Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been?

It’s been too long since I posted a blog. There are a few reasons excuses:

a. My website is a bit of a mess as I am redoing the theme and I am not proficient in making the changes

b. I took a new graveyard job

c. I can be lazy

d. All of the above.


If you answered any of the above, you are correct.

A lot has happened since my last blog:


I finished Dave Ramsey’s 9-week course “Financial Peace University.” It is eye-opening and life-changing. I wish I had discovered Dave Ramsey 20 years ago. If you are having trouble with debt, worried about your retirement or just need a new perspective on money and debt this is a must do. You can go to Dave’s website to get all the details. I have a long ways to go to switching my situation around. But it is going to be worth it in the end.

This sweet ride can be all yours. It is for sale. Contact me today.
This sweet ride can be all yours. It is for sale. Contact me today.

By the way, anyone want to buy a really sweet Audi TT Roadster?



I took a graveyard job dealing poker at Mandalay Bay*. The job has been more terrific than I could have imagined. There is a very cohesive poker team at Mandalay Bay, excellent promotions for both locals and the resortists that stay at the property and some really good poker. I am dealing four days per week, flooring one day a week and enjoying every moment of it.

Dealing full-time hasn’t derailed any of my future plans. In fact, the job has enhanced them. It’s great being on The Strip five days per week and meeting new people. I can still play poker on my days off. And the income is helping my get through the seven baby steps of Financial Peace University faster. It’s win-win.



The J-man is coming July 21. Everything has been good so far. His momma Jenna is doing well and we are less than 90 days away from his arrival. I still need to do some work on his room, as it used to be my office. I need to install some new doors on his closet, a new blind on the window and do some painting. It’s getting real and it’s getting exciting.



It’s been awhile since my last poker playing post. As far as I can tell from my Poker Journal software I’ve posted winning sessions in 10 of my last 14 sessions since my last post. Unfortunately three of those four losses were just straight beatings. Staggering, run-over-like-a-truck beatings. Still, my bankroll is at $2,786 after dropping $1600 on a 1994 Ford Explorer. As soon as I sell the Audi TT Roadster I will be sans a car payment for the first time in 20 years.




*The postings on this site are my own and not necessarily reflect the views of the MGM Resorts.

The Surging GVR Tourney

The Surging GVR Tourney

I’ve been taking it slow on poker that past few days as I’ve spent more time trying to train Ace to not destroy the house when I leave.

I did find time, however, to take in the fast-growing tournament in Las Vegas Saturday morning at Green Valley Ranch.

chipsGVR has had a 10AM daily tourney as long as I can remember. Friday and Saturday’s fields were always the best. Any given Saturday you could expect 50-60 players. Through word of mouth (the greatest promotion any poker room can have) the field has exploded the last four weeks. Yesterday the field again cracked 120 players for a $45 buy-in event.

I can’t tell you the exact size of the player count or prize pool because I was bounced in level two. It was just bad luck I ran into aces twice and queen once while holding top pair or two pair each time.

Inexplicably, the field for the Sunday through Friday 10AM tournaments has gone unchanged. Sundays  and Fridays have around 40 players. Monday through Thursdays feature around 30 players.

Saturday is the day to be at Green Valley Ranch.

Current Bankroll: $2,968

And Some Nights You DON’T Suck At Poker

And Some Nights You DON’T Suck At Poker

One night after taking a Cousin Eddie type beating, I was back on the felt mixing it up.

The game was $1-$2 No limit at Green Valley Ranch. Joining me on this visit was the one and only Fast Eddie, along with a late appearance by Scotty H.

The poker Gods smiled upon me tonight. I had a run of good cards and players paid me off with inferior hands.

I felted one player with K-K against her K-J on a K-J-8 flop. She reloaded and I felted her again with the nut flush against her two pair. I also won a nice pot with my A-A vs. a K-K.

I actually had a little decline at the end when my A-K failed against a Q-J and my 7-7 didn’t improve against an A-K on a K-Q-9 flop.

Still, it was a great night.

Current Bankroll: $3,012

Don’t Be Afraid To Be The Black Sheep

Don’t Be Afraid To Be The Black Sheep

The other night I was doing some research on unique business cards. I was looking for something to showcase my business skills and send people to my website.

I came across a unique business card for Jon Acuff. Mr. Acuff is an author I discovered in the past couple of months and a speaker I have watched in the Financial Peace University series presented by Dave Ramsey.

Here is his business card. It’s unique, in part, because his wife reminded him, “We don’t do boring.”

Looking at his business card and reading his wife’s comment reminded me of a conversation I had with a couple of friends at a casino bar two years ago. I told them that the appeal of Las Vegas to me was that you could be from anywhere and be anything. In this town, nobody really cares if you are different.

I am proudly a black sheep.

I have been the black sheep for as long as I can remember. I remember an arts and crafts project way back in kindergarten or first grade. We were all supposed to pick out a egg from a container. They were going to be hard-boiled and we were going to paint or draw on them. Too the shock of my classmates, I picked out a brown egg. I had never seen a brown egg before. I thought it was unique and different.

I am adopted. From a small town (population 2,700) in Eastern Iowa it is a rarity to be adopted. Whenever it would come in up in a conversation with my friends and classmates I would always get looks like I was an alien. I was the only person anybody knew who had been adopted. I never thought it was different.

Forest stopped running. What are we supposed to do now?
Forest stopped running. What are we supposed to do now?

When I was a teenager I decided one day to walk from my house to my grandmother’s house for no particular reason. Like Forrest Gump and his running I just started walking. Eleven miles from my house to my grandmother’s house two towns over. I didn’t take any water with me. I didn’t think about how far eleven miles was. I just put on some tennis shoes and walked all the way there.

When all my classmates went off to Iowa State, Iowa, Northern Iowa, Drake or some other four-year school in Iowa I chose to attend Marshalltown Community College. It was smaller, it was more affordable and I had opportunities to play baseball and be on the school paper as a freshman.

After two years at Marshalltown CC and three more at Northern Iowa (I was not the most dedicated student) I moved to Kansas City. Iowans take vacations to Kansas City. They don’t typically move there.

My entire family still lives in Iowa. My father and one sister live in the same hometown in which I grew up. My other sister and my brother live in towns not more than 30 minutes away from my hometown. They are happy there. I am happy for them.

I live in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada. Iowans don’t live in Las Vegas. They might visit Las Vegas once in a lifetime.

I’m 44, and have never been married. One of the reasons I have had so many failed relationships has to do with how many women I’ve dated who just wanted to have a job, a family and go through a mundane life. I tell them I want to be a professional poker player. I tell them let’s rent a jeep and drive all the way to the Florida Keys with the top off. I say lets travel to Macau, Boracay and Spain. And their eyes almost pop out of their heads. They say they want normal. Then I find out later that those normal relationships they wanted instead of being with me failed. Because normal is boring.

I definitely don’t do boring and am certainly embracing my black sheep-ness.

It’s funny to me that the phrase black sheep is an idiom used to describe someone who won’t comply with the group or with society as a whole.

Name me one person who has ever achieved greatest by complying with a group? Different is memorable. Different sets trends. Different is the focus of inventors, architects, scientists and business leaders.

Don’t be afraid to be a black sheep.

Entertaining Railroad Tunnels Hike

Entertaining Railroad Tunnels Hike

I spent the morning tacking the Railroad Tunnels hike. Tackling is a bit overstating. The hike is relatively easy (little elevation gain) and relatively short (3.5 miles to the gate and back or 7 miles to the Hoover Dam and back).

Two of the marinas that service Lake Mead. The white part of the rocks shows how far Lake Mead has fallen over the past 80 years since the Hoover Dam was built to hold back the Colorado River.
Two of the marinas that service Lake Mead. The white part of the rocks shows how far Lake Mead has fallen over the past 80 years since the Hoover Dam was built to hold back the Colorado River.

This hike, however, is special to me since it’s the first hike I ever tried after moving to Las Vegas. In February 2010 I had lived in Vegas for all of four weeks. With no job to go to and prior to attending dealing school I had just one friend in town. I was looking to meet people and network so I joined a hiking group on Meetup. After joining the group this was the first hike I signed up to attend.

digging_the_tunnels_signEighty years ago this same trail was  a railroad track used to carry supplies to the construction of the Hoover Dam. The railroad tracks have been removed and the tunnels have some been reinforcements on the ends to keep them from collapsing.

One of the five tunnels along the path of the Raildroad Tunnels hike to Hoover Dam.
One of the five tunnels along the path of the Raildroad Tunnels hike to Hoover Dam.

I have been on this hike 6-7 times over the past four years, including twice down to the Hoover Dam and back. Today, I stuck with the 3.5 mile version. It offers an incredible view of Lake Mead and the surrounding mountains.

It is rare to see any wildlife on the hike, though coyotes, snakes, bats and rams are certainly possible. If you take the hike down to the Dam there is a much greater chance of seeing a ram. They are not rare in this part of the country. In fact, the rams come down from the mountains daily and feed on the grass in the parks in nearby Boulder City.

What you will see are a lot of people on this hike. Today was no different. The age range was anywhere from 8-80. Several kids were hiking with parents. I saw a small group of Cub Scouts hiking. There were a couple of elderly men taking a casual stroll all the way to the Dam. There were also a number of people hiking with their dogs. That made me jealous since Pirate passed away four months ago. He went on this hike with me a few times.

End of the hike selfie.
End of the hike selfie.

This is a great hike, and the short version can be done in just 75-90 minutes.

I finished my exercise for the day, nourishing the mind, body and soul with one simple but great hike.

Now it’s off to the Aria 1PM poker tourney to see if I can nourish my wallet.


Quick Session Before Cocktails

Quick Session Before Cocktails

For the first time in (ever?!?) I’ve played poker five straight nights, all at Green Valley Ranch.

My timing was terrible yesterday. I was working on a project for one of my business clients that needed to be done, but it wasn’t really urgent. I spent a little too much time on the project. When I got to  GVR at 3:15PM the bad-beat jackpot has just hit. If I had just arrived about 20 minutes later I would be $431 richer for getting a player share.

It didn’t cost me anything to miss out on the bad beat jackpot so it wasn’t a big loss. I got to visit with a few dealers and players while I waited for a new game to start.

I started off in a $3-$6 limit game and eventually moved to the no limit game. I played a few hours but only managed to eek out a $45 profit.

Today I had a little time to get back to GVR before meeting a friend for drinks. It was just a 90-minute session, but I picked up $100 in profit with some timely cards.

voka_cranIf you see me out tonight, I will have one of these in my hands. By the way, a vodka cranberry is just called a vodka cranberry and DOES NOT contain a lime. If you order a vodka cranberry WITH a lime it’s called a Cape Cod.

Current Bankroll: $2,574

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