Tuesday, August 17, 2004

It's all in the timing.

I can read women. You've got to know their wants and their needs. And that can be anything from making sure she's got enough money to buy groceries each week to making sure she's gratified sexually after intercourse.
Gareth Keenan, "The Office"

Bloody top quote isn't it?

Hello to many new readers out there! I noticed my visitors have nearly doubled in the last few days, thanks mostly I'd say to a pimp from Iggy. To all the new guys and gals reading here I'd like to invite you to read the archives so you understand where I am coming from. Yes, I know obsessing over a bankroll that is 11.5 cents worth seems stupid and pointless, but that is what makes it fun for me. Never the less, lets crack on with this post.

I have had the worst luck in timing this week. Firstly, due to being Australian and having a job, I can not join in on the
Monty Memorial Poker Blogger Tournament this coming weekend. I know these blogger tournaments happen every now and then, but hopefully Iggy can make this one an annual event for our little internet sub-culture. For the record, I hate cats but I have always wanted to own a bulldog. Dogs are and will always be way cooler than cats (Triumph anyone?). Bulldogs are really expensive here, and living in an apartment complex makes it kinda impossible even if they were cheap. But I have a name picked out and a picture in my head as to what my pet will be. I know how much a pet can mean to a person, and the loss that comes with said pet passing, I think it is fantastic that Iggy can pay tribute to his lost friend with a few hands of poker. I look forward to reading about the "1st Annual" MMPBT next week (I'd get that trademarked if I were Iggy.).

Second case of bad luck; I logged on to many different poker sites trying to find some live games here in Australia, I managed to find a couple listed on some site I now forget. I fired off an email and was very pleased to get a response saying the games are held sporadically, and I would be informed of when the next one is. Then just yesterday, another email saying that there will be a low buy in game on this Saturday. Damn, this Saturday is my 24th birthday and we already have plans. How crap is that timing?

And last bit of crap timing...Well, not really but it is just a theme so go with me. Yesterday UPS came a rapping at my chamber door to deliver the poker table and chips that I ordered from eBay. The problem was they came to my place at 10am. I have a job, so of course I wasn't there. But by this time tomorrow I will have the bounty in my sweaty little hands. I'm sure to have pictures up before long. I know, you've seen all this stuff before and more than likely you have better poker stuff yourself, but it should be evident by now that this site is more for me than anybody else. I have also managed to get the three casino decks I was after, along with the Sahara for some reason, so all is well. I don't think we will have them in time for the Saturday night games we have planned (just for fun, no money with my friends as they have no idea how to play). We have a deck from "New York New York" a friend got from Vegas when they were over there. I don't know why, I just really like using casino decks. I think it is the lack of borders on the back or something.

On to my current games, I have had a bit of a roller coaster lately. I have found that I can use my Bugsy Bonus Points in single table tournaments for 1 point entry, the payouts are 5 for first, 3 for second and 2 for third. I was doing quite well, up to 18.5, then back down to 10.5, now settling back where I started. It's weird how many people are actually taking these 1 cent games seriously, myself included naturally. My last two losses came against poker pairs again. Maybe it is just because I am noticing it, but I seem to be loosing to them a lot and with what I consider a decent starting hand. The first game, I was sent packing when I had pocket tens up against the tarts. The felt helped neither of us, and it was good night from me. The very next game, before long I have ATc and I think it is worth a raise. The loosest player at the table re-raises and I call his bluff and go all in. He follows, and shows me the bullets. Ok, so I really didn't think that one through very well. What can you do? Soldier on...

I haven't had much of a chance to get back into the free roll tournaments due to one thing mainly - The Olympics. It is really good this year because here in Australia, we only have 5 television channels (besides cable of course), and only one channel usually covers the games. That's Channel 7 (side note, Australians are super creative. We built this big banana as a tourist attraction. What do they call it? "The Big Banana". The bottom of the country looks like someone took a big bite out of it. We call it the "Big Bite". Got a giant shark in the water with a white nose? "White Pointer". Our main television stations are called channel 7, channel 9 and channel 10. Just brilliant.). Channel 7 sucks when it comes to covering Olympics. They spend 90% of the time showing swimming, and 9.9% of the rest of the time getting a response from Dawn Fraser on what ever happened in the swimming. For those not familiar with the name, Dawn Fraser was a swimmer for Australia back in the 1950's who won a gold medal in the same event in three consecutive Olympics, which is a pretty awesome feat. But she hasn't done anything since, and every time something vaguely related to the Olympics happens, she seems to make a public statement about it. She isn't employed by the Olympic committee or the network covering the games, she just always has some response to what is happened. Anyway, I hate the swimming, no matter how good we are at it. Seriously, they go up one end, turn around and come back then touch a wall. I don't care how much they talk about "tactics" in that race, it's bullshit. You can't block another swimmer, you can't get in their slip-stream. You can't even splash across 4 lanes to get the guy coming home on the outside. All you can do is swim that distance in the fastest possible time and then hopefully that is the fastest. Swimming is crap. I love the Olympics because you can watch all the different event that you can't usually see. I want to watch European Handball, table tennis, water polo, judo - as well as the main stays like basketball naturally. Swimming and track are as boring as bat shit. Let me know when we win, and move on.

Man, there was some major tangents in there. This thing is still about poker right? Since a few of the other blogs I read have stories about going to the track and gambling, and I haven't played all that much poker since my last post, I will give you one of my favorite gambling stories. It is kinda long but I love telling it, so I hope you enjoy.

When I was in my first year in University, it was pretty cool. I had to move 13 hours away from home to go, but that's what you do when you live in Broken Hill. Seriously, look that up on a map and you'll see what I mean. After first semester, my parents were driving me back to Sydney and decided to go a week early to stay with my recently divorced uncle. He's a cool uncle, and was over the divorce by this stage and quite happy going to singles parties, living it up and even got himself tattoo. He picked a picture out of the artwork on a Meatloaf CD. I'll leave you to make your own judgments. He was living it up after 16 years of marriage. He is now married again and finally has a child. Anyway, we are a close family so all was good up there, we had plenty of drinks for the week and enjoyed ourselves.

It comes down to the morning that my parents are leaving to go back home, and we decided to have a barbecue breakfast to send them off on a good note. We had a barbecue breakfast every day for the last week, but that did not deter us. All the bacon and eggs and hashbrowns and toast was cooked to perfection. I poured myself a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice, and then sat down at the table ready to go. Unfortunately, as I sat down I bumped the table leg and my juice spilled all over my plate and food. Not a drop landed anywhere else, except on me and my food. I was a little annoyed, but there isn't much you can do about that so I moved on.

After breakfast, mum and dad said their good byes and gave me $50 to get me through the first week at uni. I was on a scholarship and that wouldn't kick in straight away, and my parents like to look after their three boys anyway (I'm the middle of three brothers.). So off they left, and my Uncle and I got ready for a lazy but busy Sunday. Tomorrow was a public holiday so I didn't have to go back to Uni until Tuesday. We planned to head down to the beach and grab some lunch there later on in the day. For now though, he wanted to tidy up the back porch and do a bit of gardening as is his hobby. I don't mind, as he really goes out of the way for me when I spend my weekend up here, 1 hour out of Sydney. I'm hosing down and sweeping the back porch, digging around a bit in the garden and am quite happy with the sunny weather. We are done in abut an hour, and start getting ready to go out. I put on a pair of sandals and we are just about to leave the house when I hear a squelching sound coming from my feet. No, I didn't step in any of his corgies' little messages, but when I looked down I noticed my sandal was filling up with...Blood? What the hell? I didn't step on a nail or anything? I take off the sandal and feel around my toes when I feel something slimy hanging on. A leech. I had a fucking leech having a bit of a feed on my feet. They must have some kind of pain killer saliva before they bite you because I did not feel a thing. You'd be surprised how much blood comes out of your toes. I through the leech across the room in mid-shock, and then had to wash out the sandal and bandage up my toes. We're still going out, I'm going to enjoy this day somehow.

We head down the beach and it is packed as expected, but a mighty fine day. After a few house of ding whatever, we decide to grab a kebab for lunch. Naturally, the first bite I took, the filling of the whole thing drops out all over me. I am not having great luck - and isn't it funny when you start taking notice of these things they keep happening or seem more frequent because you are more conscious of them? I was just resigned to the fact that today was not my day.

As we are nearly sick of the beach, my uncle decides to slip into the TAB (Tote's and Betting. These are like a legal bookies shop mainly for horse racing. They are regulated by the government here in Australia, and are very common and busy on the weekends. Horse racing is a big sport over here.). My Uncle is a big fan of betting on the horses, and he does quite well with it too. Much like my poker, I tend to bet very small and rarely win. He is on some horse in some race, and I decided to take a "Mystery Trifecta" - which is you let the computer pick which horse will come first, second and third in that exact order for you. It costs only $1, and it really is just playing the lottery. But hey, I don't have much coin so $1 here and $4 on number 7 will have to do. No idea why I picked number 7, I just did.

So the race is running and I am taking half notice of what is going on. As they get near the finish, I see my uncle's expression dwindle and his horse is obviously out of the running. As they cross the line, I notice number 7 got up - and at 8-1 I am pretty happy. And then the second and third place number come up. My uncle looks at me and says "Damn it, ran 6th, oh well.". He really doesn't get pissed off when he loses, it's just fun for him. I say casually:
"Gary, I think I've got that."
"Number 7, good odds on that too."
"No, I think I've got the triffecta."

He takes a look at my ticket, and starts shaking my arm.
"You bloody little ripper!"

As anybody who watching horse racing knows here in Australia, an 8-1 winner is good odds. You throw that into a Trifecta, and it is very good odds. But wait...There is a protest. Second against third. This had no bearing on my $4 on number 7 to win, but it could fuck up my trifecta because they have to come in the exact order for it to be a winner. I run through the days events in my head, and I just know that bad luck is the order. These protests are common, but they usually get thrown out in 2 to 3 minutes. We were waiting for more than 10. The longer the wait, the worse it was as obviously the officials had to make sure of what the replays showed. I couldn't bare it. I looked over at the guy sitting next to me, and he had $100 on the horse who ran second. He looked like a seasoned punter, and was disappointed that despite looking and agonizing over the form guide the night before his $100 was gone. Me on the other hand, with kebab stains on my shirt and bandages on my toes had a hope of turning $1 into a nice little earner. The televisions crackled slightly.

"The protest on race six has been dismissed."

I checked with Gary to make sure that meant what I thought it meant - the protest had been thrown out. The placings stood and my ticket was good...Almost. There was one last hurdle, as the jockeys and their saddles had to go for the weigh-in to make sure they were carrying the correct weight. A problem here is rare, maybe once every few years at this level, but I was still nervous as hell. You can not collect on your winning tickets until "correct weight" is called at the race track (which happened to be in Melbourne for this race). They don't even announce it on the racing channel, it just shows up in a little box in the corner. When I saw that white flag in the bottom right corner, I was shocked. That meant correct weight. The ticket could now be collected. All up, I had won $903 plus change from that $1 bet. I was pleased. I was very pleased. I took the $50 mum and dad gave me and bought a case of Crown Lager - Australia's finest beer as it proclaims on the box. When I got back to Uni, I took all my roommates out for dinner on my shout (I still used coupons though), and life was good. Somewhere at my Uncle's new house he still has the empty card board box that the Crownies came in. In green ink on the side, I scribbled the names of all the horses, the price they paid and the date. That was my biggest win ever, and it is so sweet spending somebody else's money. Now whenever I am having luck equal to that day, I always sneak out and buy a mystery trifecta. It never has come home like that again, but hey I'm still beating the house on that one!

EDIT: The poker chips and table just arrived here at work. Man, do I feel like the shit right now. The case the chips come in look like something Jack Bauer would be trying to recover. It even has a key, which is second to a combination lock on the awesomeness list. The chips look and feel great. I am going to melt the plastic ones at home tonight in a ritual. Home games, here I come!

1 comment:

JW said...

Good stuff Heafy! Keep betting them mystery trifectas! Had a good laugh on that one.
Post some pics of the chips when you get the chance.