Sunday, June 29, 2014

Full Tilt Poker Claims

I was one of the 'lucky' few many that had a withdrawal from Full Tilt Poker seized by the United States Federal Government. Yay me!

Sigh.

Thankfully, I had taken almost all of my money off of FTP before the seizure and subsequent shut down of FTP. The Pokerslut Tour had moved over to Poker Stars because of their Home Game and the lower buyins they offered on private tournaments. I had put $100 on there to support my home game play but pulled the rest of my money out of online poker sites. I had my Poker Stars money back within 10 days of the request. Too bad I hadn't moved all my money to Poker Stars.

My seized withdrawal was the final step in divesting from online poker.

Imagine the thrill I felt when I heard the news that accounts had been seized knowing I had just deposited that last withdrawal check. Yep, not long after that I received the bounced deposit notice from my credit union including a 'negotiable copy' of the withdrawal that I could resubmit if/when funds were available.

The announcement that players would be reimbursed was good news but, clearly, it wasn't going to be a fast or easy process. Like many players I submitted my petition but wondered if I would ever see my missing deposit ever again.

The claim process seemed pretty straight forward. My FTP balance was correct - I had managed to turn some FPT points into cold hard cash before the site closed. I also submitted copies of the bounced deposit. All that was left was the waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

The first wave of reimbursements was announced. I received... nothing.

On March 10th I received this response to my query about not receiving any payment:
Thank you for your email. On February 28, 2014, the first round of payments was issued to Petitioners who timely confirmed their FTP Account Balance online. Please be advised that players who disputed their FTP account balance, or who submitted multiple, incomplete or late petitions were not included in this first round of payments. Also, Petitioners who were sent emails asking for correct bank account information were not included in the first round of payments. Information about payments to additional Petitioners will be posted on the administration website when available, at www.fulltiltpokerclaims.com.
The second wave of reimbursements was announced. I received... nothing.

On April 21st I was told:
Thank you for your email. GCG continues to work with the Department of Justice to evaluate disputed Petitions and timelines for the remainder of the distributions. Our records indicate that you did not provide the amount that you are disputing. Please reply with the information so can update your petition accordingly.
Please continue to check this website for information regarding future payments to approved Petitioners.
So, the copy of my bounced withdrawal check was too confusing. They couldn't add that to my verified FTP balance and determine what I was owed. Fine. I did the basic math and sent them an email with that number.

On June 18th I once again asked when I could expect payment and was informed:
Thank you for your email. Our records indicate that you are disputing the account balance provided to us by Full Tilt. GCG is working with the Department of Justice to evaluate disputed and new Petitions and timelines for the remainder of the distributions. We do not have a timeline as of yet for when disputed petitions will be paid.

Please continue to check the administration website at www.fulltiltpokerclaims.com
 

Seriously? No payments have been made to anybody with a disputed balance? Where do you think the money came from to pay these undisputed accounts?

Just to make sure I fired off an email; their response:
Thank you for your email. The distributions that have occurred concerned only those players who accepted and confirmed their FTP account balance. Players with disputed balances have not yet received payment. As mentioned in our prior response, we do not have a timeline as of yet for when disputed petitions will be paid, however, an update will be posted on the administration website once available at www.fulltiltpokerclaims.com.
Turns out NONE of the players with disputed balances have been paid.

None.

None of the people that had money they were expecting to show up in their accounts - money that was taken from them in the seizure - have been paid.

Uh, WTF!?!??!

These people are, arguably, the ones that were most harmed by all of this and not a one of them has been paid.

Those people who had the good fortune of not having requested a withdrawal during that critical time have been paid WITH OUR MONEY.

I don't begrudge them their payments. Really, I don't. They were owed their money as much as I am owed mine. I am annoyed that they are being paid with my money and there's no timeline for my payment.

TL;DR: I'm last in line to get my money back from FTP.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer

Summer is here.

I should feel guilty about how little I plan to do but I don't intend to.

Oldest is in China for two weeks with a friend and his family. Youngest just got back from one week at swim camp.

Other than a 10 day trip to visit my dad there's nothing else on my calendar.

Looks like I will be free to indulge in my binge watching of some shows I've yet to see.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Billiards

This spring I managed to talk TOH into getting a pool table. It helped that he had just spent an afternoon reminiscing with an old high school friend dredging up memories of playing pool in said friend's basement :D


This bad boy came with the ping pong top and a wall rack.  Yes, I said rack.

My youth was spent playing pool at my grandmother's house and my own house after my parents divorced - my dad had a bitching bachelor pad made perfect by the addition of two bratty kids.

Because I learned to play pool by mirroring the person across the table from me I ended up playing left handed. This was actually a good thing because, it turns out, I am left eye dominant. No wonder I couldn't shoot a BB gun for shit, doh.

Last night we hosted the monthly couples euchre game. After euchre we had a few games of pool. Clearly some people have not had the delinquent upraising I had but we still had a lot of fun.

The boys have taken to playing pool but the oldest is much more willing to take me on than the younger (who is much too fond of shooting people with fake guns on his computer - MOTHER OF THE YEAR!).


The goal is to have the boys earn their college spending money hustling pool. Good thing we have a couple more years to work on that. MOTHER OF THE YEAR!!!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Coffee or Tea for Me?

I gave up coffee a while back.

I just heard a collective gasp from most of you.

It is no where near as bad as you might think. I was drinking mainly decaf anyway (yeah I just saw you roll your eyes, biatch). For many reasons I decided I would be better off without coffee.

I have always been a fan of tea, hot or iced. Switching to iced tea was easy during the summer time. I opted for the full caff version of tea because decaf just doesn’t taste as good. I was a little wound up to start with but I quickly adapted.

Now the one good thing about tea is that there’s a Brazillian different kinds. A quick search of the web leads you to all kinds of enticing flavors.

It was the search for free wifi that led me to Leaves n Beans. The oldest has orchestra rehearsal every week about a half hour from my house. In the middle of nowhere. Hence the search for free wifi.

Turns out Leaves n Beans is only minutes from the rehearsal location. Of course I was planning on buying something in exchange for the free wifi so I perused their dedicated Leaves n Beans room where I found Khan’s Delight.

I have a friend who used to go by Khan (she now prefers T) so how could I pass that up???

Caffeine-free, exhilarating herbs sparkle with tangy notes of hibiscus, lemon grass, mint, and other tasty herbs.

Doesn’t that look amazing???

2013-02-01 07.24.29

Trust me, it tastes even better than it looks!

After a few visits to Panera I’ve figured out that I like Earl Grey, too. It’s nice to have options.

So don’t feel sorry for me. I don’t miss coffee very often and I still, on the rare day, indulge in a cup of regular joe but my everyday go to beverage will be tea. Glorious, delightful, delicious tea.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Google Voice

Like most people, I was all oooh, aaaah when Google Voice came along.

I’m not sure when I picked up number but I had it for a long, long time before I did anything with it.

Then came the day when the school tried to call me and I didn’t get the message. Suddenly I realized that I could connect my home and cell phones to the Google Voice number and give that number out for those times I really REALLY want to get the call. This should guarantee that I never miss another important call.

Plus, I get to choose which line I answer the call with. If I’m at home I pick that up instead of the cell. If I’m out running around I get the call on my cell. It works like a charm.

If you carry multiple phones or if you move a lot and don’t want to be constantly handing out a new phone number then Google Voice is the way to go. One number forever. Forever!

I’ve slowly been changing my number with everybody. My in-laws can reach me anytime, anywhere… hmm, maybe not such a good idea after all. I kid – I love my in-laws dearly.

The plumber, the kids’ schools, my doctor’s offices. It is so much easier to not have to check my voice mail. Of course, Google Voice does voice mail – they even transcribe messages for you and send an email of message content. But, I don’t use them for voice mail.

Perhaps the thing that really sold me on Google Voice was the ability to block calls. No more messing with Credit Card Services (those assholes are constantly calling my home number, sigh) or any other unwanted callers.

So far I haven’t gotten any spammers calling my Google Voice number but I may have registered it on the national do not call registry so I can’t vouch for that.

I don’t even use all of Google Voice’s features but I’m thrilled with it so far. The next time you find yourself having to get a new phone number you should think about trying out Google Voice. It will be the last time you have to change numbers.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Google Music

There was a time when I was really into music. I was going to concerts regularly with my besty of the time. Even after I moved away I would still make it back to see a show.

Then it just dropped off. The kids and I started listening to podcasts instead of music – there’s some really entertaining and informative podcasts out there.

As you know, I’ve been a longtime fan of all things Google. I’ve used most of the stuff they offer. For some reason Google Music just didn’t hold any appeal for me. I’ve been buying what little music I buy from Amazon. I’ve used their service to play music but mostly I just listen to podcasts.

Google Music came along and I half assed set it up then just stopped the client from running. I wasn’t using it and I rarely listened to music anymore.

I have to admit my coming back to Google Music for a second run had a lot to do with Amazon discontinuing their free upgrade to Premium service just by buying an album or two over the course of a year. I don’t know why they stopped that but I can’t get a fraction of my music library on their service now without having to pay. I already give Amazon enough of my money. I just can’t justify doing that when Google Music is free.

I recently bought a Bluetooth Speaker dock for my phone. Mostly I just charged the phone and played podcasts. Then I started using it to play Amazon Music – I buy a lot of those 99 classical pieces for 99c deals they have all the time.

For some reason I forgot that my Zenbook has BT, d’oh. Connected the laptop to the speakers and OMG what a huge improvement. I decided to download all my Amazon music and upload it to Google Music. No need to have both services.

The more I use Google Music the more I find to like about it. I just found the mixes based on a song in your collection. These are awesome sauce! I stroll through my Google Music home page and I’ll spot a mix based on a song I love and away I go.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up on my podcasts. They are awesome in the car. But, when I’m home I’m usually listening to my Google Music via BT from the Zenbook to my Philips speakers.

Now, if you don’t have a big library of music then you are probably better off with a streaming service but if you haven’t tried Google Music you should definitely give it a try. I’m finding all these songs and artists I used to love. I’m slowly getting back my love for music.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dayton

My BFF T lives in Dayton, OH. I’ve been there a couple of times to visit but she has visited me more than I have visited her.

It was time to rectify that situation.

So what does one do when they are in Dayton? No worries, my friend T has that under control.

2012-05-06 21.04.49

The first night we went to a Planned Parenthood fundraiser – drinks, appetizers and dinner at El Meson! Margaritas, mmm mmmm mmmmmm. They had a mole’ making talk and a Tequila tasting before dinner.

cabo wabo

The food was top notch and so was the tequila – Cabo Wabo!
Reposado is my favorite just in case you are thinking about buying me a bottle Winking smile

The next day we had a lunch reservation at Olive but we had some errands to run before lunch. Errands included a stop at the liquor store to pick up the ingredients for Manhattans. Our plan was to channel our inner Mad Men and start drinking at lunch. Woohoooo! Makers Mark, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters and cherries.  I was surprised when the hipster waiter at Olive knew we were having Manhattans just by looking at our glasses since he was all of 12a years old *eye roll*.

a +/- 20 years, pry + Winking smile

The next stop was Beaute Box for pedicures. But not just any pedicure, T had hooked us up with Minx pedicures! Instead of using nail polish, Minx is a shrink wrap film that really lasts. The choices were amazing. You can’t tell from the picture but the design on the smaller toes looks like a circuit board – how cool is that????

DaytonToes

Another buddy from the poker days, predator006, was nearby and agreed to meet us for dinner and drinks. We were already a few Manhattans into our day when we stopped by for a water break to pass some time until the dinner venue, Sidebar, was done with a private party.

Since the Manhattans were treating us well we decided to stick with those for our pre-dinner cocktail. The Sidebar-tender actually mixes everything from scratch right on the bar in front of you. Needless to say, his concoction was far superior to what T and I have been mixing.

The plan for the third day was to recover from the Manhattans then head for Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, IN – a little over an hour away. T was abused at the table by her own brother and predator006 while I didn’t fare much better that she did. Our stomachs told us it was time to find another place to fortify ourselves for the trip home. Predator suggest Whiskey’s for ribs. We have some experience with his food predilections and were somewhat concerned about his choice but we were pleasantly surprised – the food was awesome! I highly recommend the stuffed mushroom appetizer. The ribs were so tender they fell right off the bone but by the time they arrived I was stuffed from the lettuce wedge and appetizers.

It was a total shame that I had to head out early the next morning to get back to my real life. If T keeps showing me such a good time I may show up for a visit and never leave.

td;dr version: I ate and drank myself silly, had my toes done, played a little poker and didn’t want to go back home.