Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Heading back to Botswana

I have now spent 2 months in the United States, and it is clearly the best country in the world, I am ready to head back to my village and see what has been happening. Yes I am flying back on Thanksgiving. It was the cheapest ticket I could find. I fly JFK to Heathrow to Rome to Istanbul to Cape Town to Botswana. If you count the travel from the Airport to my village, my guess is this trip will take me three days.

Since being back on the East Coast after skiing in Colorado, I ran in the Philadelphia Half Marathon. I ran the race in 1 hour and 46 minutes, I was very happy with the time since I had not been training and I decided to run that morning. Running 13.1 miles is a cake walk compared to a 26.2 mile marathon.

I had a nice week of poker, won over $80.00 and played less then 2 hours which gave me a very nice hourly of over $40.00 an hour.

Once I am back in the village I will give you and update on what has been happening in my village.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Skiing Breckenridge and Keystone Colorado November 2009

Here I am in Breckenridge Colorado, what a Life this DUG guy has. The flight out was uneventful, but long. Flying a Cessna a little over 1,500 miles is a long way, I think we had to stop for fuel 8 times. I need to play some poker and hopefully earn enough to buy a commercial ticket back to the East Coast. I love flying with Austin, but maybe I need to wait until he gets a faster plane for these long trips.

We met up with Big Ed at the Valdoro Mountain Lodge what a great place, facilities seem new and the people are very helpful, the best part is the place in empty, between the lack of snow and the economy, we have the place to ourselves. Who ever said a depression is bad.

We all met up about 3:00 PM on Saturday, got situated, the place we are staying, is a time share so Big Ed’s place has two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen. We went out and rented skis, though the snow is light we have confidence we will get some snow before we have to go back. We got our skis at Mountain Outfitters in Breckenridge. We also did some food shopping, then we just hung out.

Sunday morning I got up and did a quick work out, I am trying to hold my fitness from the Wineglass Marathon, as I might do a spring Marathon and I have registered for the Diamondman Half Ironman Triathlon in September 2010. I was happy the altitude did not bother me as we are at 10,000 feet.

Once we all had breakfast we headed to the slopes. There is a gondola in the center of town that takes you up to all the ski facilities. I had not skied in over 25 years and that ski experience was a fall down an icy mountain in West Virginia and then a few days in the lodge drinking beer. So I thought to get a better handle on this ski thing, I should take some lessons. Big Ed decided to join me on the lessons. Austin was going to try Telemark skiing so he also was going to take lessons.

The folks at the sale center were very helpful they lined up Jay as Austin’s instructor and Ian Leirfallom as Big Ed’s and my instructor. We all met at 10:00 am I had signed up for a 3 hour lessons. We started with the basics, it was very interesting in that most of the other students in the area were under 6 years of age, and most had more skiing skills that I did.

Once I learned how to wedge (stop) we went to the bunny slopes, were Ian taught me a few skiing skills, tipping, wedging my skis to stop, and how to turn. I felt like I was getting these skills and could go down this VERY gradual slop in full control. I was skiing and enjoying it. We had about 15 minutes left in our 3 hour lesson. Big Ed was a much better skier then I, so Ian had spent time teaching Big Ed how to ski backwards.

To get back down to the ski village, we had to go down a much steeper slope then we had been learning on. Ian said it would be easy and just focus on the skills he had taught me. The last skill taught was how to crisscross the hill so you do not gain too much speed in fact you could turn up the hill to slow or even stop. I could do this skill to my right very well, but not at all to my left. We started down the hill / mountain, I crisscrossed about 4 times and then started picking up a lot of speed and knew the only way to get control back was to crash and boy did I crash, ripping off one ski and wrenching my knee. Luckily nothing broke. Ian helped me up and we slowly made it back down the mountain.

Austin enjoyed his Telemark lessons, but decided he was more of an alpine skier. After a $40.00 lunch (3 hamburgers), Big Ed and Austin went skiing on the harder trails, and I went back to the bunny slope. I realized a good part of skiing, like mountain biking is confidence, the last fall had taken away some of my confidence and I felt like I was starting over from square one. After about 1.5 hours of practice I was getting tired and still had to go down the steeper hill (where I had crashed earlier) so I decided before I got to tried I better head down. Almost in the exact same spot as before I crashed. This time I was going a little slower and was a little more graceful, the big issue was without Ian to help, I could not get back on my skis, no mater what I tried I could not get up. After about 5 minutes of trying to get up, a very nice couple saw me struggling, and stopped to helped me up they also made sure I made it the rest of the way down.

I found Big Ed and Austin having a blast on the harder trails, my knee was still aching so I just hung out and watched for a while. I decided to ordered another ski lesson with Ian for the next day.

After Austin and Big Ed were done, we headed to town to exchange Austin Telemark skis for Alpine skis. We were all a little sore so we headed to the hot tub for a few hours and then a nice dinner at Taddeo’s Italian Restaurant the service was great and the food just OK.

After dinner we all crashed hard, a day of skiing can wear you out.

Monday we headed to the mountain I had another lesson with Ian at 10:00, when we meet he explained he felt some of my trouble was do to my skis. He said they he thought the skis I had were to long and high performance for a beginner. So we went over to the ski shop where Ian helped me get a pair that would better suit me.  This alone was worth the cost of the lesson. We then headed up the mountain and reviewed all the basics from the day before, we spent about and hour practicing the skills he had taught me and then we went down the long run I had crashed on the day before. I made it down 2 out of 3 times without falling. I was building back my confidence. While Ian was helping me Big Ed and Austin had been doing the more difficult runs. After Lunch I went back to practicing on the harder part of the easy run, making it down several times without falling. Big Ed and Austin offered to guild me down a much longer run telling me it was not any steeper then the run I had been doing just longer.

So we took a lift that went up and up and up and up to the top of the mountain. As we got off I saw clearly that this run was MUCH STEEPER then the run I had been doing, but the only way down was by skiing so off we went. Big Ed and Austin did a great job of coaching me down and I only fell once. I was very pleased with my progress and decided to take a break.(See video below)

We skied a few more runs and then called it a day. We were all fried, I returned all my skis I had two sets at this point and then we picked up a new set for Tuesday. We cooked dinner in, and then just all vegged out.

Today (Tuesday) we are going to ski at Keystone also JB, Big Ed’s wife is coming to town to meet up with us. Her assignment was completed early so she decided to join up with us. I still have not figured out if she is KGB, CIA, MI6, or CSIS, but she has to be a agent for one of these spy agencies.

It ended up that Keystone only had blue black trails open, so Big ED and Austin did a couple of runs and then we headed back to Breckenridge. I focused on the green runs and really improved my skills. Big Ed and Austin worked all the trails. We all had a blast. We meet up with JB, and had a great dinner at Hearthstone Restaurant beside having great food and service, during the week they have a two for one special. During dinner, JB talked a little be about her last assignment, though she is very discreet, we figured out it had something to do with getting a Pakistani scientist out of Pakistan to gain asylum in the United States. As you look at the pictures you will not see any of JB as she tries hard not to be photographed.

One great thing that happened today on the ski lift I ended up sitting next to a US Airways pilot who is also an armature poker player. We worked out a deal he got me a free ticket on a flight back (first class) to the east coast and I have to give him some poker lessons over the internet. This was a huge plus as I have been so tired after skiing that I have no time to play poker, so if this ticket did not materialize, it would have been flying back with Austin.

Heading back to Botswana next week, it has been almost 2 months on the east coast.

Some Bad news on my return, Big Ed emailed me that Haley Rose Gans had died on the same slopes that Big Ed and Austin had been skiing on. Haley was just 14. This really sucks.


See pictures and videos below.

Video DUG Skiing Breckenridge

Video Big Ed and Austin Skiing Breckenridge

Video Big Ed and Austin Skiing Keystone

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off to Breckenridge for Some Skiing

I got a call from Big Ed, he is a relative of Margarite’s, he had heard I was in the United States and wanted to see if I was up for some Skiing. I was about to head back to Botswana, but what the hell. So I said sure, Big Ed had a time share with his wife and his wife could not make it ( I think she is in the KGB) so Big Ed invited me. All I had to do was get there. The travel was going to be an issue, I had been away from home for a little over a month now and my policy of not playing much poker while I traveled was killing by travel kitty. I knew that playing poker while I was not focused was not a good thing, but going broke paying for my travel habit was worse. So I played a little poker this week and it turned into a very nice week, winning over $200.00.

The $200.00 might pay my expenses, but how was I going to get there, I had been hanging on the east coast living off some old friends, now I need to buy a plane ticket. Then I remembered Austin. Austin is my nephew that is also a pilot that happens to love to ski. So I made a deal with Austin, you fly me to Breckenridge and I will take care your housing. Since Big Ed all ready had that covered I was good to go. So off to Breckenridge we go.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to join an Online Poker Room

Play Online Poker
Play Online Poker

There are two dominate Online Poker Rooms. FullTiltPoker and PokerStars, there are many other sites these two are the premier on-line Poker Sites. I have played both and find the only real difference is the interface. Personal preference will dictate which site you like best. Each has its little difference, but there is no particular features that will help you win more money on one site over the other. Everything I explain is works in all countries including the United States.

Both site offer bonuses on your initial real money deposit. These bonuses are free money. Even if you are just a break even poker player, these bonuses will turn you into a profitable poker player.

Just click on either site links to join a site qualify for your bonus.

Play Online Poker
Play Online Poker

People always ask me are these sites safe. There have been online poker sites that have been caught cheating, these are the smaller ones and they quickly go out of business. PokerStars and FullTiltPoker make so much money that there is no reason for them to cheat, and in fact they spend a lot of money on security to make sure players are not cheating.

Remember you are not winning or losing to the Poker Site you are winning or losing to other Poker Players. At any one time there will be hundreds of thousands of players playing poker. The online poker site does not care who wins or loses. They get a very small piece of the pot, usually 1 or 2 % with a cap of a few dollars if the pot is very large. With hundreds of thousands of players there are thousands of hands playing each minute and the site is making anywhere from 10 cents to 3 dollars per hand. Do the math there are a lot of reasons to make sure players feel safe playing online poker.

People ask how you get money in and out of a Poker Site. I have always used a bank clearing house called Instant Echeck. PokerStars and FullTiltPoker are connected to Instant Echeck so it is very easy to use. All you need is your bank routing number and account number.

Anytime you do a financial transaction over the internet there is a chance of fraud. For this reason I have set up a checking account I only use for the purpose of putting money into my online poker account. I keep a minimum balance in this account, so if anybody ever hacked into it, they would not get much money.

As far as getting money out of an online Poker account, you can use Instant Echeck and the money will be electronically transferred back into your checking account. Or you can request a check. I have always used the check request and somewhere between 5 and 15 days a check will show up. One issue with FullTiltPoker is they have a minimum check request of $100.00 where PokerStars does not have any minimum that I have had to deal with.

I have been playing online poker for over 4 years now and have never had a problem either putting money in or taking money out, so try it you will like it.

If you are still unsure about putting money in, you can play free money games for a while and get use to the interface and try both sites and then when you are ready for real money you can deposit money into your poker account. Remember to click on the below link to join so you get your bonus.

Play Online Poker
Play Online Poker

If you have any questions of comments feel free to enter a comment of send me an email at

Below is a hand I won that I should have lost, I was a real donkey, but sometime donkey’s get paid off.



See explanation below the hand replay

Table 'Romilda' 9-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: xlebisol ($138.35 in chips)
Seat 2: Torfly ($93.25 in chips)
Seat 5: Redstar18 ($182.50 in chips)
Seat 6: DUG ($102.30 in chips)
Seat 7: Van Belle ($104 in chips)
Seat 8: Micha126 ($208.65 in chips)
Seat 9: jtodb222 ($100 in chips)
Torfly: posts small blind $0.50
Mokoman80: is sitting out
Wilkall: is sitting out
Redstar18: posts big blind $1
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to DUG [3h 6h]
DUG: calls $1 This is a wacky hand that if I hit no one will know what I have.
Van Belle: folds
Micha126: raises $4 to $5 Very tight player has AA, KK, QQ, JJ or AK
jtodb222: folds
xlebisol: calls $5 Loose player could have anything
Torfly: folds
Redstar18: folds
DUG: calls $4 No matter what hits I am going to act like a hit a set.
*** FLOP *** [4c Tc 7s]
DUG: checks A Check raise is in order.
Micha126: bets $10
xlebisol: folds
DUG: raises $19 to $29 This should get him to fold.
Micha126: calls $19 Must be AA or KK.
*** TURN *** [4c Tc 7s] [8d]
DUG: bets $68.30 and is all-in Now, I have to either give up the hand of Go all in. I think I can get him to fold with and all in.
Micha126: calls $68.30 Oh @&^&
*** RIVER *** [4c Tc 7s 8d] [5d] Had 4 outs and hit one of them 8% chance to win.
Mokoman80 has returned
*** SHOW DOWN ***
DUG: shows [3h 6h] (a straight, Four to Eight)
Micha126: shows [Qc Qd] (a pair of Queens)
DUG collected $208.10 from pot Not a bad pot for a Donkey
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $211.10 | Rake $3
Board [4c Tc 7s 8d 5d]
Seat 1: xlebisol (button) folded on the Flop
Seat 2: Torfly (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 5: Redstar18 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: DUG showed [3h 6h] and won ($208.10) with a straight, Four to Eight
Seat 7: Van Belle folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Micha126 showed [Qc Qd] and lost with a pair of Queens
Seat 9: jtodb222 folded before Flop (didn't bet)

Play Online Poker
Play Online Poker

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Redskins VS the Eagles Professional Football

A poker buddy of mine knew I was in the United States so he offered to sell me some Football tickets for the Monday night football game. I had only been in the United States for a few weeks and had already been to Corning New York for the Wineglass Marathon. Then I was off to Ann Arbor to visit my niece and go to the Penn State University of Michigan Football Game,  now on to Washington DC for Monday night football.

My brother Lee lives in DC you might remember him from my blog post on his wedding.  Rather then go alone I invited Lee along. I got the tickets for $110.00 I had no idea if that was a good deal or not. I trusted my poker buddy and never thought he would rip me off. I later found out through my brother that the Redskins have been playing real bad and we could have gotten better tickets for $25.00 to $40.00. That is life, I will make the money back beating my buddy in Poker.

The game was great for Eagles Fan and not so good if you were rooting for the Redskins. Since I was there just to enjoy the game and catch up with my brother I had a great time. See attached Pictures and Video below.

After the Game I made my annual pilgrimage to the Fruit Cake Factory, if you are interested feel free to look at last years story. This year we made 80 LBS.

As far as poker goes I have built my bank roll back up to a respectable number and in fact have made some nice withdraws to pay for all the travel. I am now back playing $.50/$1.00 and hope to continue with a strong finish for the year.

I have started playing ACE KING more aggressively and that has paid off nicely, almost always trying to end the hand before the flop or if need be right after the flop there is an example below.

From DC I am off the Colorado for some skiing and snow boarding.





AK Playing to WIN!