Thursday, July 28, 2005

Heafy's Honeymoon Classic

Skip: Don't take this the wrong way Millie, but if I catch you in here again I'll ban you from the ballpark.
Millie: You can't ban me from the ballpark because my daddy donated the scoreboard.
Skip: What do we need a scoreboard for? We haven't scored any runs all season.
"Bull Durham"


Saturday August 6th, 8.30pm EST (USA)
Sunday August 7th, 10.00am EST (Australia)

Poker Rewards, under "Private Tables" as table named "Heafy". Sign up to Poker Rewards through one of the banners on this site - please?!?!? You must depsoit $400 to get the maximum bonus, or a minimum of $100 for me to get an affliate bonus.


$20 + $2, for a Multi table NL Hold'em game.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

1 Year Ago...

Apollo Creed: Now, when we fought, you had that eye of the tiger, man; the edge! And now you gotta get it back, and the way to get it back is to go back to the beginning. You know what I mean?
”Rocky III”

NEWS FLASH: I made a mistake on the dates of the "Heafy's Honeymoon Classic". It will be on Saturday August 6th at 8.30pm EST for our North American friends and Sunday August 7th at about 10am for our Aussie friends.

I picked Rocky III for the quote today because I was about 1 year old when it came out. Speaking of which – exactly one year ago today I started my poker blogging adventure! That is right, the poker blog voted most likely to involve a pornographic film producer, “Poker On Film” has reached it’s first birthday.

From humble beginnings I come, way back when freerolls were a way of life. Way back when I didn’t know what SNG meant, and many other acronyms. Way back when I thought the World Series of Poker consisted of one event.

No doubt it has been a big 12 months for me, and not just on the poker scene either. Here is a brief point list of the events that have been covered by Poker On Film in it’s time thus far:

First real money win at Aloha Poker – followed closely by my first (and only) bust out.

First MTT win, a $27 pay day again at Aloha Poker.

First cash in a non-freeroll MTT – 4th netting me just over $100.

Going all-in and upgrading my girlfriend to fiancé status.

Winning my first poker related prize through Uwannabet in a competition where I was the only entry.

Building my very own poker table with awesome results!

A five game $10 SNG wining streak.

A dabble in the waters of online blackjack thanks to Scurvy Dog!

Receiving more free poker stuff from Poker Source Online, thanks to Go Be Rude.

My first live game experience, and shortly my first live game win.

I have played poker at these online poker rooms in that time: Aloha Poker, Poker Pages (Bugsys Club), Pacific Poker, Absolute Poker, Party Poker, Ultimate Bet, Paradise Poker, Noble Poker, Poker Rewards, Empire Poker, Poker Now, Poker Stars, Bet365, Poker Room.

I’ve tried my hand at Holdem (NL, PL and Fixed), Omaha (NL, PL and Fixed) Omaha Hi/Lo (PL, Fixed), Seven Card Stud (fixed), five card draw, Chinese Poker (why?).

My highest hands to date – 1 king high and 1 queen high straight flush.

Biggest MTT win was just this past weekend, topping the $200 mark for the first time.

Bank roll’s high point - US$1100. Currently sits at $599.

Cash outs – 3, totalling $150, $250 and $550 – grand total of US$950.

Baddest bad beat – Aces full rivered by quad 8’s.

Most promising tournament – Heafy’s Honeymoon Classic of course! Come join us at Poker Rewards on August 7th, to celebrate 1 year of Poker On Film!

I have been blessed by the generosity of other bloggers on many occasions; gifts, prizes, advice, sharing affiliate monies and sharing stories. After many ups and down, I have learned that I will never have the temperament to make poker a viable income. Hell, I still think limits like $2/$4 are out of my reach!

With one year in the can, it’s better now to look forward to the coming 12 months. Poker wise, I have some attainable goals I want to set for myself. The power of three, as it is:

1 – Bankroll to reach $2K
2 – Play in a casino tournament
3 – Be confident enough to play at $4/$8 level.

That last one might sound a little funny to some readers. I keep hearing about how bad the play is at these levels of no-fold-em bluff every second hand poker, but I just can’t get my head around the limit game. I have improved greatly in the past week at this to be honest, even though I am only playing $0.50/$1, but I have still busted my buy in on more than one occasion due to bad beats and bad calls. But things are looking up, I’m feeling optimistic.

On the free gift front, my Paradise poker playing days have finished when I reached the raked hand requirements that PSO set out, and I cashed in all my points for Amazon vouchers. I received my loot just yesterday, and I have watched the “Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog” DVD from start to finish twice already. I cried for nearly 90 minutes watching that – and for $12.99 you really can’t get any better than that! I have also started on the WPT season 2, which coincidently has just started to hit network television here in Oz. I’m willing to bet after Joe Haschem’s win that poker gets a lot more attention in the coming months.

And so starts year 2 of Poker On Film – full of optimism, coming off a MTT win (which I might add, I have read about 5 other bloggers who have scored MTT wins in the past week, all of which make mine look like pocket change.). When I started out all I wanted was a few grand to be able to buy a camera to make a movie. Now priorities have changed and a wedding must come first, but I have not let the dream die just yet (despite all common sense and reason saying I should). What can I expect in year 2? More wins, more losses. More great lay downs, more bad beats. More ups, more downs, and plenty of in-betweens. More free shit, for sure.

Thanks you reading, you’ve been a wonderful audience.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Back to Back Quads

Johnny Storm: It's like some higher calling.
Reed Richards: Like getting girls and making money?
Johnny Storm: Is there any higher?
”Fantastic Four”

I had a fantastic weekend, thanks for asking. We saw the movie and it was alright, not without it’s charms. Poker was great too, and be sure to sign up to Poker Rewards through my links if you want a freeroll into “Heafy’s Honeymoon Classic” on August 6th. But enough of that for now.

I decided to try out a little NL Omaha at Poker Rewards, because I like fixed limit Omaha but nobody else does, and I can’t get the hang of pot limit. I thought it best to try it out in the smallest buy-in SNG I could find to test the waters. Since only hi/lo was running, I went with a $2 NL Omaha hi/lo to get things rolling.

Quickly it became apparent that nobody else knew how to play this properly either. On the forth hand, I was dealt double suited pocket Kings in the big blind…and TEN players saw the flop. I couldn’t be bothered raising from the big blind, so I let it slide. Wouldn’t you know it, both Kings come out and I am left to check/call this one to the river. I took a little more than half of the stack of three players and was happy with that return.

Then on my small blind, I am dealt pocket fives plus whatever else and I get to limp. There is a five on the flop and a push from a small stack after I bet, and then another all-in, and another – the same three stacks are all-in against my set. I also had a draw to the nut low, so why not? I called them and hit the case five on the turn. Yep, back to back quads baby! I ended up finishing second and winning $6 for my back to back quads, but it was still worth it I guess.

After some ups and downs, I entered a MTT when we returned from the Fantastic Four because the tournament was starting in 45 seconds after I logged on – why not, it’s only a $5 NL tourny…

My biggest single pay day ever, and by far my best tournament finish. I have won freeroll tournaments before, but they hardly count. I set out to be more aggressive and open my starting hands a little so that I wasn’t blinded down and crippled by the third round as I can tend to be. I was one of the small stacks when there was about 30 or so left, but was able to steel enough blinds to keep me alive for when the big hands came. When we finally made it to the final table, I knew I wanted to win, not just place well in the money.

Another big competitive advantage I had was I wasn’t scared to take on the big stack. If I thought he was just trying to bully, I pushed regardless of what I had. Since there was a lot of blind steeling going on it was well worth it – never underestimate the power of a check-raise all in.

I did have a bit of luck when my A4 split a pot with A6, but those things happen. When we were heads up and nearly level, my computer shut me out for two hands and I couldn’t act – lucky too, because on one of those hands I was dealt 99. My hand was folded as I couldn’t act in time, and the other player showed JJ. It’s nice when these things work in your favour for a change. The end came when I had a 3-1 chip lead, forced him all-in with AQo vs Kxs. Only a queen came and it was good night sweetheart.

There is nothing like a MTT win to get you pumped up, even if it is in only a $5 tournament.

And now to return to our shilling normal shilling schedule…

Ok boys and girls, we finally have the details set for "Heafy's Honeymoon Classic"!

August 6th, 8.30pm EST for our North American friends, or August 7th about 10am for the Aussies.

Poker Rewards! Please use the links on this website! Look under private tables and search for table named "Heafy" - I should already be enrolled in the tournament there.

Fiji. We really want to go to Vanuatu but I thought that would be much harder to remember and to spell.

It's a $20 + $2 MTT, No limit holdem as always.

Well it's a poker tournament, so it will be for fun won't it? Truth be known, I need to raise some cash for the honeymoon that my lovely Distraction so depseratly wants and needs. I know it's not a very worthy cause or anything, but hey it's a poker tournament and should be fun regardless. You need to deposit a minimum of $50 for the affliate to work, but $400 will give you the entire bonus.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Heafy's Honeymoon Classic

Kevin Lomax: God damnit, what did you do to my wife?
John Milton: Well, on a scale of one to ten... ten being the most depraved act of sexual theatre know to man... one being your average Friday night run-through at the Lomaxes' household... I'd say, not to be immodest, Mary Ann and I got it on at about... seven.
"Devil's Advocate"

Ok boys and girls, we finally have the details set for "Heafy's Honeymoon Classic"!

August 6th, 8.30pm EST for our North American friends, or August 7th about 10am for the Aussies.

Poker Rewards! Please use the links on this website! Look under private tables and search for table named "Heafy" - I should already be enrolled in the tournament there.

The site is pretty decent and has good numbers - plenty of European fish swimming these waters, even I can take advantage of them! I believe it is a Prima site.

Fiji. We really want to go to Vanuatu but I thought that would be much harder to remember and to spell.

It's a $20 + $2 MTT, No limit holdem as always.

Well it's a poker tournament, so it will be for fun won't it? Truth be known, I need to raise some cash for the honeymoon that my lovely Distraction so depseratly wants and needs. I know it's not a very worthy cause or anything, but hey it's a poker tournament and should be fun regardless. You need to deposit a minimum of $50 for the affliate to work, but $400 will give you the entire bonus.

I'm not taking any of the entry fees out of the prize pool, I will only make money through affliates so please sign up through the links on this site. Poker Rewards does have some pretty weird banners to sign up with - take this one for instance:

If you are already a member of poker rewards then you are still welcome to play of course, no sense on missing out on the fun!

Ok guys and girls, I've been very open and honest about this and I am asking for help getting as many people signed up as possible. The tournament is open to bloggers, readers, homeless people with wireless connection, everyone and anyone!

I'm hoping to get at least 20 people signed up for this, but if I exceed all expectations and reach 50 there will be more money added to the prize pool!

Bring a friend, bring many friends! If you've ever been married then relate to my situation. If you've ever been divorced, grant me this last day of happiness. If you've never been married then just bloody sign up and play a poker tournament damn it!

A big thanks goes to the helpfull bloggers who gave me advice on setting up the tournament, it just goes to show what kind of a community we are a part of.

Wish me luck! Oh, and here's another banner!

Also, if you don't have an account at Pacific Poker, sign up through my link on the side. I'd be happy to make it worth you time *wink* if you email me. If I get more than 20 people using this link, I will run a free roll tournament for at least $1K!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Ashes

Rosie: How strong are you, Porter? Personally, I think you are the strongest man I have ever met. But I wonder if it's enough.
Porter: For what?
Rosie: If I know you, you want this Resnick guy for something he won't like.
Porter: Yeah, I'm gonna kill him.
Rosie: That's something he won't like.

You know, I was going to do the forth instalment of “Know Your Australian” today, and indeed I had typed about a page and a half on the subject of cricket – but to be honest it was boring myself so I deleted it. Suffice to just say that the most important cricketing rivalry in the world begins again tonight as Australia try to win the “Ashes” for about the 7th time in a row against old mother England. The past 6 or so Ashes series have had England showing some grit in the first game and then getting completely blown away for the rest of the series – but this year England have a very good young side that will prove tough to beat on home soil. I can’t wait to see what happens.

I haven’t played a hand of poker since the weekend, mainly due to the latest Harry potter book, which I finished just last night. I won’t spoil any other the secrets of the book for those few interested, but let me just say what a turd of a book this one is. Sure, there are some massive story line curves that occur and shocking revelations, but that accounts for about 15 pages of this 610 page book. You could start reading half way through and not really miss anything. It’s a shame, because the last two books were written so well, and were surprisingly gritty considering at heart they are children’s books. This one, “the Half Blood Prince” was mostly filler.

The details of the “Heafy’s Honeymoon Classic” will hopefully be finalised either today or tomorrow, and then I can spread the good word. I’m looking forward to it, especially after all the excitement of the WSOP. Live poker has such an attraction at the moment, the atmosphere and thrill is far greater than online poker, which is only natural. I just wish live poker was as easy to get to (not to mention play) as online.

We were playing a card game the other night at home, I can’t remember what it was but it wasn’t poker, and I decided to break out the KEM cards again. We have a half decent collection of casino cards from around the world, as well as a deck of KEM cards curtesy of Poker Source Online. The KEM cards though have become stained, I think perhaps from the fabric we used to make the poker table. Anyway, I have to say I don’t like KEM cards, I much prefer the cheap used casino decks. Sure, they may not last as long but I just much prefer the feel of them, especially the last ones I bought that came from Binions. Maybe this is just a personal thing then. I haven’t tried Copag cards as yet, so I can’t give an opinion on them.

Anyways, I think I have said enough for now without saying anything really at all. The Distraction has just left for a 3 day work conference, so I will log a ton of hours over the next few days to share with the world. Bad beat stories here we come!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Australian Poker's Greatest Day

Tommy: Did you hear I graduated?
Richard Hayden: Yeah and just a shade under a decade too, all right.
Tommy: You know a lot of people go to college for seven years.
Richard Hayden: I know, they're called doctors.
”Tommy Boy”
Well, what can I say? As everybody should know by now, Australian Joe Hachem is the 2005 WSOP Main Event winner, pocketing just over $10 million Australian. To put this in perspective, that is more prize money than an Australian Rules Football team’s yearly salary cap, and more prize money than Roger Federer received for winning Wimbledon three times. As an Australian poker player, I am very proud (even though I have never met him) and very excited about the publicity this has already received here.

After I spent hours checking out how the WSOP was going online, and trying desperately to tell people about what was going on, now poker is all over the news and in the papers, they were even talking about it on the radio on my way into work today. While my North American friends may speak of when poker is “jumping the shark”, here in Australia the boom is just about to begin!

This is undoubtedly the greatest thing to happen to Australian poker ever. There is no doubt that the popularity of our game will rise from this, forcing the casinos to take notice and dedicate more resources to providing a decent place for us to play. And this just a few months after the South Australian Poker Championships got raided by police.

While I have never met Joe, from all accounts of the people who have he is a top bloke and should be a great ambassador for poker, much like Greg Raymer before him, and I see only good coming from this. What else was good to see was that a professional who bought his way into the tournament won, and it was his second cash at the WSOP this year.

I was thinking that perhaps the final table would be a bit of a let down when Ivey and Raymer failed to make it, but it goes to show that the main event is still special no matter who is playing. Guaranteed, when this comes out on ESPN I will have the tapes sent to me and the DVD in time.

But I can’t help feeling a little disappointed – in myself, not in the result of course. I always knew the poker boom would hit our shores eventually (and I have the archives to prove it), and I wish I was in a position to take better advantage of the situation. Perhaps I can, for when I switch into B&M play I will not only run into a lot of other people that are trying poker for the first time, but I may also have that stereotype placed on me when I sit at the table, and maybe that will get me a few hands paid off. Who knows? I do wish I had a spare million or two to set up a proper card room, as it would be like printing money at the moment. Alas, it is not to be so I will continue to peddle my trade at the micro limits.

Congratulations to Joe “Hash” Haschem, every Australian poker player is a winner because of you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Know Your Australian III

Inspector Frank Bumstead: What's that make so far, Husselbeck? Six hookers in all?
Husselbeck: I believe so, sir.
Inspector Frank Bumstead: Give the man an "A" for effort.
”Dark City”

It’s time once again to Know Your Australian. Today I will be dealing with the very important subject of alcoholic consumption of beer.

Beer is very important to Australians, because as a general rule it’s pretty hot here most of the time. And it really doesn’t matter if it isn’t. Most of my North American friends are aware that like the UK, we call our drinking establishments “pubs”. That’s pretty easy, but what about the beer itself?

Each state has a different beer to pride itself on. Most states produce a number of beers, but we’ll just stick to what I associate each state with. Queensland has Castlemaine XXXX (pronounced “Four x”), Tasmania has James Boags which is actually a bit of a premium, New South Wales has Tooheys New, Western Australia has Swan, Victoria has Victoria Bitter and South Australia has piss in a can that they call West End. Please, whatever you do, don’t drink South Australian beer. South Australian’s will go into deep discussion over why their beer is the best, despite the taste proving otherwise to the rest of the country.

Tooheys New and Victoria Bitter (better known as simply VB) are the most popular and available in pubs in every state on tap. Drinking beer at a pub in Australia is most likely to be from the kegs and not by the bottle. Now this is where it gets tricky – every state has a different name for the glasses. A “pot” in Victoria is a “scooner” in New South Wales, and a “scooner” in South Australia is about half that size. Those crazy South Australians, they always know how to screw things up. You’d reckon they could at least get a “pint” right, which is pretty much universal the world over – but no, they have come up with the “Imperial Pint” to go with their “Half-Pint”. They can’t help but be different.

Some pubs just call the glass’ by their size, i.e. 15 oz, 7 oz and so on. Even though we are a metric country, some of the imperial system still lives on.

So what do you do when you are in a pub in Australia and have forgotten what they call the glasses in this particular establishment? You could ask what they are called, but you will more than likely be looked on as an idiot for not knowing all 753 names for beer glasses present in our country. If you ask with a foreign accent, you will be pestered for the next 20 minutes trying to get you to agree that Australia is the best country in the world and better than your home country.

And what if you can’t remember the name of the local beer? What ever you do, don’t ask for Fosters. As above, you will be laughed at and then forced to concur how much our country rocks because it is obvious you must be a tourist. We don’t drink Fosters here in Australia, we only export it.

The answer is, no matter what pub in what city in what state, walk up to the bar confidently and say “two beers, thanks”. Never say one beer, because nobody drinks alone – and even if you do, you’ll find someone friendly enough to share the other one with in no time. Some in-experienced bar tenders will say “Which beer do you want?” – just say the cold ones, and that will suffice. We like to keep things simple when we can.

That will do for Know Your Australian this week. On to the 1st birthday celebrations, I will be holding off for a few weeks past the charity tournament that has been organised and until after the WSOP is finished. I’m looking tentatively to the first weekend in August and the Saturday night is looking like a winner. I haven’t got the site details sorted yet, and thanks to some very in-depth and informative help on the email this should be a great help to yours truly.

On the actual playing front, I have been having some fun in the free rolls again. I placed 20 something in a 400 person free roll for a profit of 21 cents, but I had great fun and that is a welcomed change. As for changed to B&M poker, it will wait until after the tournament if it happens, and I have also been eyeing off some casino tournaments down in Melbourne that look inviting. All depends on how my game is goes from now until then, but I remain optimistic.

For now, I’m just really enjoying the coverage from Card Player magazine and Dr. Pauly of the WSOP. I picked the two Phil’s to win it, and it look slike Ivey is still going strong – but wouldn’t it be amazing if Raymer goes back-to-back? It’s beginning to look very familiar already…

Monday, July 11, 2005

WGPBE Asks For Your Advice

Jim: Honesty, now- Honestly, would you have passed up sex with Nadia?
Jim's Dad: Why? Did she say something?
Jim: Hypothetically, Dad.
Jim's Dad: Oh, hypothetically. Well, I mean, you know, Jim, I'm a married man. I'm...
Jim: If-If-If you weren't married.
Jim's Dad: She's a college girl.
Jim: If you were a college guy.
Jim's Dad: In a heartbeat. Oh yeah.
”American Pie 3 – American Wedding”

I’m not quitting online poker or blogging just yet, thought I’d say that straight up.

Without trying to create too much drama, my horror run at the tables has continued. Just awful it was, and another $100+ lesson was had, although I’m nto too sure what exactly I learned from it. I had AJ beaten by J6 on a flop of J59 rainbow, turn 7 river 8. But enough of hand histories already…

What I did next was take stock of what has happened lately. When I went into Noble poker I had $280. I cashed out at $435 total. I put $200 into Paradise Poker and took $171 out, but collected a $60 bonus through Poker Source Online that makes it worth it I think, but leaves me with US$412, or just over $500 Australian.

I took another read of Doyle’s book of poker wisdom, and have read a lot of archives of other blogs in recent times. Doyle says something along the lines of most players “get broke” at some stage, and I know of many bloggers who have experienced the same feeling. Well, allow me to be the first person to “get broke” when they still have money. I have looked over the last few sessions and decided that I should adopt the viewpoint that I have gone bust. Even though I still have some money invested in online adventures, and I never deposited a cent of my own, I need to change my outlook. Once again I re-enforce, I have “got broke”.

My final play at the tables was, to put it bluntly, boring. My attitude was all wrong, I was distracted by anything else in the room, I wasn’t taking any notice of any of the other players betting patterns, I may as well have been playing the lottery. Loosing at online poker isn’t fun.

So what do you do about it? Especially since in 2 weeks time this here blog will be 1 year old. I guess you could say it has teething problems. Loosing at online poker is not fun, but I have had a great time loosing at B&M poker in the past. Sure, I never lost more than $30, but it was still great fun. There is one full time poker room in Sydney that I know of, and it is a fair drive from my house but what if I gave it a shot? What if I cashed out what I have left online and made myself a B&M player exclusively? Well, not exclusively, I’ll still play the odd MTT and free-rolls. But if I put one or two nights a week into the poker room until I make a decent profit or get broke for real, what harm could it do? If I loose my entire bank roll, then I will go back to square one. If I make some money, then all is well in the land of Heafy!

I’m not going to quit my day job for it of course, that would just be stupid. I have neither the skill nor the temperament to manage that life change at the moment.

I am 99% sure I am going to give this a try – oh, and for the Australian readers out there I am not going to be playing at Star City – I was talking about the APA. I may stick around online for the next month or so, try and clear one more PSO bonus and such, but I am pretty excited about the prospect. It will mean the end of multi-tabling (even though I could only ever manage 2 anyway), the end of 50 hands per hour games, and add a much-needed social element to the game that I love. Hey, if I am out classed and go bust within 2 visits, at least I won’t die wondering.

Which brings me along to my next venture – Poker On Film’s 1st birthday which as I said is coming along later this month. I am very surprised I stuck with it for a full year, and I’m glad I did. My interest in poker has not disappeared, and is in fact growing despite recent ugly sessions. As I have said in previous posts, I am looking to run a tournament online to celebrate one year of the site, but also just so I have a chance to play in a blogger tournament since they are all usually set on a Sunday when I have no chance to do so. I have sent as email to a small number of bloggers out there asking for advice on the tournament and if they think it is a good idea, and I would hope they don’t see the email as spam or a lame attempt to get recognition on their blogs. I am just hoping to run this tournament right so that it is as good as it can be for everyone.

Which brings me to this, the major question I asked. Which day would be better for my American friends – a Friday night game or a Saturday night game? I can’t do Sunday nights because that means Monday morning here in Australia, and I have to be at work. I can’t really call in sick to play poker – at least not again. I don’t hit a bad beat jackpot every time I try it. Please post your comments and thoughts below, I would greatly appreciate it.

Also it would be amiss of me not to mention the ulterior motives I reserve for holding the tournament – which I will be calling the “Heafy Honeymoon Classic”. Yep, I want to get some help to fund the wedding. As recent readers of the blog would be aware, the wedding-bill curse and fully set in and I am feeling the pinch. I know this is quite a pathetic excuse to try to raise money when plenty of other more deserving people are in far worse positions, but I’m doing what I can anyway. I don’t have the final details of the tournament yet, only that it will be more than likely a $20 buy-in (unless I can be convinced otherwise) and I will be trying my best to get as many referrals to the site as I can for it. I’m also thinking that if I get 30 referrals, I will add $1000 to the prize pool to share the love. But don’t think about that just yet – just let me know, Friday night or Saturday night?

And thank you in advance to those people I emailed, I hope it didn’t come across as too self-serving. And I didn't cut and paste the same letter for all of you...I accidently deleted it before I could.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Know Your Australian II

Miss Brant: Sir, your wife called. She said she lost your checkbook.
J. Jonah Jameson: Thanks for the good news!
”Spider Man 2”

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Know Your Australian”, presented by your host Heafy the Australian. I’ve got to come up with a better name…

This week, I choose to educate the masses on a very passionate subject for all Australians, “The Footy”. Footy is short for “Football”, naturally. That is a great habit of Australians, every word ever invented was too long, and we have a firm belief that the letter “y” or “o” can be added to every single word.

Depending where you are in Australia, “footy” can mean a different code of football. There are 4 types of football played here – Soccer, which is mainly plaid by kids and people of European decent. I do not know of anyone that refers to this code as “footy”. Then Rugby Union, which is mainly played in New South Wales by private school kids – though our national team is pretty kick ass most of the time. Again, people playing this code would rarely call it “footy” or even call it “football” – to them it is just “rugby”. Then we have Rugby League, which is similar to Union only that it is a modified game mainly done so for TV. As a generalisation, Union is for the upper class and League is for the working class. League is only really played in two states – New South Wales and Queensland. They call it “footy” too, but the appeal on a national level is very small.. And the forth code of football is of course our own, Australian Rules Football, which is played in every state but the most popular is Victoria.

Aussie Rules, hence forth referred to as “footy” is the most popular game in our country. It is played with 36 players on the field at a time, and the field does not have set dimensions. A bit like baseball in that fact – they have minimums but each ground is a little different. The average length of a full sized Aussie Rules ground is about 190 metres, or 210 odd yards. We like them big.

With 18 men on the field for each team, and the game going for about 2 hours all up, you need some reserves, right? 4 – that’s all you get. Aussie Rules also has the oldest set of official rules for any code of football in the world, making it officially the oldest form of football still played today. Pretty impressive.

In our national competition, there are 16 teams and ten of them are in Melbourne (or very close to it). So when you are in Melbourne, it is automatically assumed that you follow the footy. How popular is it nationally when compared to the other sports?

Soccer – with crowds at about 2000 at the highest level in Australia, bankruptcies are common. With 2000, they still manage to have soccer riots when teams associated with certain countries play some other certain teams. Sydney United, formerly known as Sydney Croatia, have been fined and threatened to be banned because of this.

Union – when Australia plays, expect a big crowd. Otherwise, small crowds except for finals.

League – more popular as a national league, an average crowd for a mid season game would be around 12,000. Only 2 states in Australia take notice of the game though, and I just unfortunately happen to be in one of them.

Aussie Rules – average crowd for a mid-season game? 30,000 or so. The biggest crowd ever was over 100,000. Some teams home games rarely drop below 50,000. The grand final stops the nation and is held on the last Saturday in September every year.

So next time you are down under and get invited to the “footy” – be careful which state you are in. It could mean a completely different game from city to city.

I think I am over my poker hiatus, I couldn’t make it through the week. I am feeling the need for some action, and that is a dangerous combination so I will be cautious and “go light” when I do hit the tables again. After all the “lessons” I’ve had, I’m sure I will be tearing them up.

Since the WSOP Main Event started today, I guess I should make my pics known. Well, why not? For some reason I hope a well known poker pro wins this year. It’s the biggest tournament of the year, and it has never been so popular, I guess I want a pro to win it to show that luck isn’t all you need. I think if a pro wins it will justify the cause that it is a game of skill first, and luck second. That’s not to say the online qualifiers have no skill – I’m just thinking about the perception from the general public. Sure, if an amateur wins it might make more people rush to the tables thinking “Hey, anyone can win, I could do this” but it will make it seem more like gambling in the general public view point.

Anyway, enough of that drivel – I think the winner this year will be a Phil – either Ivey or Hellmuth.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Positive Posting

Ray Ferrier: They're not from around here.
Robbie Ferrier: You mean they're, like, from Europe?
”War of the Worlds”

Think positive thoughts, think positive thoughts…

Well, since I did not play a hand of poker last night, resisting all temptation and bias, I think I am off to a good start. And as promised, here comes a positive post. Since I have nothing good to say about poker at the moment, I will instead focus on another time wasting venture of mine – video games. Here is a brief list of some of my favourite video game series and why I spent so much time and money on them.

Grand Theft Auto

I was in love with these games from the beginning. When GTA 3 came out with it’s revolutionary free-roaming game play, I was hooked. This was everything a video game was supposed to be for me. The original release of GTA3 in Australia was actually banned a few weeks after it had hit the shelves. Not because you stole cars, not because you dealt drugs, not because you could focus your rocket launcher on the local police, and not because you could solicit prostitution – but because after you had solicited the expertise of said young lady, you could beat her with a baseball bat and get your money back. THAT is just unacceptable apparently. Just like my little brother once said, “I man should be able to get head if he so chooses”. The stupid thing is, you can still get the un-censored version sent over from New Zealand for about $5 extra than what it costs to buy it here, so the real losers are the retailers.

But what I think was the biggest difference in these games was the ability to play the bad guy. There are not that many games that let you be evil if you wish, and certainly not when the original come out. Ah yes, the original GTA – I spent hours trying to run over those little Hare Krishna’s.

Finishing one of these games is a very sad day. Because while there are plenty of other things to do in the game, and it can never truly be over, you can only play through it for the first time once.

Monkey Island

“Hi, I’m Guybrush Threepwood, and I want to be a pirate!”. I have played and finished all 5 in this series or role playing adventures. The first three had crappy graphics compared to the last two, but the humour and storyline were much better, and in the end that is what really counts. Great games, and even better is the price on them now is dirt cheap. Don’t know if they are looking to make any more in this series as I think the interest dropped off in the last few.

Leisure Suit Larry

Originally the appeal of this “Adult Adventure” would be for any 12 year old to “crack” the age verification and then try to see some pixelated nudity to giggle at. Essentially the game was all about taking one object from location A and delivering it to location B. What kept the game alive was the brilliant humour of Mr. Al Lowe. I still subscribe to Al Lowe’s online newsletter, since he has nothing to do with the series any more. Sad thing – I never got to play number 7 and number 6 in the series always crashed on my machine. Don’t know if it needed a patch downloaded or what but it just never worked all the way through for me. I think number 5 in the series was the only one I could finish without using a walk through.

Legacy of Kain

The first in the series – Blood Omen – had an awesome story to it which kept you interested more than anything. Well, that and the fact you could suck blood. That’s pretty cool too.
I can still remember some of the brilliant quotes from the game, worthy of any cult film. The ending to the first story, some what rushed as it is, was a brilliant little twist and definitely went against the grain. I didn’t like the endings in the others because it really left me feeling like there was no conclusion.

I never bought the original on the PS1, but I hired it from the local video store a dozen times before I finished it. I am still surprised that the story was never transferred into a film of some description. Pity really.

Quest For Glory: So you want to be a hero

I absolutely loved this game, it had everything. If they released one now it could be awesome. It combined the character building and fighting of a Dungeons and Dragons game with very good humour. I would finish each game as the thief first – always the thief for some reason. Maybe this is a dormant part of my psyche that wants to be outside the law. Anyways, when ever I went as the warrior, I could never get to the Paladin stage which was disappointing because that would have unlocked another part of the game that I never got to see. I believe his series died too when Sierra got sold off or reshuffled, whatever, just like Leisure Suit Larry. Such a shame.

Again though, this was another game where I never got to finish the final chapter because it would always crash. I think it was called the “Heart of Darkness”, and right at the end it would simply crash after you completed one of the tasks. I was not happy to say the least. Several years latter, I picked up another copy of the game from a discount bin and rejoiced in reliving my past days of gaming – when the bloody thing crashed again in the exact same place. This was in the days before I knew what a “patch” was, so I suspect there was some problems there that could have been fixed. . If they did a new version of Quest For Glory today, you can bet I’ll be the first one in line

It’s weird, after all they are only video games but they left me feeling like there was something unfinished in my life when I couldn’t complete them. I could get obsessed with them and play for hours. Which might explain my current fascination with online poker – perhaps this is just another video game that I haven’t completed yet. Perhaps I am looking for that elusive high score and end scene to denote I won everything. This topic might warrant some more thought from me in time…