Friday, September 22, 2006

Finals Season

Harry Doyle : That's all we got, one goddamn hit?
Assistant: You can't say goddamn on the air.
Harry Doyle: Don't worry, nobody is listening anyway.
"Major League"

Sometimes you need a good kick while you are down to remember to get back up again.

So I had my worst single session ever the other night, down quite a bit. It was a little bit of bad luck, and a lot of bad play. I have become a bit of a Pay Off Wizard of late, something that must stop pronto. I think I also have to stop looking at the good fortune of others players and comparing it to my own. When I am not in pot and 22 makes a flops quads, then my 99 hits a set on a all-heart board – I tend to think that they are getting all the luck and I am due. Sure, they might have hit a flop and I missed, but you can't go dwelling on it when the next hand is already being dealt.

I have become a big fan of watching High Stakes Poker, which I think is fascinating on so many levels. Firstly, just knowing that those chips represent real money is amazing in itself. But also to see the levels of thinking that goes on with these great players and how they can call an opponents hand goes to show why they make a living doing this and why I am happy to make $10 a night.

But also you see the pros make mistakes, and get caught in the same traps that other players also get caught in. So far I have seen all of season one and a few episodes of season 2. Already I think Sammy Farha is funny as hell for the times when he offers those deals and chops and so on. The back and forth is great stuff. I'd love to see more members of the "Big Game" present at the table to mix things up.

I have made a major change to my game just yesterday. I have been forced to wear glasses from now on as I was struggling to read the cards in the middle of the table during a game a few weeks ago – not that it made a difference in that hand but you never know what is coming. Sure, I don't think this will make a lick of difference but now I can take my glasses off and make a point with them in a very authoritive manner that just might earn me some chips – or a laugh at least.

The Ballad of Ricky Bobby opens here this weekend, so I dare saw a trip outside this weekend might be in order. I have no planned games on so a trip back to the cinemas sounds like a plan, especially since I won't be concerning myself with movies or poker next week. Because next week is one of the greatest weeks of the year – Grand Final Week.

As long time readers would know, I love Aussie Rules Footy. AFL Grand Final week really begins with the two preliminary finals held the weekend before. Sure, the final series last a month and includes many other games, but the Preliminary final decides who plays who in the big one and they are always a great spectacle.

Once you know who is playing, Monday night is Brownlow Medal night where they count down the votes for each game of the year and see who is judged the best player for 2006.

Thursday night is when the teams get named, and for me there is a tradition of watching the grand final edition of the Footy Show no matter how late it is on. Friday night is when all the finals of previous years start being replayed, leading all the way up to the first bounce at just after 2pm on the last Saturday in September.

And this year with a big plasma screen sitting in the lounge room, and our new wedding gifted couches at the ready, this is about as good as it gets for the armchair footy fan such as myself.

Even though I live in Sydney, I hope they don't make it. They won last year, but to be honest their games are mostly boring. I'd like to see either of the Western Australian teams win, and if they played off against each other then fireworks are sure to fly. But if it does end up Adelaide vs Sydney, then I just can not bring myself to cheer for Adelaide. That is just a given.

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