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The Octopus, the Turkey, and Poker Staking

by Katie Dozier |  Published: Dec 17, '12


The last few weeks have been a blur of online poker, turkey, and octopus.
Of course, the turkey came into play for Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year:

Collin’s parents (Tamara and Marc) came to visit us in Vegas, and I went all out on the dessert, concocting a recipe for pumpkin cake with chocolate butter-cream frosting. I decorated it with pecan tartlets to look like sunflowers:

The Monday after Thanksgiving, we headed back to Mexico, and my mid-stakes online grind resumed. I played around 150 hours in the two weeks that we were there. My best win occurred the day before we left, and wouldn’t have been possible without this hand at the final table.

Also in Mexico, Marc and Collin assisted in adding to my collection of sea urchin shells found on the beach near our place:

As always, Wilbur and I loved going to the beach almost every day before starting the grindetting.

A few minutes from our beach are dozens of tide pools, full of unusual sea life. I loved playing with hermit crabs, and I got to live out a childhood dream of holding a starfish.

Collin and Marc procured the best shrimp I’ve ever tasted (more like lobster than shrimp) from the Ensenada fish market. I also got to cook cactus paddles for the first time; they tasted like intense okra. Which, in my case, was a good thing!

At the fish market, they also got octopus, which is a notoriously difficult thing to cook correctly, but both at the tables and behind the stove, I love a challenge!

One night, I asked Collin to order takeout so that I could start playing earlier. Instead, he said he wanted to make the octopus.

“Okay,” I said, “But you’ll need to cut it into small pieces and sauté it in a really hot pan—but don’t let the pan catch on fire.”

Once in the kitchen, I guess Collin correctly deduced that cutting the octopus into tiny chunks was going to take a lot of time. So he neglected to do that and (though I was playing and unaware of it at the time) the oil in the pan caught on fire. Despite years of chemistry classes at Cal-Tech, he elected to throw water on the pan.

Fortunately Marc swooped in to the rescue. I guess you could say that the octopus was “saved” but let’s just say that I choose to eat nuts for dinner. Collin does brew the best coffee in the house though!

Now we’re back in Vegas for a couple of weeks, and a lot of our time is being spent heavily debating making a full-time move to Mexico in February. As much as we love Vegas, moving to Mexico seems to make a lot more sense, and we’re leaning towards moving south of the border.

And finally, I’m happy to announce that I’m getting more involved in the staking side of Team Moshman. I’m taking applications to

Please include the following info:

Your name, country, and contact info.
All screen names that you have on all sites that you play.
The game format that you play. (Ex: 9-man, Double-or-Nothing, Cash, MTT)
The buyin level. (Minimum $5 for SNG, $25NL for Cash)
How many games (or hands for cash) are you willing to play each week? (Minimum 150 games for 9-man SNG, 8,000 hands for cash)
Why do you need a stake? What are your goals with this stake?
A concise paragraph on your playing history, including previous coaching undertaken where applicable.
Details and contact information for each reference.

I wish everyone a happy holiday season, totally devoid of octopus fires!

Katie “hotjenny314” Dozier is a lead coach for Team Moshman and one of the Grindettes. An accomplished super-turbo and MTT player, she makes videos for Drag The Bar and PokerStrategy . Dozier, co-authored Pro Poker Strategy: The Top Skills and The Superuser. She posts more frequent updates on Twitter.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of