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Wednesday, 22 February 2006
I, the Poker Player
Mood:  vegas lucky
Topic: Poker
I took interest in poker as many new players by watching poker on television. I started out by watching Celebrity Poker and then watched the serious poker shows such as WPT and WSOP. The act of watching someone out play an opponent with a bluff gave me a rush like a basketball fan watching a basketball star making 3 points in the last .40 seconds of the fourth period. I'm not athletic or watch sporting events so this is the closest thing I have to it. I tell my wife poker must be a sport if it is on ESPN but she usually disagrees.

My first time playing NL Hold'em was at my god-daughters birthday a couple of years ago. I had no idea what I was doing now that I think about it. My first rake was with pocket eights against my buddy. I even talked smack after that hand not realizing all the characters I would eventually face playing poker at home game, casinos, and card rooms.

I started playing more often after discovering that the younger half (early twenties people) of the family were playing NL every Friday night. I started to get more poker experience but winning was not in the picture for quite some time. The first time I won, people stopped in silence as I cheered with my brother-in-law egging me on.

Eventually I bought one book and another. I have four books on Poker so far and they all are interesting reads. I'll discuss these books later. The information is priceless and it is a shame for rookies not to read these books. Why not read about it versus having to figure it out yourself at the table after losing lots of money. Save yourself the trouble and pick up a book.

Then I went online and played at Play money games are great after the non-serious players get knocked out. I moved over to due to the preferred tourney structure. I made my first deposit of $60 which last me a good year. I never played high limit games. I only played $1 tournaments most of the time. Once money is involved, the game is taken a little bit more seriously. I even one a few or at least placed high enough to see some cash return.

I went to Commerce Casino only to get confused with live rings games. I didn't realize that it was totally different from NL home games. I continued to visit Hollywood Park casino to join their satellite games for an 8PM $300 NL game but I never made past the satellite. I played ring games after the satellite only to find I out I still didn't know what I was doing in a ring game.

I finally returned to Vegas wit new intention. I would no longer play slots, craps, 21, or roulette. It would just be poker. I mapped out all the casino tourneys for the weekend which included Luxor and the Plaza. The Luxor tourney was cheap but didn't give you enough chips to play a slow game. The Plaza tourney I found great and would return their every chance I had. Rings games still eluded me but I did take home good money after a straight flush. The poker room paid extra for that one.

I've been to Pechanga a couple of times. They have a great poker room and their weekend tourneys are cheap with plenty of starting chips. I've haven't done well in that at all. I believe it's due to my arrival. I'm usually rushing to get there after a 2 hours drive. I need to take a breather and then play the tourney. I know, excuses.

I've been doing fairly well at home games or at least placing high. I've done fairly well cheap online tourneys as well. But what makes me even happier is that I finally have a sound strategy in rings games. I've gone from 2-4 tables to 4-8 tables and NL tables. A 10-20 game is on the horizon.

Posted by manacsa at 11:49 AM PST
Wednesday, 25 August 2004
In the past year....
Well I totally forgot that I stared a blog last year on Tripod. I might as well fill in the one year gap. I may continue this blog more often since Tripod allows you to update it from your PDA. I have yet to find out how.

The most eventful occurence in my life was the birth of my son, Curtis Jerome Manacsa. Yes, I'm a dad. It's hard to put into words the feeling and experience that we are going through. I can at least say he brings a new type of happiness into our hearts. He's a good looking kid and watching him grow is amazing. I look forward to learning more about him and teaching him some pop's old tricks.

We bought house back in November '03. We ended up in San Fernando Valley like I thought we would. The house is a major fixer upper. We changed the roof, kitchen, both bathrooms, and repainted everything. We also got new flooring around the house. It's still work in progress. We just got central heating and air. We need to finish up the pantry and the other bathroom. Wish us luck.

My wife got her MBA right before she gave birth to our son. I admire her determination and hard work. Having the baby changed her life but I'm glad she accomplished so much before reaching the "mommy" stage of her life.

In my forst BLOG entry, I mentioned preparing for mountain biking. Going to Balboa did help me condition myself for hard trails. With my brother-in-law, we hit the trails in the Santa Monica mountains or some know it as "old Mulholland". I biked like I never biked before. Biked down hill at fast speed and uphill non-stop until it hurt. I have to say, I was proud of myself. What happened?? Well, we bought the house and had to use all my spare time working on it and now we have a kid. The last time I biked, my brother-in-laws started going down some crazy paths. This and the other events in my life put biking on hold. I see my bike once in a while and it brings good memories. I hope to ride it again soon.

Posted by manacsa at 1:45 PM PDT
Friday, 15 August 2003
Mountain Biking and Home Buying
Mountain Biking - For over a month now, I have been taking my mountain bike to Balboa park almost every Friday after work. My old bike was rotting in my mom's garage. I took out, cleaned it up, and took it home. If you want to read about my old bike, I described it in the discussion board of Mountain Bike Review, here. In the past month, I've dropped some dollars into it. I replaced the rusty chain, bar stem, handle bar, and upgraded my shifters and brake levers to Shimano XTs. Most of the items were purchased at Helen's Cycle in Westwood. I also picked up two new water bottles and baggy bike shorts. The prices were not as competitive as SuperGo but the customer service was good and the cost of installation labor appeared to better. Plus, the location was closer to work.

Biking at Balboa park was a great way to bring my body back to minimal biking condition. I do about 2-3 miles of cement bike path and the there is an area with a small dirt hill to practice climbing. I hope to add photos and directions next time.

Today is a big day for me. I'm going to hit my first real mountain bike trail in years. I'll be trying out Betty Dearing Trail in the Santa Monica mountains. You can get an overview of the trail at or I'll let you know what happens.

House Hunting - My wife and I decided to try house hunting this coming weekend. We're looking into the San Fernando Valley around the Van Nuys area. So far it appears the San Fernando has decent size homes in the price range we can afford. Decent to us is a home with 3 bedrooms and at least 1000 sq ft. Pretty small to some of you but typical in Los Angeles. More on this later.

Posted by manacsa at 4:45 PM PDT

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