first profits

after several months of playing online poker based on luck and gut feelings, i started to study the game. seriously. i was a decent player for a table of pals, but for tournaments, it’s a whole different story. i managed to get in the money on many tournaments, but never for more than 6-7 times the entry.

so my balance was in the red, i.e. the ROI was negative. this is because ol’podna transferred money from her account to mine, a couple of times, when i got broken (again).

oh, i didn’t invest one penny to start. all the money i ever made playing online came from a couple of freeroll tournaments, and then from multiplying the few cents in tournaments with paid entry. my account only reached more than $10 once, when i risked heavily at sit-and-go tables, where all the lotto players throw all-in whenever they see an ace, or even when they don’t. so the ten bucks didn’t last long.

considering the money i could earn working the same amount of time, poker is a very expensive game. in the best case, my productivity was on the order of cents per hour, while the lost income is hundreds of times higher.

recently, by applying only the simplest recommendations in a poker course, i noticed a serious increase of my winning rate. i kept playing 10-cent tournaments (mostly) and freerolls, but i finished in the money more and more often. and then i managed to reach the final table in a tournament with 3000 players, and i ended up on the second place.

more than $30 for a 10 cents investment – buffet, soros, gates, where are you? ūüôā

drive. relax

the car is falling apart, too. well, not badly, but it’s now four years old, and both me and ol’podna used it to learn driving. it has a scratch here, an indent there, a big crack in the windshield, and the last time i looked under the hood, the insulation was off the pins. whatever.

it’s one of the rare occasions i’ll be out of the office for the weekend, and perhaps a couple of days more. looking forward to the couple of hours,¬†couple of¬†hundreds of miles, even to the noisy chatter and inevitable complaints in the back. ‘he started it!’ ‘no, you started it, liar!’. ol’ podna next to me, watching the speedometer and frowning when she thinks that a pass is risky.

always hoping that the better days will¬†return and i’ll have again the chance of longer rides while we’re still all together. there are not many years left until it won’t matter anymore.

quatorze juillet – french memories

i set foot in paris very late in my life. just a few flashbacks.

the first bar, on a central boulevard, early in the afternoon. i entered with a friend, just for a cup of coffee. we two were the only white people there.

i saw for the first time in my life a manager of a regional branch of a multinational wearing a shirt with the cuffs visibly torn, and in a suspect state of cleanliness.

at 2 a.m., in a bistro near la madeleine i discovered the local habit of throwing the consumed cigarettes directly on the floor. it was before the anti-smoking laws. it has something to do with an older law prohibiting the ashtrays on the bar counters, or something like that. at 10 a.m., in a busy business area, i noticed no one had a problem having their croissants with the layer of crushed filters and ash up to their ankles.

a waiter crossed the street to have a 500 euros note checked at the bank.

the turnstiles at the subway had many stacked bars, up to a height of 6 or 7 feet. it didn’t stop a young maghrebian to push back an old lady on her way out, and pass in reverse direction.

for images, the louvre, the eiffel tower, notre dame, etc. Рsee the 1,000,000 tourist sites and travel blogs. vive la france!


the drawback of being always in the office is becoming limp. of course, when a friend asks you to help him move house, you can’t say ‘no, my muscles are now too flabby for that’.

so you go, and come back with the n-th lumbago crisis.¬†you can’t bend your back by an inch, you can hardly reach your d*ck to pee. yet, there are some advantages.

first, coffee¬†is brought right to your desk, and your ashtray is emptied by your caring ol’podna.

second, you remember this beautiful word who got borrowed god knows how from german into a dialect of your remote childhood: ‘hexenschuss’. it’s the german for lumbago. and you know just enough deutsch to remember that ‘hexe’ means a witch, and ‘schuss’ is to fall. don’t spoil the charm of it by googling too deep for the explanation: rather, imagine that old germans saw this sudden pain in the back as a spell cast on someone, falling on the victim like a curse.

maybe it’s just so –¬†or maybe not. what’s in a name? that which we call¬†a rose¬†by any other¬†name would smell as sweet, and a lumbago by any other name would make you feel as miserably old.

the most important news

“Before 10 Russian agents were arrested, the Obama administration saw a prisoner exchange as a way to avoid undercutting an attempt to rebuild Russian-American relations”. WHAT?!

this is the first phrase of the first article in the first newspaper i¬†read every day. since it’s the new york times (online), i expect to find there the most important things that happened to the world lately.

once more: “… a way to avoid undercutting an attempt to rebuild… “. this should be the news of the day. i¬†keep reading it.¬†brilliant. a way to ….

i¬†could say, too, that ‘writing such a phrase is a way to avoid directly telling the readers that there’s actually nothing worth writing about’. but i¬†can do better than that: ‘this is bullshit’.

in related news, many¬†news websites are considering charging money for it. no longer free bullshit. this must be a way to avoid undercutting my attempt to pretend i’m informed while being fed with worthless crap supposed to be delivered by writing professionals. or delivered by supposedly professional writers. or whatever.

good luck with your subscriptions

netherlands – uruguay live from the office


dutch national anthem: it begins like the ‘twelve days of christmas’ carol. it stops short before ‘… and a partridge in a pear tree’

the orange color of the dutch – you surely know those fluorescent makers

4′ first shot at goal: kuyt. sponsored. perfect illustration for ‘fly emirates’

13′ sneijder carefully protects his private jewels against a ball from his mate van persie

15′ the 1st beer can is empty

18′ van bronckhorst scores! beautiful effort. it killed that poor spider at the angle of the goal

20′ still nothing to say about uruguay

25′ nice closeup of caceres (i think it’s caceres). the first time i notice the sissy pattern of uruguay’s socks

30′ sneijder is yellow carded after hitting an opponent form the back. with his dick. in the ass. fortunately they have their shorts on

36′ someone should tell victorino that a goatee without a moustache is like mourning when no one’s dead

41′ it’s 1-1. forlan finally justifies his name being mentioned 1041 times by the commentators

42′ another beer leaves the fridge

45′ 2 extra minutes before peeing

 [soft drink. mobile phones. beer. wine. mobile phones. cars. beer. engine oil. beer. mobile phones. sports bets. sports gear. soft drink.]

2nd half

46′ ol’ podna says ‘lemme try that beer’

50′ stekelenburg tackles an opponent outside the penalty area. good luck with your feet, goalie!

59′ my first doubts about the skills of this uzbek referee. or is it uzbekistani? uzbekistanese?

65′ go boy! tear off his collar! a dutch pulls hard, the ref doesn’t notice

69′ robben joins the ‘fly emirates’ club

70′ this calls for another beer. it’s 2-1 for the netherlands

71′ what’s for dinner? he doesn’t care about the game

73′ 3-1!!! baldy (robben) strikes! head goal

so, big deal – the south americans had 4 teams in the quarter-finals. so what

80′ victorinoX – the famous swiss army knives

89′ elia replaces robben. another typical blond, fatty dutchman

91′ 3-2 and the uruguayans have 1 more minute of vain hope

92′ lol. the referee whistles, the dutch think it’s over, but it was just a yellow card for bommel

over. distant memories. argentina, 1978. you’re too old if you remember such things

‘thank you for sharing this’


always taking after each other.

hundreds of snooker players have to sip from that glass of water each time they sit down.

thousands of  tennis players need to wipe they foreheads with that towel, from the first timeout, before they even sweat.

millions of soccer players must raise their hand each time the ball is out, claiming the other guy touched it last.

and¬† a billion comments on wordpress start with ‘thank you for sharing this’. i’d like to know who came up with this line¬†first. sounds like a whore after her client has just finished.

connected to the world

f*ck the ISP.

f*ck their area monopoly.

f*ck their hotline. and the messages on their hotline – about promotions. when i call from my mobile, because my phone line is also from the ISP, and it fails together with the internet connexion.

f*ck their distribution boxes, ready to drown whenever it rains.

f*ck their CATV, with my favorite channel set by default in another language than the rest, and requiring just 3 more button pushes every time i zap there.

f*ck their bandwidth of “up to…”.

f*ck their management, their cashiers, and their phone operators who tell you to send an e-mail.

f*ck the neighbors who don’t agree to allow the competitors in, because it would add another set of holes in the staircase floors. well, f*ck this ISP’s holes – all of them.

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