Thursday, June 19, 2008


One of my readers runs a poker strategy forum, bonus/rakeback type site, he contacted me about some thoughts on where weak players are still pooling at USA sites. It seems the biggest sites like Stars and even Full Tilt have tightened up considerably these days. Smaller sites and networks that offer big bonuses or a catchy theme seem to be doing a better job of attracting those social gambler ATM's.

One such room is Cake Poker. It seems odd at first. Poker and cake?? They make it work though, and they have a highly addictive gold card system that will keep the fish biting for a long time. If you want to have a look, make sure to create a cake rakeback account first.

Besides rakeback deals, there are still plenty of poker bonus codes floating around, though the clearing conditions have changed a lot. Of course there will always be plenty of action for smaller stake players, with so many no deposit bonus deals and free poker bankroll offers to be had.

If you're looking for more bonuses and deals, get in touch with Keith. He posts semi-regularly on his own poker strategy blog.

Monday, June 2, 2008

And There Is An End!

Well the BBT3 came to a conclusion last night........

Thanks to SirAlCantHang,for putting this all together and to Full Tilt for all the great prizes. I would also like to give a shout out to Hoyazo, Riggstad, Mookie, Cracknaces, and Miami Don for putting great games together for all of us to enjoy.

For me it's been a long 3 months.... I played every single event with not such good results. However up until the the last 2 weeks I had a great time. The last 2 weeks have been so frustrating for me because I felt I played the best poker I know how only to get sucked out on time and time again. It kind of felt that reciprocity was kicking me in the ass.....

Also thanks to Buddy Dank and Live Poker Radio for the great coverage of most of the events.

I will now try to meet my goals by the end of the year by having a win in all the events, 2 down, 3 to go including the Big Game.

Hope to see you all at the Hoy tonight starting at 10:00pm. Password: Hammer.

Saturday, May 31, 2008



Throughout the course of writing my story I had been asked where I found my strength. I'm not a very religious person, but one prayer that was constant in my everyday life of recovery was the Serenity Prayer. It is a prayer that was adopted by all 12 Step Programs.

GOD . . .
Grant us the Serenity to accept the things we cannot change.
The Courage to change the things we can . . .
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

Each line of this prayer helped me:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.

The first line of the prayer is asking us to know when to let things go, and to let them go with peace. Every day there will come into our lives people and situations we have no control over. When we can realize that we have no power to change them, we can start working on what we can change, which is ourselves and how we react to certain people and situations.

The courage to change the things I can.

The second line of the prayer is a reminder that it can, indeed, take courage to make changes in our lives. Change may be very frightening for some, even if it is moving from a bad situation into a better situation. Letting go of negative relationships and situations are not always easy. We may still love the person; we may be use to the situation, and find the familiarity comforting. That is why it is important to ask for the courage to be able to make these changes and to remember that no one is expected to do this on their own. Whether we turn to a higher power, close friends or family, or a family doctor or counselor, there is someone there to help make the transition a little easier.

And the wisdom to know the difference.

This may be the most important part of the prayer, for if we lack the wisdom to know when change is possible or not, we may find ourselves beating our heads against the proverbial “brick wall.” We have to remember that we cannot force other people to change, and that sometimes we have no power to change certain situations. Sometimes it is actually just better to move ourselves out of that situation rather than try to force change on others.

The key to happiness does not lie in changing our outer world, but in changing how we see the outer world by changing our inner world. Serenity is found within us, and one way to find that inner peace is to follow the steps of the Serenity Prayer.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How I Found Recovery! Part 15


Tom was still working down in New Hope, Pa and traveling back and forth now for years. It was starting to take a toll on all of us. So we decided that we would start looking to move to Bucks County. Although it was hard to leave my family and friends I knew that it was time to become the whole family, not just a part-time family. Life was too short not to be able to spend time together. I needed a full-time husband and Kyra needed a full-time dad. It was one of the best moves we ever decided to make.

Shortly after moving to Bucks County, Kyra was complaining about her legs always being sore. I really thought it was just growing pains, until one day she was sitting on the floor and she couldn't cross her legs to sit Indian style, I also noticed that when she sat for a long period of time when she got up to walk she would hobble and her knees were all swollen. It reminded me so much of my mother when her arthritis was really bad. I took her to the doctors and they first diagnosed her with Chrondomalacia which is a condition in which the cartilage beneath the kneecap becomes softened. The doctor told me it was common in girls her age who were active especially if they were dancers. I wasn't really happy with that because like I said it reminded me so much of my mother and I asked him to run blood work for arthritis. When the test came back it didn't support any signs of arthritis I asked him if he would get us into Children's Hospital in Philadelphia to see an Orthopedic doctor. He made us an appointment and the doctor confirmed that it was indeed Chrondomalacia, however he only went by the ex-rays that our family doctor had sent to him. The doctor in Philly wanted her to go for physical therapy. After several appointments with the physical therapist, he said to me, I don't believe this is helping, he said I think I'm hurting her more than I'm helping her. He said I think she has a form of arthritis. So I call my family doctor back and he was somewhat taken back about me asking if he could get us an appointment again at Children's Hospital but with a Rheumatologist. He told me if I wanted one I needed to do it myself. I waited 3 weeks for an appointment. Finally when we get to her appointment and the doctor sees her for the first time, he looks at her ankles, knees, fingers, arms, and her jaw. He turns to both Tom and I and said this kid is loaded with arthritis. She was diagnosed with Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis. I asked him if this is something that she may out grow, he looked me straight in the eyes and said she would never outgrow it, however it can go into a remission. I asked him what are the chances that would happen, his response was either she will be in remission by the time she is 16 years old or that she will be in a wheelchair. He immediately started her on a steroid, followed by Embrel and Methotrexate which is used for the primary treatment of psoriasis and certain cancers. We would give her the shots of both medications. However the embrel burned as it was injected into her little body. After discussing this with her doctor at Children's Hospital, he told us that there was another medicine that was very good called Remicade, but that we would have to take her to Children's Hospital to get it because it was given to children intravenously. He also discussed with us the fact that because of these medications that her resistance would be very low. She needed to have blood work taken every month to make sure her counts would be okay. Kyra is still continuing to get the medicine once a month and I'm happy to report that it has been working good and she is living the life that an 11 year old should live except for the fact that she catches every flu that has been out this year.

I can't believe how the years have passed, we have been living in New Hope for 5 years and I'm getting ready to celebrate 15 years clean, and Kyra is getting ready to finish 6th grade.

As you can see I have come along way from where I was at 15 years ago, I've worked really hard in my recovery to be where I'm at today. Although we all still have to live life on life's terms I have learned not to take the easier and softer way to deal with situations at hand, and I know that "Just For Today" I can get through life without the use of drugs.

It took several years, but I learned to be grateful for my addiction and the program of recovery it forced me into, for all the things that had happened to me and for me, for a life today that transcends and far exceeds anything I had previously known. I could not have that today if I had not experienced the yesterdays.... Adversity truly introduces us to ourselves, but we need never deal with our adversities alone as long as we have friends. Through adversity I found strength. Life didn't end when I got clean........IT STARTED

Oh and one last thing!

" My name is Lori and I'm a grateful recovering addict and thank you all for letting me share my story". Your support has been so overwhelming and I love each and every one of you........

The End!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How I Found Recovery! Part 14


My phone was ringing off the hook once the word got out that I had lost the baby. I really didn't want to talk to anyone. For everyone person that I didn't talk to, two would show up at my door.

My doctor called me to see how I was doing and he told me that he could give me something to calm me down.......I thought to myself okay, it's a prescription so I could take it. I told him okay. When I hung up the phone I thought for a minute I can't do that, I knew damn well where that would lead me, so I called his office back and told the nurse that I didn't want the doctor to call me in a prescription. I sat on my couch and I couldn't get the thought out of my head that I had just been through a horrible ordeal and if it was prescribed by a doctor why shouldn't I have something to calm me down, so I dial the phone again and talk to the nurse and told her I changed my mind that it would be okay for the doctor to give me something.

My thoughts were all over the place and the tears kept flowing and I felt like I had this hole in the middle of my heart, so taking something to ease that pain is just what I needed. Just then Tom's sponsor Bob called me and I told him that I would be fine and that the doctor was going to give me something to calm myself down. Bob then said to me that he thought it was a bad idea to take anything and that I needed to talk to my sponsor before I did anything. We talked for awhile and one thing that he said sticks in my mind all the time. "YOU CAN'T FILL A GOD SIZED WHOLE WITH ANYTHING BUT GOD", I'm not a very religious person, but I got to thinking about that and before I knew it, I had called the doctors office once again and told the nurse that I didn't want any kind of drug and that if I called back again she needed to just hang up on me. You see I wanted to self medicate again to take away the pain I was feeling so I wouldn't have to feel anything, but I knew deep down that I needed to deal with was in front of me. So that night I went to a meeting and shared what I was feeling and although it was hard to talk without sobbing everyone there helped me get through it. There were two girls at the meeting that night that were pregnant, we kind of all found out at the same time. One girl was 22 with only 6 months clean, and the other girl was actually my sponsee. She was a married woman only she was pregnant with another man's child. The same question kept going through my mind, God why me?, I'm living my life in a good way, married, taking care of another child and yet you take away my child. I had to look deep inside my soul and still be able to be there for these girls especially the one I sponsored. With the help of my sponsor and my support group I did just that. I continued to go to meetings every night and share what I was feeling and through the grace of God I somehow became okay. (Wow what a difference I was beginning to be okay without the use of drugs) As much as I wanted more children I just somehow knew that God had another plan for me and it just wasn't to be. I was just grateful for the child I had, that I was given the gift of being a mother.

The months and days and years continued to fly by. We were leaving for Buffalo, New York to attend my family reunion. It was the first time going to a reunion clean and sober. The reunion was great and then I call home to get our messages and it was filled to capacity. Not one person who left a message said what it was about but that I needed to just call them. Finally when I reach my friend Mike he tells me something that once again I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Tom's sponsor Bob and his girlfriend were taking flying lessons in Atlanta and the plane crashed and that they both had died. Needless to say Tom and I were both devastated. Bob was a very instrumental part of both of our recovery and he was a big part of our life and he is missed everyday, there isn't a day that goes by that something doesn't remind me of him. We Love You Bob.

To be continued..........

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How I Found Recovery! Part 13


Driving home my contractions were 6 mins apart. My friend Bev was driving with us in case something happened on the way home she would be there for Kyra. Once we arrived back in Kingston, we dropped Bev and Kyra off at her house and I wanted to go home first. I needed to get a shower before we went to the hospital. I think at this point I was just trying to avoid the inevitable, my thoughts were that the pain would go away and all would be well. When we finally walked in the door, I told Tom to get a shower first, I called my doctor to let him know that we were back in town and I told him I would meet him at the hospital in Scranton. Once Tom was out of the shower and I got up from the couch I started to hemmorage, I saw the look on Tom's face and it was a look that I had never seen before. He immediately called the ambulance, and once they arrived I was still trying to tell them I was okay. Tom was going to follow the ambulance since we were 35 mins from the hospital. I can remember on the way to the hospital the paramedics calling the hospital and giving them my vitals, as a nurse I knew all to well that it wasn't good, my blood pressure had dropped to almost nothing. Once we arrived at the hospital they brought me right to labor and delivery and the first nurse that I see was my friend, the nurse I mentioned in one of my earlier posts when she was in the ICU. She had now been working in labor and delivery for about 3 years. My contractions were only 3 mins apart and I was dilated to almost 10 centimeters. The doctor told me they were going to do everything in their power to save my baby. Once I delivered my little girl they handed her right to me, she could fit in the palm of my hand. I counted her toes and fingers and thought and she looked just like Kyra. I looked at Tom and I could see tears running down his face, my girlfriend the nurse had tears in her eyes and the doctor had such a sad look on his face. My baby girl had died in my arms. It was just too much for me to bear handing over the baby to anyone. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought if I just hugged her and kissed her she would start breathing again. I could hear the doctor saying it's time to give us the baby...... I could also hear one of the nurses saying that I needed to name her. I named her after my grandmother Mary Elizabeth. Once they took the baby out of the room, they told me that they were going to move me to a private room. I said no that I wanted to go home, they all looked at me like I had 9 heads including my husband. But there was no way I was staying there, I wanted to go get Kyra and go home and curl up on my couch and hide from the world.

Before they would release me they said I needed to talk to a social worker and it seemed liked hours and hours before one came. Once the social worker came to talk to Tom and I, she told us that we needed to call a funeral home. Tom and I looked at each other and neither one of us could really speak we weren't sure why they were going to put us through all that. The social worker explained that even though the baby lived for only 7 mins she had life and in the state of Pennsylvania it is mandated that an undertaker come and pick up the body. Tom called one of the local funeral homes and they told him they would come down and pick the baby up and call us the next morning.

I don't remember much of the ride home I was pretty much in a daze and couldn't stop crying. When we picked Kyra up all I could do was hold her and cry some more. I could remember Kyra saying, "Mommy it's okay and I love you"

The next day I called our priest and asked him if it was okay to have the baby cremated. In the catholic religion that use to be a no no. The priest gave me dispensation to do what I felt I needed to do. When the undertaker arrived we told him what we wanted to do. He asked if I wanted the baby to be dressed. Of course I do, she was my baby girl. I picked out a little angel urn to be her final resting place.

To be continued............

Monday, May 26, 2008

How I Found Recovery! Part 12


The days, weeks and months seemed to be flying by. Another year had past. Tom was gone all day and part of the night and Kyra and I did our thing. Kyra was getting ready to start pre-school. I wasn't sure I was ready to let go but I knew it would be the best thing for her. The first day of pre-school when Tom and I dropped her off she was so excited... most of the little tots were crying but Kyra acted like she couldn't wait for us to leave, I was so sad, as tears were rolling down my face. It was the first time that I had some free time during the day to do whatever. I went home and sat on the couch watching the clock waiting to go pick her up... go figure.... After a few months of going to pre-school when I went to pick her up one day the teacher said to me can I talk to you, I thought oh no what did my kid do, The teacher then asks me if by chance me and my husband are in recovery, well I could feel my face getting red and my answer probably came out with my voice shaking and said yes, why would you ask. She proceeded to tell me that a police officer had come in to talk to the kids about drugs, and for a minute I thought these kids are 3 and 4 years old why would you be speaking to them about drugs but anyway, she said that Kyra raised her hand and told the police officer that her mom and dad are drug addicts. Guessing that the police officer became curious he asked her if she is around drugs, Kyra said no, we go to meetings and my mom and dad don't do that stuff anymore because it's bad. Wow my own daughter broke our anonymity! The police officer called me later that day and told me about the conversation he had with Kyra and proceeded to tell me that he had never met a 3 year old who knew so much. I wasn't sure at that point whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. I can only hope that it's a good thing and that someday when she's old enough to make her own choices that she will remember the things she has heard shared at a meeting and be able to say no.... Time will tell! However I hired a babysitter to sit with her when I went to meetings because she was just this little sponge that remembered everything shared at a meeting. I felt she knew too much at this point and she needed to be just a little kid. Well she made it through 4 months of pre-school until one day when I went to pick her up the teacher asked me again if she could talk to me, once again I though oh no, now what. The teacher proceeded to tell me she feels I'm wasting my money by sending Kyra to pre-school there really wasn't anything they could teach her and she was way to young to move her up to the next level. She said Kyra got mad at the kids who colored outside the lines, she could count well over 100 and she knew her ABC's and that's pretty much what they do for the whole year. I thought to myself is this a way of telling me that my daughter is a pain in the ass! That was her last day of pre-school.

Again my clean date was fast approaching, I couldn't believe it. Wow another year, another celebration. It was shortly after celebrating 6 years that I got pregnant again. I had complications pretty much right from the beginning. The doctor once again put me on progesterone and told me I should get as much rest as possible. I thought this isn't going to be as easy as when I was pregnant with Kyra, because now I had to take care of her. As the months went by I began to feel better. I was asked to speak at an NA convention in Lancaster, Pa in Feb. After talking with my doctor he said it was okay to go as long as I didn't do any heavy lifting. I had attended this convention twice before and it was such an awesome weekend that I felt honored to be asked to share my experience with other recovering addicts. Also Bob who was our best man and Tom's sponsor was also speaking that weekend, he was such a great speaker, and since we really only saw him on holidays because he was getting his masters degree in North Carolina we decided to spend the whole weekend there. My girlfriend Bev and her husband were also going and we decided that we would take the kids, she had a daughter that was 2 years older than Kyra so they could play with each other. Friday night after hearing Bob speak I was feeling somewhat tired and decided that I would call it a night since I was speaking at 10:00am on Sat morning. I got up the next morning feeling good, but I was somewhat nervous about speaking, so after having breakfast with my sponsor who made calmed me down, I knew that I was ready. I spoke for 1 hour and when I was finished this girl who was only 18 years came up to me and told me she had only 2 weeks clean and she asked me to sponsor her. It was a good feeling to know that I at least touched one person's life today.

The night brought us to the big meeting of the weekend. A guy by the name of Big Bob was going to be the main speaker. Big Bob was Tom's sponsor Bob's sponsor so it kind of was all in the family as far as sponsorship goes. During the meeting I was feeling very uncomfortable and feeling a lot of pressure in my stomach. After Big Bob was finished I went to the bathroom and again I saw something that no pregnant woman wants to see. After I told Tom we called my doctor and he wanted me to go right to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital a mid-wife came him to check me along with a nurse and they told me I was 4 centimeters dilated. I said no it can't be I'm only 6 months pregnant. They were very straight forward almost to the point of rudeness. I asked them if they could give me something to stop the labor and the nurse said no your having this baby tonight. I said no I'm not, and I looked at Tom and he agreed with me, not sure if it was by choice or because he knew I was getting ready to walk out of the hospital. I asked them to once again give me something to stop the labor and finally they did. I then discharged myself from the hospital. We get back to the hotel and I call my doctor and told him what they had told me and he told me he wanted me to get to our hospital in Scranton because it had a neonatial unit, as soon as possible but that he didn't want me to travel at night. He told me he would call the hospital in Lancaster and tell them I'll be there in the morning to give me another shot to stop the labor so that I could get home. When I arrived at the hospital the next morning the doctor checked me out and by this time I was 5 centimeters dilated and thought I should let him deliver the baby. He told me there was no chance for the baby to live, I told him I appreciate his kind words but just give me the shot so that I could go home to my doctor.

To be continued............