Saturday, July 29, 2006

Poker

Follow me at the WSOP over at knizacky.com/blog!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Semifinals

I'm now sitting at the Arena about an hour before the semifinals are supposed to start. Two best of five matches, so its probably going to be a long day. They start 1am est for those of you that are up at this hour.

I'm getting pretty used to the camera being on me, and I'm not really sure if that's a good thing or not. Sometimes its distracting as its hard to talk and be looking at yourself at the same time. Ah well.

Three more days in China left and I'm definately ready to come home.

China Cont.

Pretty busy the last few days as we had two days in a row of casting. Today we have a break as the counterstrike semifinals are being played, tomorrow is the warcraft semis, the day after is cs finals then on may 3rd the warcraft finals. My flight is on the 4th, which only leaves a few days for me to get used to the time zone again, move to my apartment, and start a new job. Going to be quite hectic indeed!

I finally installed the webcam on my laptop and was able to see Heidi and Rusty (our dog) and vice versa, so that helped a bit. I'm still doing pretty well here, just getting tired of not being home.

A few of the differences in China:

a) No Tipping. Period. Employees will get fired if they accept tips.

b) A LOT of bicycles and motorized bikes, they actually have their own lanes.

c) The street lanes mean absolutely nothing. People drive where they want to, when they want to. Makes for cheap entertainment I guess.

d) No one is safe on the streets. Pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers all think that they should have the right of way, so there are lots of instances of people pulling out in front of each other, yes even the large buses have bicycles cutting them off!

e) All of the food is a LOT healthier. I ate at KFC for the first time yesterday, and got an upset stomach.

f) Batering for goods (not food or most services). I'm really uncomfortable doing this, so as a result I haven't purchased as many things as I would've liked. Pretty ineffecient but works for them I guess.

That's all I can think of at the moment. I think I'm going to watch the amercian counterstrike team, Complexity, in the semifinals, so I better get going.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just a quick post before I go to bed, I will be casting at 6am est tomorrow morning, so if you're able to wake up that early (or stay up that late!) try to tune in!

For those of you that are technically inclined, here's some help if you've been having problems with the stream:

http://gotfrag.com/cs/forums/thread/200876/

For the rest of you.....take a class! =)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

China Cont.

Well one thing is for certain. I could never live in this area of China as my allergies have never been worse! It could be due in large part to the hotel room, but I'm not certain. Its a good thing I have Sudafed and one of the gotfrag guys gave me a package of Claritin as he had 40 pills or so.

I was able to see West Lake, probably the biggest tourist attraction here in Hangzhou, and it was really pretty. I met Steven Yong, COO of www.ggl.com who took us (4K.Tod, Jaczie, Jason (Fighter2g who came to visit us from Beijing where he is studying abroad) and myself out to a VERY nice restaurant overlooking West Lake. The food was good, Steven ordered us some local specialties such as Beggar's Chicken, which is chicken cooked inside of bread. I even ate some squid which didn't turn out to be too bad.

A few days ago I was able to get into a poker game with the Warcraft 3 players (note to those of you in any poker leagues I'm in, I won't be rusty when I get back =) ), only a few of them were good so I managed to do VERY well in that 1/2 (rmb) no limit game. 8 rmb = 1 usd in case you were wondering. I got into a second game last night, since I sort of felt bad about the first game (yes I did that well) I sort of played pretty poorly and threw money around. Even so I was only down 50rmb, but the players seemed to be in a better mood so all is good.

The second time casting went much better than the first! Things seem to go very smoothly and we weren't nearly as tired as we only had 2 matches for that day. There is another cast at 6am this morning, so if you're able to watch that would be great!

Oh one more thing, I posted quite a few more pictures, please use the link in the last post.

Comments are always welcome! I have it on moderate comments setting, as China has blogspot.com domain blocked (I edit using the blogger.com domain) so that's the only way I've figured out how to read the comments besides using a proxy.

Wish me luck for the next cast!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

China Cont.

I posted more photos here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52409234@N00/

Just got done with my first day casting, and boy was it a LONG day. We did 11 games total, arriving at the arena at 11am and leaving around 11pm. I'm pretty sure I talked more yesterday than I ever have.

I wasn't able to get the url for the stream in time to post it, but here it is for future reference:

http://www.esport.org/

Jaczie (my casting partner) talked with Heidi (my girlfriend for the uninformed) and gave her the link the day before we were going to cast, so hopefully she will post a comment here with instructions to its use as I really don't know. I think that there is some .exe file that is needed, but it should be self-explanatory.

A few days ago I was able to attend a fan meeting with two 4 Kings players, Grubby and Tod. I must say that it was really weird to see actual fans of players, as over the last few days I've gotten to know them and they are really just people with a love for what they do.

I'm still really exhausted from last night, need to go and get some food and take a shower.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

China Cont.

I haven't written for a few days, and for that I apologize. I'm going to try to make a post on days that I don't have to cast. Here's a list of days that I AM casting:

April 22nd
April 24th
April 26th
April 28th
April 29th
May 1st
May 3rd

Keep in mind that there is a 12 hour time difference. For example, for me it is currently 11am on Thursday, and for most of you it is 11pm Wednesday (est). They haven't released a link for the video stream yet, but I will post it when it becomes available.

The last few days have been pretty cool for me, as I've gotten to me half of the Warcraft players, and the other caster, Jaczie from www.wcreplays.com. They are all extremely nice, and the European players even remember me and playing against me back when I used to be good, so that was VERY neat.

Days seem to blend together when you really aren't 100% sure what day it is, so here's a recap of what I've done the last few days.

- Yuni, one of the head WEG business people, arrived and all of the WEG staff and commentators went out to a Korean restaurant. They had a LOT of dishes that you cooked yourself. There was a stove in the middle of the table with boiling spicy sauce and a less-spicy sauce that you just threw your food into. Lots of different meats, vegetables, and even LIVE prawns that were on a stick. It was really weird to see your food still moving...
All in all it was a great dinner, and I'm proud to say that I have not had to ask for a fork and knife yet.

- Met the Complexity CounterStrike team, which my brother will be jealous of, told them who I was and of course that I was col.DOGKaiser's brother whom they know of hehe.

- Went to the grocery store by myself! This may not seem like such a big deal to some of you, but it was pretty big step for me.

I can't really remember anything else at the moment, so that just means I'll have to post more often!

On a side note, yes I did remember to finish my taxes before I left, thanks for asking though!

Also, its REALLY great to read all the comments everyone posts. It helps me to know that people are actually reading this thing and who you are! So if you haven't posted at least once yet, DO SO NOW. Thanks!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Day 1 + 2

The first day was very uneventful. We went out to lunch at a place called the Strait's Cafe which is just a short walk from the hotel. I went out on a limb and ordered Honey Waffles as my first meal in China. The honey was very sweet (even for me!) and there was also a spread that tasted like liquid powdered sugar.

After eating we went back to the hotel and picked up the schedule for the events. Looks like I'm going to be casting for a total of 7 days starting on the 22nd and then every other day. The first day will be the hardest (of course) since there is a possibility of 12 games being played.

We were told that we were going to be able to see the venue today at 2pm, but at the last minute they said that we weren't going to be able to go until the next day.

We just hung out at the hotel for the rest of the night, with me retiring at a very early 6pm (bad jetlag bad)

Saturday we again went to the Strait's Cafe, as they have a very wide assortment of items for the more culturally inclined to the more boring eaters. I think that their menu has 20 different pages on it! I ordered a ham and egg sandwich, which was ok, and then we headed back to the hotel.

We found out that we were going to go to the venue at 3pm, so we decided to check out a very small shopping center that was near the hotel. That turns out to be uneventful, besides the fact that everyone stares at us, sure is different being the extreme minority!

At 3 we head out to the venue. Its being held at some sort of art university's stage. I have pictures that I'll hopefully post soon. The main producer (Kim Geelee) went over a lot of things with us, in Korean of course, so there was both a Korean to English and Korean to Chinese translators. Should be pretty cool once things get started, I just hope that I don't get too nervous, especially since the other English caster wasn't told about going, so hopefully someone tells her what's going on.

The guy in charge of the English broadcast is from Sweden (Jonah) and his assistant? (Jonas) is from Norway. They both seem like nice guys.

When we get done with our instructions, Johan wanted to go and get some audio equipment, so me, Trevor, Johan, Jonas, Jake, Mark, and our interpreter Nancy all went to this huge shopping center. It had at least 6 floors to it and was just packed. He wasn't able to find what he was looking for as the store that had his equipment was closed at the time.

We left the mall and decided to try to find some food. Jonas had a video camera with him (part of the production that him and Jonah are putting together) and I turned around and saw him filming an elderly man with his pet orangatang! After watching that for a few minutes we headed out once more. We found a restaurant that seemed pretty fancy, so of course they put us in our own room. We had our interpreter order for us, as none of us could read the menu. Some of the dishes that we had were: Chicken with some sort of nut, rice with eggs, dumplings, sauteed beef, chicken (the whole thing was in there...), broccoli, oranges and small sticks of raw sugar cane, some weird nasty pudding, and some other things that I didn't really know what they were.

After dinner I headed back to the hotel with Jonas and Jonah. They found some of their euro buddies and I went to bed at around 8pm. Hopefully I'll be able to last longer tomorrow!

Update: http://www.flickr.com/photos/52409234@N00/