Tuesday, April 18, 2006

An Upswing

Holland Wagenbach: Is that a reporter?
Claudette Wyms: Yeah. Haven't you heard? Our captain's a "Latino to watch".
Holland Wagenbach: When's someone going to write an article about lanky white guys to watch?
"The Shield"

While some may be crying over the state of the movie business these days – declining box office and the like – fingers are being pointed everywhere. Earlier DVD releases, piracy, mobile phones, stupid damn ticket prices, sub standard movies to begin with, the list of reasons goes on and on. I think one ignored reason would be the advent of DVD box sets for TV shows, and some of the fantastic TV that has been coming out in the last 5 years or so. When you can get 13 episodes of "The Shield" on DVD for $20 extra than your standard 2 hour movie blockbuster, I think the choice is a lot easier.

In the past few years, here is a list of the TV shows that I have bought on DVD or someone in the house has bought: Arrested development, The Adventures of Lano and Woodley, The Late Show Champagne Edition, The Shield, 24, The Chapelle Show, Futurama, Penn & Teller Bullshit, Grey's Anatomy, Firefly, Red Dwarf, Tenacious D HBO
Series, Jackass, Viva La Bam, Scrubs, Astro Boy, The Office, Men Behaving Badly – I'm sure there is more but that list is just off the top of my head. I'm in more of a TV mood in the past few months, and I'd much rather pop in a disc of a few episodes than a 2 hour movie.

How the hell does anybody watch TV one episode per week any more? It's got me baffled.

The past weekend was a massive one, with a four day holiday here for Easter and Good Friday. Having so much time off work means that the home games are going to have to be played, and I clocked in an impressive 17 hours of them.

The first game was closer to the city on Friday night, a $1/$1 $50 buy in NL game that I have played once before. These guys love to gamble, and they are either up 3-4 buy ins or down just as much, and usually this changes every hour or so. I was able to use my ultra tight image to grind out a decent profit on the night of $75, and I was more than happy with that. At one stage the action was 11 handed, which is just
too much but I wouldn't want to have anyone sit out. Nearly enough for two tables I guess. I didn't have any massive hands that I can recall, it was just picking up a $10 pot here and there kind of night for me. Not many of my winning hands made it to the river.

One of the players was the among the leaders in points for the free poker tournaments that I've been running. The tournaments are played at many pubs in Sydney, and I think he is coming second or third overall, with a few wins under his belt. But that was free poker – when there is actual money on the line, things are different. Either
he was very card dead or extremely timid in the action because on all his buy ins he would bleed away without seeing many flops/turns and then eventually be forced to go all-in with the last remaining $6 or whatever was left. He really looked out of his depth, but maybe it was just a bad night.

I got home at 4.30am, and a bed with clean sheets never felt so good.

The next night was another game with the regular guys at a new location. The game was 20c/40c $20 buy in NL, so just some fun small time poker. Last week in this game I walked out $100 the better, which I thought was phenomenal for the levels we were playing. I thought a down swing was due.

The game was 5 handed with a six player to come later. Early on I pulled off a massive move when I went all-in with the board showing 72x2. I had the seven only, but my opponent was convinced on the deuce and laid down kings. I was nearly down to the felt in that hand and would have been the first to re-buy if he had made the call. In my defence, I actually thought he had something like AK-AJ and I was ahead. I don't know why that is in my defence but anyway there you go.

A few hands later I hit a set against the same players' Queens, and this time the fold from him was the correct move, but not after I had already moved some more of his stack my way.

When the sixth player arrived and sat to my left, I made a customary pre-flop raise when I held decent cards. He thought I was picking on him, and said as much. What followed was three hours of him paying me off with every hand I hit. If he chased, he missed. If he hit, I hit harder. If he was down $80, I must have had $75 of it.

The host was having the most incredible luck. Every time he folded, he would flop two pair, a straight or better. It was becoming laughable how often it happened. When he decided not to fold, he would miss everything. The one time he did hit a flush on the turn with two hearts in his hand, I had two higher ones and took his whole stack.

We eventually wrapped up the night at 5.30am, but I wished the game would never end. Well, not true as I was dead tired and looking forward to going home so much, but the end of the night wallet check revealed a result in the positive to the tune of about $170.

The distraction turned down my offers for a third night of home games, not that I even tried to ask mind you. But I figured any other result would just be a disappointment considering the last three sessions were profits of 262BB, 75BB and 425BB at a rate of 32BB/hour, 12.5BB/hour and 47BB/hour.

Things have really turned around since I started keeping track of my results. It is nice to have an upswing every once in a while. I might not be making thousands, but I'm having fun and turning in an hourly profit that would make sweat shop workers proud.

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