. quite possibly the best way to deal with negative variance is to simply acknowledge it and play through it with the understanding that in the long run favorable variance will offset the current situation. easier said than done though. c’mon, it can’t always be shitty…just wait it out…right?

as far as 2012 went, my life variance continued its negative plummet and hovered around the depths of suckiness that far out shined what i considered a pretty shitty 2011. let’s take a fun trip down memory lane shall we. tony’s death – easily the lowest of lows and is sufficiently documented. i know his name comes up often in posts but there’s a reason – because he was awesome – just like ur awesome child or (gulp) adorable cat is. what else sucked in 2012? a pretty unfortunate work experience coupled with the very long drawn out process of cutting business and friendship ties with a few people (this topic deserves a post of its own and i’m sure i will elaborate at some point) added to a messy year. my truck broke down numerous times at many different spots throughout so cal. but i kind of enjoyed these (triple) aaa adventures so i’m not sure that’s a true negative.

the positive.. i’m glad my friend lisa didnt die from the blood clot in her heart. now, every time i see her, my goal is to make her laugh and smile because it reminds me how close she was to dying. i’m glad i got to spend some long overdue quality time with my dad in sept. he is a fuking awesome human being. i wish we got along like we do now when i was growing up. i think we both missed out on a great relationship – at least we talk on the phone more than we ever have so it’s great. i’m glad i started another company that solely relies on me and no other person – because of this it has been profitable and successful – wow go figure – dont work with little bitches and your company takes off. oh yeah..the trips to vegas…may they continue and multiply just like my poker bankroll keeps doing. i also played a bunch of shows that were pretty fun and contracted no stds – always a positive – but then again i wasnt really dating at all so it’s a backhanded positive but still a positive. not positive in the testing sense though…that would be bad and thus negative based on a positive.

in sum dim sum – i didnt particularly enjoy most of 2012. life is all about perspective though and i got a healthy dose of that in 2012. much of the time i felt like i was floating around and above the life i know. regrouping, refocusing and refreshing will be key actions going well into the beginning of 2013.

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November 20th, 2012 by ten ton

one tough girl

as i mentioned in the post tournament wrap up video for the caesars classic, my friend lisa went from feeling chest pain on a monday to having emergency open heart surgery 2 days later to remove blood clots in her heart and lungs. jesus. wtf?! i was in the room she was told she had to have surgery. they literally gave her no time to deal with it. “you have to have this surgery – we’re going to cut your chest open, stop your heart and it’s happening in about an hour and half”. i hated seeing the fear in her eyes. it was gut wrenching and i wish i could have taken her place. how would you react to that? what goes through your mind? you don’t even know if you’ll make it out alive. the fear is all too real. anyway, lisa’s a fucking warrior and i’m so proud to be her friend cos she made it out alive. she was also told that it’s pretty amazing she lived because at any time she was at risk of dying instantly from the clot. damn.

that evening of her surgery i had a dream which i’m calling a vision cos it defintley was more than a dream. in it, she and i were seated at a table having a conversation while holding eachother’s hand. it was indeed a special moment. i honestly believe she came to visit me in an alternate plane. maybe, in her coma-induced state and in my dream state, we were able to link up for a minute. i was smiling really big looking at her saying “lisa i’m soooo happy to see” and she said the same thing. then i said “i need u here”. in that dream, i understood and felt a profound poignancy that has left an indelible mark on my memory. i do think our minds and souls have the ability to tap into other modes and planes of awareness. i’m not sure how or why this happens but who can rule out this possibility. sometimes we’re able to “tune in to other stations” that allow us to communicate on a level that we don’t immediately recognize as “normal”. intense and awesome. love u lisa and hope u get better soon.

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October 1st, 2012 by ten ton

now that’s a deep thought

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana

probably one of the biggest reasons why amateur poker players never get better…think about it.

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September 19th, 2012 by ten ton

smelly couple on the flight

when i was in line boarding my flight out of minneapolis i smelled what i thought was puke. i figured some little kid must have puked somewhere close by and that’s what it was. at the same time i looked behind me and saw a little indian couple that had just walked up almost too close to me – awkwardly close if u know what i mean. anyway, i got my ticket scanned and made my way to the plane. oddly enough when i make it to my aisle seat i’m seated right next to that same couple that was behind me. yes, i know, dont ask me how they made it to their seats before me as im still confused about that one. after a few seconds (and to my horror) i realize that the smell i smelled was not puke at all but something that had to do with the indian couple. it literally smelled like cheetos and puke. it was so offensive that i felt like i was being olfactory raped. how do people not smell themselves? after about a minute of this torture i couldnt deal so i got up and walked to the back of the plan to find an empty seat. i found an empty row, fell asleep and woke up in grand rapids. thank u lord o jesus christ.

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September 18th, 2012 by ten ton

making waitresses obsolete – ipad airport food

20120919-155530.jpgwhen i fly back home to michigan i have the option of a connecting flight in minneapolis or chicago. since im a huge viking fan and hate the bears i always go thru minnesota. even though the vikings are still currently horrible the msp airport is not. i had a surprisingly tasty sushi dinner at what i first thought was a internet cafe because of all the ipads on the tables. it turns out the ipads are there for u to order, surf the web and check on ur flight status. they only have these restaurants at a few terminals in the us…mostly new york. i was pretty happy to stumble upon this spot – it’s perfect for a traveler who wants to keep his interactions with other dumb humans to a minimum. btw, the company responsible for this dining experience is OTG – check out this link and u will understand why i blogged about this.

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September 10th, 2012 by ten ton

the unlearning channel – honeydumbshitshow

i got rid of my tv in 2007 – it was one of the better decisions of my life. why? because tv is mostly full of shit with programs filled with people full of shit for brains. i wish u could make custom tv programs – ie a news program that draws from only non biased stations. wishful thinking i know. how about a sports channel that only deals with ur favorite teams. there was a time when espn didnt make u throw up. speaking of channels that used to be good – TLC. i’m not sure but i think that’s supposed to stand for the learning channel. i just so happened to catch a bit of that show about the seemingly inbred child pageant star from somewhere im assuming to be deep in the ozarks. TLC is in fact tv’s most blatant oxymoron peddling mind numbing programming just as banal as eMpTyV. TLC, please please please come clean and upgrade to TUC.

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August 30th, 2012 by ten ton

the ipad wordpress app sucks balls

looks good…looks really really good but really really sucks. totally bummed about the ipad wordpress app. i had a beautiful vegas recap post written but for some reason the “post function” page freezes up. tried reinstalling the app but it still does the same thing. this is a major flaw that i find hard to believe hasnt been worked out yet. too bad because the app would be great. my advise is the proven method of writing ur post in an email so u always have a backup of it. vegas recap up next but a few key hand histories are lost forever.

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August 28th, 2012 by ten ton

juicy heisman

so random but i was on my way to get a coffee and couldnt help but notice this horribly funny ad in the front window of juicy couture. it’s probably just me, but this must have been the photographer fucking with the model by trying to get her to do some model version of the heisman pose. anyway…i thought it was awesome and even exclaimed to my friend “doesnt it look like she’s doing the heisman pose! how stupid.” here’s a link i found of other people like obama, bush and tebow doing the heisman pose.

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August 13th, 2012 by ten ton

learning process elaborated

i wanted to elaborate on that last post where i say all i do is listen to podcasts by bart hanson. i’m a serious believer in that if u want to master something you have to live it and breath it as much as u can. when i had to learn songs for an audition i would literally go thru steps/phases of learning but they all involved constant exposure and immersion of my brain into those songs. i would listen to the songs whenever i couldnt actually play them…i would listen at the gym, when i was in the car, when i went to sleep – all the time until they were stuffed into my subconscious. the ultimate goal was to play these songs as if you were playing them your entire life. the final process had to look effortless. that’s why i will listen to hand analysis over and over and over..because i’m starting later in life and thus am already at an experiential disadvantage. i even fall alseep listening to deuce plays. thank god i dont have a girl friend now because im sure that wouldnt go over well.

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August 2nd, 2012 by ten ton

there’s no place for assholes in hospitality

what a great quote. i heard it when i was “half-watching” a show about a guy that goes into bars and makes them over. it’s called bar rescue – sort of like restaurant impossible but with a better host imo. anyway…the point is, he’s right. nothing better than awesome customer service. customer service always gets a bigger tip from me. all it takes is not being an asshole. withoutafuckingdoubt. american express has great customer service….jet blue has pretty good customer service. hermes in beverly hills has horrible customer service. what’s the point of working retail and not trying to help someone that walks in with an already purchased item. i dont understand…if it’s cos you arent getting paid enough then you should quit because the problem isnt with the customers but with your boss so take it out on them.

got me thinking about poker rooms with great hospitality and/or customer service. would be interesting to get feedback on this. i really havent experienced many assholes that work in the poker rooms i have been in. by far the vegas rooms i have played have all been much better than la ones.

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July 19th, 2012 by ten ton

facebook and my misanthropy

i check facebook maybe once every 2 days when i’m taking a shit. it’s less eventful and usually less interesting and never as satisfying as me taking that shit. posts of your kids, posts of your cats, posts that a million other people have already posted, posts from dj’s that shouldn’t self promote as much as they do….it’s become boring and uninteresting. i used to post somewhat randomly on facebook usually when my band has something going on. i mostly posted pictures of my dog when he was alive so yes i’m a hypocrite but my dog was pretty much a star. i understand the value of facebook all too well and have deep rooted experience with social media. in fact i have been on more than a few panels discussing the role of social media and music. i guess what im saying is that most people don’t know how to “quality share”. im sure what they share isnt “dumb” to them but it really is. i guess if i flooded my facebook stream with a relentless river of useless info people would hate me too. so be like me – post judiciously and u will get noticed and be appreciated by ur smarter facebook friends….otherwise it all just turns into narcissistic background noise. man i should start a facebook page for this blog. i wonder when someone will even read this blog. i should send the first visitor a prize – like a buy in for a tournament – wouldnt that be great. i will do something like that at some point.

here is a great article by andy ostroy who summed it up pretty well in 2 articles on why he hates facebook

i actually do use the “like” button when i read something good but they should have a “dislike” button – i guess i would never get off the toilet if that did exist though.

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July 17th, 2012 by ten ton

first posts are always awkward

welcome to the ten ton poker blog. i sincerely hope this blog will resonate with the people that read it. feel free to reach out via twitter or email. i know it was a bit presumptuous to have a forum but hopefully down the road a good community of people will find reason to chime in.

thanx,
ten ton

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