Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Flush. Straight Flush.

M: Who the hell do they think they are? I report to the Prime Minister and even he's smart enough not to ask me what we do. Have you ever seen such a bunch of self-righteous, ass-covering prigs? They don't care what we do; they care what we get photographed doing. And how the hell could Bond be so stupid? I give him double-O status and he celebrates by shooting up an embassy. Is the man deranged? And where the hell is he? In the old days if an agent did something that embarrassing he'd have a good sense to defect. Christ, I miss the Cold War.
"Casino Royale"

So we saw the new Bond film last night, and I must confess this is the first Bond movie I have seen from start to finish. I've just never really been into it to be honest, but there you go. And I had no idea that the focus of this Bond movie was poker. In fact, that was what I liked least about the movie, that it focused so much on the poker game when it seemed unnecessary.

Without trying to be too much of a poker critic on these scenes (though I did correctly call every hand shown in the movie, much to the dismay of The Distraction), I just felt like this was the major scenes in the film, and it wasn't even remotely dramatic enough. In the end, he wins with better cards in a hand where most people would have went broke on – though I think I flattered myself thinking I could fold the Ace-6. I wouldn't. I would have thought it better if Bond had nothing, but took an extra 12 million off of Le Chieff and then finished him off by calling an all-in with nothing but a pair of twos. That would have shown him being a brilliant player. In this case, he was just in the right place at the right time. But that is being a little too much of a poker critic and not really important in the scheme of things.

The parkour scene near the beginning of the film was the best in the movie by far. I think the stripped back version of the chase was brilliant, and you can get sick of expensive cars doing triple flips through fire balls after a while.

I did pick out the cameo by Sir Richard Branson too, much to the delight of no one but myself.

All up, the movie was worth the $10 to go see at the cinema. Daniel Craig does a great job as Bond, though I still would have preferred Poker On Film favourite Clive Owen.

On to playing some actual poker, I made a late appearance at the home game last Friday and walked out down $20. this is likely to be my final game for 2006, which was a great year results wise, thanks to keeping of records for the first time this year. After Xmas, I will post more about the results and a firm analysis will be included. But for the game on Friday, it was mostly about mistakes by me and one hand where I just couldn't get paid off.

I made some crying calls and a bad read too many times. By definition, a crying call is made when you know you have lost, which amounts to stupidity in my book. Then why keep making them? At best, my reasoning can be so that people are loathe to bluff at me later on, knowing I will call but that is really clutching at straws. I have a great understanding of the betting patterns of the other players, but I put them aside too often. I think I will need to re-read this post before I go to the next game.

On another hand, I made a straight-flush on the turn, and duly checked to give every draw a chance of hitting. The final card was perfect I thought. It was the fourth spade, which also put a pair on the board. Against two others and with position, I was ready for a big score here. First position makes a minimum bet of $1, more as a joke than a real bet here. Second position just calls it. Yep, looks like I'm not getting paid here. Neither had a spade, and second position had just hit three of a kind but wasn't going to call without a spade in the hand to my raise. But anyway, that's the way things go.

The trend of the night was I went down early, then made a rebuy before I hit the felt and was dealt AA the very next hand. Instead of being all-in with $10 I managed to get $25 out of the player to my right. Good move, the early rebuy there. Then I had a good streak where I went up a good amount, before the cards went cold and I gave it all back. But it was enjoyable all the same, even if the night did end a little earlier than usual.

This is likely to be my last post for a few days, as we are travelling to the in-laws for Xmas this year and I won't be playing poker lest updating about it. My next post will more than likely be the 2006 summary, which I'm sure will amuse myself if no one else.

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