Welcome to my blog...It's more of an occasional-random-quirky-thought blog or a check-out-this-cool-link blog than one of those this-is-what-i-had-for-breakfast-today-and-these-are-my-feelings-about-life blogs and it's definitely not one of those awful i'm-useful-and-have-important-things-to-say-and-i'm-contributing-to-society blogs. Enjoy.

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the official blog of
Dave Tompkins

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
CPSC 121 (2007 Spring) Teaching Evaluations
For those of you who enjoy reading my teaching evaluation comments, the CPSC 121 (Spring 2007) comments are now online.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
New Spinal Tap Short
For all you Spinal Tap fans, they have a new 15 minute short clip to help promote Live Earth. If you're a fan of Spinal Tap, I'd say that the odds of you not liking this video are roughly... 6%.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Choose Life in Alabama
Alabama Choose Life I just got back from a vacation in Alabama, where I had some great times with some old friends. We were in Prattville, where they have the audacity to refer to their city as Prattvegas -- and I suppose if you ignore all of the "fun" parts of Vegas with all of the "tourist traps" and are left with the sketchy suburbs with lower income housing and strip malls... then perhaps Prattville is remarkably similar to Vegas after all. I spent an afternoon driving around Prattvegas scouting for good restaurants and I saw lots of confederate flags and pro-war signs, but I often find that it's the little things that fascinate me the most... for example, I saw Choose Life license plates. Further investigation reveals that (like most polarizing issues in America) there are simultaneous campaigns to get the plates in more states, and campaigns to get the plates in fewer states.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
JPod JKinda JSucked
I don't normally comment on books I read, except that I just wanted to share with the world that I was really disappointed with Douglas Coupland's JPod (I know it came out a while ago but I just got around to reading it). I was a big fan of Microserfs, but JPod was just too post-post-postmodern and a big disappointment. But what I want to comment on was that considering that the book was based on a pop-culture obsessed computer geek living in Vancouver, if I didn't like it... who would? The book was littered with "in" jokes, and I think I got about 90% of them -- which means I probably only got 75% of them -- and I have to ask myself how many of those jokes would a non-"pop culture obessed" non-"Vancouverite" non-"computer geek" get? Now, having said all this, I'm curious to see how the CBC adaptation for TV will be, because that may be a better medium for the JPod.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Pictures -- Johnny Chan Part III
Johnny Chan Pics Yesterday I got to meet Johnny Chan himself -- he was very nice and accomodating for all of us star-struck poker geeks who wanted to have pictures taken with him. I also got to chat and joke around with Gavin Smith and some other poker celebrities for a good 20 minutes, which was a lot of fun.

For those of you not on Facebook, here is my photo album. I'm still waiting for the final table pictures from the actual event, and I'll just add them to this album when I get them.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
$58,860 -- Johnny Chan Part II
I've been pretty excited, and I haven't slept much. I know many people are curious about the details of my win, so here you go.

The Event
There were 5 events at the Johnny Chan Poker Classic at the River Rock casino here in Vancouver BC. The event I chose to enter was the $1,000 Pot Limit Hold 'Em Event ($1,000 entry plus $100 tournament fee). I really like playing Pot Limit, and I placed at the BC Poker Championship Pot Limit event last year. The event was not as well attended as some of the others, and only 218 people (out of a possible 500 spots) entered in the tournament. Johnny Chan did NOT enter this particular event, although I understand he entered a couple of the others. The first hand was dealt at noon, and the last hand was dealt at around 1 a.m. There were 15 minute breaks every 2 hours with a one hour break for dinner.

The Official Results
Just in case you don't believe me, the official results are posted here. First place was 27% of the money, or $58,860.

The $29,430 Partner
The $1,100 entry was pretty steep for a starving student. I sent an email out to some friends who had offered to back me in poker tournaments before, and my friend Jon agreed to put up half of the entry fee ($550) and so he gets half of the money. Jon is really quite a mensch and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Card Player Database
This is actually pretty cool -- I now have an entry in the Database at Card Player Magazine (Note that the results have been converted to USD).

First Quarter Action
For those of you who watched the PPT (Professional Poker Tour) on TV, I've broken the day into quarters, and will provide a highlight hand per quarter. I was playing pretty solid for the first several hours. The guy to my immediate right (X) was very loose/passive and had lost several hands with weaker cards. I was in the big blind with 93 offsuit -- there were 2 limpers plus the small blind X to my right just called, so I could see a flop for free. The flop came 39J with one club. Player X to my right bet the pot (4 big blinds = 4 BB) and then I raised the pot limit (to 16 BB) and X called. On the turn a rag club came and I bet the pot again, which was 36 BB and approximately half of my remaining chips. X called really quickly. When the river came down a red King I decided to just check it down. X turned over AJ of clubs and I took down the pot with two pair. It was hard to put X on a hand because he was the small blind and was loose/passive, and that was the best hand X had been in all day -- he busted out shortly after.

Second Quarter Action
When I look back throughout the day, I credit my success to some big laydowns as opposed to some big wins. There was one that stands out from earlier in the day. I was late middle position with AQ suited and I bet the maximum (pot) raise to 3.5 BB. A very aggressive player who had been raising/stealing a lot of pots re-raised to the maximum 12 BB from the button. I had seen this same player make similar moves with weak aces previously, but for some reason my spider-sense was tingling and I reluctantly layed down my pretty AQ suited... to which he showed me his KK. -whew-

Third Quarter Action
A Couple of hours later a very strong player (B) had become the table chip leader and was becoming quite a bully. I had recognized B from the Canadian Poker Tour (CPT) on TV and could tell by his style and post-hand commentary that he was quite solid. After B had stolen many blinds in the last few rotations, he once again made the maximum raise to 3.5 BB. I was in the small blind and looked down at KQ suited and decided to call. The flop had a queen and I decided to check-raise. He made the maximum continuation bet of 8 BB, and then I raised him to 32 BB which was a lot of chips at the time and nearly put me all in. He thought about it for an agonizing minute or two and then called me down with a QJ. My hand held up and I had some chips to play with.

Fourth Quarter Action
At this point there were ~18 people left and we had already made the money. I was short stacked and was very excited to see an AK suited in the small blind. There were two limpers and I could have pushed all-in, but I decided to just call and wait to see the flop. I missed and decided to check, and then the first limper (Karim) made a big bet and the second limper called and so I mucked my hand. The hand saw a showdown and it turned out the first limper had KK. I think a lot of people would have played that hand differently and pushed their short stack pre-flop.

The Final Table Players
The players in the final 6 were all pretty strong. In clockwise from my left were:
* Karim -- a very strong player overall. (CardPlayer)
* Todd -- a very tight player. (CP)
* Leo -- a very aggressive internet player. (CP)
* Dave S. -- a solid player with some gamble (CP) (website) (blog entry)
* Adam -- a young, aggressive, expressionless player (CP) (website) (blog entry)

Of the final six, Dave S. and Adam really stood out in my mind. While they were both very solid players who were going for first place, in many ways they were exact opposites. While Dave S. was animated and talkative giving off many real and false tells, Adam was truly expressionless and was very giving up very little. Dave S. was older and experienced, while Adam was only 20 years old (he can't legally play in many US states). While Dave S. relied heavily on tells and reading people, Adam was very calculating and mathematical.

Final Table Action
I was the short stack when there were 7 or 8 people left and then I doubled up twice. I actually don't remember the specifics of the hands I doubled up on because it all happened so fast. Dave S. reminded me that one of my double-ups had my A8 against his 66. The chips moved around quite a bit with 6 people left and there were several times when someone (including myself) could have been knocked out but wasn't. With five people left I had become the chip leader. Adam had become quite short stacked, and when we were both in the blinds we saw a cheap flop -- I made a continuation bet and Adam tried to make a check-raise move on me, but I actually had something and knocked him out. I think Dave S. knocked Todd out and then I knocked Dave S. out with an AT vs. his A3.

Heads Up
I had approximately 3.5 times the chips Karim did going into heads up play. We folded our blinds to each other several times and raised the other out several times both pre-flop and post-flop. There was only one significant hand (aside from the final one) worth mentioning. I had a Q9 and called his pre-flop raise. We both checked the flop and the turn and by the river I had caught a straight. I bet the pot and he called (I never saw what he had) which took a good third of his chips.

The Final Hand
By now I had close to 5 times the chips that Karim had, and with the blinds being pretty big he pushed in with a K9 offsuit and I called with an A3 offsuit. The flop came down K25, which added some excitement -- and then I hit a 4 on the river to win with a straight.

The Prize
There was no big novelty cheque -- I was a little disappointed by that... in fact, I had to wait 20 minutes for the casino to process my regular sized cheque. First place also came with a Movado watch with a Johnny Chan logo on it (I'll add photos later). I found the exact model (0605899) here, which gives a suggested retail of $1,400 -- so it's probably worth a grand. Of course, it has the Johnny Chan logo and is inscribed on the back, so I guess it's priceless.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Johnny Chan Poker Classic - 1st Place!
Johnny Chan LogoI can hardly believe it myself, but I just won the $1,000 buy-in Pot Limit Hold 'Em Event at the Inaugural Johnny Chan Poker Classic. I could barely afford the $1,000 buy-in, and my good friend Jon went in 50/50 with me and is entitled to half the winnings. First place was $58,860 and so I'm only going to see half of that... which is still pretty fantastic. I just got home at 2am, and I'm exhausted after playing 12 straight hours of poker. I'll give an update later with more details.