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Daniel - Poker Journal

Back from San Diego

23 Aug 2006


Ok, Iím just looking over my Treo right now and going off the notes I have so the following blog may seem a bit scrambled. Some random thoughts, followed by a recap of my recent vacation in San Diego:

24: I finished season two, and wow, was that season awesome. I heard some good and bad about the second season, but mostly bad. I loved it. I thought the last six hours were riveting.

I just love David Palmer. Itís funny too, because I actually met him at a charity poker event at Wynn some time ago and wasnít a fan of the show. In fact, I did a WPT Hollywood Home Game with Billy Burke and Carlos Bertran as well, and had no clue who they were.

So anyway, when I saw him I said, ďHey Cerrano, I loved you in that movie,Ē referring to his role in Major League. He kind of just looked at meÖ puzzled.

Iím a huge fan now. I love president David Palmer and just wish that he was a real president. He has morals, honor, integrity, and smarts. Too bad the U.S. didnít have a president like that.

Then again, David Palmer is black. Too many sick and twisted people in this world are just not ready for a black president. Who knows if that day would ever come. Then if it did happen, how long a black president could go without being assassinated. There is one guy out there, whom I think is also brilliant and might make for a great leader- senator Barack Obama. Heís a democrat who might have a shot at running for president. Heavens knows there isnít exactly a lot of competition!

I have to admit, I can be a racist sometimes, but not in the way youíd think. I get along better with most black people than I do white people. When I grew up, most all of my friends were black. A lot of the time, I think the ďwhite manĒ (or me, lol) is the most evil race in history. That, and most white dudes canít dance to save their lives J I dunno, Iíve always vibed better with black people than I have with white people.

I like the culture, I love the humor, the music, etc. Iím not a ďwiggerĒ by any stretch of the imagination, but I do feel comfortable around black people. Iíve attended a wedding before with 400+ people where I was THE minority. The only white dude there. It didnít really seem weird to me either.

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The Breakfast Club: There was one white dude that I looked up to as a kid in a big way: Judd Nelsonís character in the breakfast club. I even grew my hair out like his (my mother hated that) and wore it over my face. I thought he was the coolest dude ever, and I used to watch that movie all the time. If you havenít seen it, you should go rent it. Itís got a good cast of 80ís brat packers in Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, etc.

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Ok, now that I got that out of the way, here is a recap of my anniversary vacation with Lori:

Aug: 18: We flew to San Diego in the afternoon . Once there, I rented a car with GPS to help me get around. We decided to stay at the W, since my experience with the W hotels has always been really good. The W is located in the heart of the action in the Gas lamp quarter of downtown San Diego. This W wasnít as good as the others Iíve stayed at. The shower was, wellÖ just stupid. Picture this, a shower with no shower curtain, a big circle hole in the glass. Not only that, the glass only covered half the shower? How anyone could possibly take a shower without drenching the floor and the toilet seat is beyond me. If anyone can clue me in on how this makes any sense, pleaseÖ enlighten me?

We took it easy that first day getting acclimated and ordering room service. Later, we watched a movie called Domino, which is based on a true life story of a girl who decided that she wanted to be a bounty hunter. Pretty decent movie, but the extras on the DVD were actually even better than the movie IMO.

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Aug 19: This was the day of our one year wedding anniversary and we decided to head to the San Diego Zoo. We woke up late, which is the norm for us most days, and got to the Zoo around 3:00pm. We walked the whole Zoo, but the one exhibit that was the highlight of my day was seeing the Sea Otters. Those little buggers were so cute, they reminded me of Mushu. One of them was literally chasing his tail round and round, over and over again. Then one of his buddies jumped in, and they were spinning each other around and round, and round again.

After the Zoo we headed back to the hotel to shower and change. That night we ate at Rice, the restaurant inside of the W Hotel. It was supposed to be a restaurant with an Asian/Latin flare, but it looked more like a typical American Steak House to me. I ended up ordering off the menu which I often do, and the chef whipped up something that ended up tasting great. A little spicy, but good. Later we checked out the nightlife at the W, it was totally packed in there so we didnít stay long.

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Aug 20: The plan for the 20th was golf, and I wasnít sure where to take her. She is really new to golf so I didnít think it would make much of a difference really. I looked for the closest place and found a course called Balboa Park. When we got there, though, it looked really ghetto. More like a flat baseball park, kind of strange.

I quickly made an executive decision to find a new place, and we ended up Coronado. Once again, though, I found a totally ghetto golf course! I mean, I could have checked out Torrey Pines, Del Mar, or whatever, but I just kept finding ghetto course after ghetto course.

Oh well, I didnít mind at all really, as it gave us an excuse to drive around San Diego. Thatís how I prefer traveling. Rather than have everything mapped out for me before going, I like finding things on my own.

We took one last shot and ended up at Mission Bay Links. It was slightly ghetto too, but at least it resembled a golf course. With Lori being so new to the game, I thought it would make more sense to scramble our balls so that we didnít play too slowly.

Once again, I hit my driver just perfect. Thatís been a recent happening with my swing. Iím hitting my driver dead straight, about 220 yards down the middle nearly every time. Unfortunately, for some reason I can no longer hit my 3-wood or 5-wood to save my life?

I am pretty sure I can identify the problem. You see, now when I drive the ball I put all of my weight way behind the ball and exaggerate my shoulder tilt. I also bring the club back pretty flat, and then bring all of my weight forward and am really getting through the ball.

Then, when I try to hit a 3-wood off the ground I think that exaggerated tilt is seeping into my normal swing. I either hit the ground first with the 3-wood, or hitting a really ugly hook that doesnít go anywhere.

Iím all screwed up now and itís all trajectory related. I need to bring the club up higher with my 3-wood which is a totally different path than the one I use with the driver. Another freak think thatís been happening, is that Iíve been hitting my irons way longer, but pulling them most of the timeÖ I need a lesson bad! Get your butt down here Shane! Shane is a PGA golf pro whoís offered to give me lessons several times and we havenít hooked up yet. As fate would have it, Shane actually won one of the prizes to come out to Vegas and golf with me. How weird is that?

That night we decided to just wing it for dinner. We were both in the mood for Italian when the strangest thing happened. We made a wrong turn on the way back towards the hotel and ended up inÖ Little Italy! We ended up having another excellent meal at a place called Zagarelliís or something like that.

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Aug 21: Monday was Sea World day (or afternoon f you do it our way). Sea World kicks San Diego Zooís butt in a big way. Man, this place was great. Immediately upon getting there we sat and watched a very entertaining show with dolphins and whales as the entertainers. They just blew me away. They were so smart, so choreographed, it was mind boggling.

After the show we saw sea lions, polar bears, mantees, whales, and of course, we took the tour of the shark tank and got some amazing pictures. A shark, literally no less than three feet in front of me.. Behind glass of course, I ainít that kind of gambler!

We got caricatures done of us together, and it was the worst caricature Iíd ever seen. Didnít look at all like either of us, so we left it at the hotel. It was going to go in the garbage anyway three years down the line, why wait?

We also played a few of the carnival games there. Iím a sucker for the basketball hoops and threw $5 down for 3 balls. The guy informs me that you canít go backboard, it has to be a swish. Sure, Iíll give it a try.

Well, shot #1 went straight in! Hey look at me, I won, I won! The second one clanked off the rim, which left me just one shot to get the upgraded stuffed animalÖ swish! I made two out of three, not too shabby. Hey, I was excited.

Anyway, that night we decided to take the advice of Nutzbuster and a few of the FCP forum regulars who recommended a Sushi joint in La Jolla called Sushi on the Rock. Thanks for the tip guys, the food was excellent and they had a lot of options for me. Usually itís the ďVeggie Roll,Ē but this place had three different types of Veggie rolls, plus edamame, Agadashi Tofu, Cucumber salad, all the good stuff. I stuffed myself.

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Aug 22: Thatís, like, today and Iím finally back at home. We were lazy today and skipped out on seeing the San Diego Wildlife Park. I was pretty zooíed out anyway. The plan tonight is to watch some of the WSOP on ESPN, write a few columns, and catch up on some e-mails and phone calls that have been lagging.

Iíll have a few days at home (to golf) before heading out to the next WPT stop at the Bike. The buy in is $10,000 this year and the prize pool will likely break another record. The WPT events just keep getting bigger and bigger it seems, and you can bet that people are ready to play again after the WSOP lay off. Most people anywayÖ J

Tomorrow I plan on heading to the golf course to work out my ďissues.Ē After that, I may try to play in the $10 buy in Negreanu Open if I get done in time. If I donít make it in time for the tournament, Iíll most likely be playing $50-$100 NL at FCP.

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