Monday, June 23, 2008

Sports Betting Donkey

Muhammad Ali: Gonna get me some Champ Burgers.

I had a visit over the weekend – or I should say, the little distraction has a visit – from my brother and his girlfriend which came to Sydney to stay. Both of them are dealers at the biggest casino in Australia. Due to our gambling laws, there is only one casino per city and so because they work there, they can not gamble there. Being around gambling for so much of their life, they like to have a punt every now and then. Again, seeing as our little distraction keeps us at home for the majority of the time, getting out to the casino in Sydney was not going to happen. So, as we settled down to watch a few games of footy, we decided to put some sports bets on to make things interesting.

After he bet on his team in the first bet of the day, he was on a free roll for the rest of the festivities. We started making multi’s covering Euro 2008 soccer, cricket, football and greyhound racing. I still say we suffered too many bad beats and were due a win (how the hell could van Nistelrooy miss that chance at the 26’ mark?). Things were not going our way, but it did make watching the games interesting.

Take for example the Collingwood vs Bulldogs AFL game on Sunday. We had a bet on that the second quarter(or period for my North American friends) would be the highest scoring of the game. So, in the first quarter the ball would go near the goals and we would be cheering for the defenders. As soon as they got the ball over half way, we would switch teams. Come the second quarter, we changed our ways and started cheering for which ever team was attacking. Through some very sloppy set shots on goal, the second quarter only managed 55 points – which was good, but not good enough. In the third quarter, both teams displayed silky smooth skills and near flawless goal kicking to score collectively 11 goals 2 points for 68 points. Even though that one went down, it still made watching the game more fun. We managed to leave a little bit in the account so I guess we’ll reinvest next weekend.

They are also big poker fans, and got some online poker in while they were here. Even though I was only looking over their shoulder, it was still fun to get back into it a bit. I think they won their way into a WSOP satellite tournament, so if they manage to beat out 10,000 others then one of them will be off to Vegas. I wonder if Australian casino employees can qualify for the casino employees event or if that is just for Vegas folk? The latter I assume…

Again for my North American friends, I’ve found a US Poker site that shows you which online poker rooms are US friendly, as well as general reviews and offers and the like. Well worth a browse for interested players.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Televised Poker

Bob: Harvard's Memory Loss Clinic, established in 1952, 1967, and for the first time in 1981.
”Mr Show with Bob and David”

Is it just me, or is the decision to delay the final table of the main event at the world series the worst decision ever made? Televised poker has taken a beating in the last few years, and every effort has been made to saturate the market to the point of shark jumping. But now, I reckon we might have reached the zenith. It won’t be long before interviews will be granted mid-hand to a player before they make a decision to call or fold.

The broadcasting of the main event final table has never suffered because the results were already known – we still watched to see how they won and what the other players were holding. If the main event wasn’t already diluted as the pinnacle tournament in the poker world, it is now. Bring on the $50K horse event!

Game Show Network isn’t going to carry High Stakes Poker or the World Poker Tour, but it looks like Poker After Dark will turn towards some cash games. I think this is good, because PAD and HSP are the better televised poker programs going around at the minute.

On my personal poker news, the for the first time last week I actually felt like I missed poker. I was in a pattern of going to work Friday and thinking about the home game that night all day long – and I knew I couldn’t do it this time. But with the little Distraction putting in some consistent hours sleep together, there is a chance in a month or so I can resume some poker action.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Can Has Poker?

Ernest Menville: Where did you put my wife?
Second Doctor: She's dead, sir. They took her to the morgue.
Ernest Menville: The morgue? She'll be FURIOUS!
”Death Becomes Her”

For the first time in over 2 months, I played a full night of poker, and it hurt. Not chips wise – I ended up in front – but I was really looking for a place to lay my head when 5am came around. I guess forgetting to bring the red bull along didn’t help either.

The game was good, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves for the most part of it. I had a yo-yo night at the start, trying to play some silly hands just for laughs and getting caught. I lost two buy ins before things turned my way and then I was well in front before going cold for the last hour or so.

Big hands never came, but I had to work really hard for some of the pots to get others to fold. I was really happy with the way I played, all things considered. Maybe some time away from the tables has actually helped my game. I did pick up on some tells of my own when it came to river bets – a certain consistent amount was a value bet, and another was a bluff. By this time though it was early morning and I guess others were not as observant as they normally would be.

Getting out to play is very difficult these days, as is trying to play online when at any moment I could be called away for baby duties. I don’t think the Distraction will take “But I’ve flopped two pair!” as a valid excuse for neglecting fatherly duties. Well, at least not twice.

The stupid hands I was playing was 23 off suit and 63 off suit, both just because that is what is done in these games. 23 is always played on a certain players big blind, and 63 is played anytime I can come in for the first raise. It is a home game after all, you’ve got to have your fun.

Biggest hand of the night was when I kind of got caught trying to put a move on a player I felt was weak in the hand, and they called. I was right, they were weak and had only second or third pair, which left me with the nut flush draw, a gut shot straight and two overcards. Lotsa outs in other words – and the flush came. I don’t think I was under break ever after that point.

So my reads were pretty good, I made hands when I needed to and got just as lucky as I was unlucky. Had some fun talking shit with the other guys – such as what would you do if you won $59 million dollars – and all in all just enjoyed the chance to get out and play again. I haven’t felt like it was missing from my life, but it was nice none the less.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Greatest Time Waster Ever

Charlie: I'm asking for an example of one of these dumb fucks being a dumb fuck.
"Nurse Betty"

It may actually happen this week - I put in a full night of poker as both my distractions head to the inlaws so they can have their chance to hold and hug and what not. I haven't really missed my time away from the tables, but then again I haven't really had a chance to miss it.

What I have been doing though is one of the greatest time wasters ever - called INCIT. You have to go through some crap to sign up, but after that load up incit and have a go putting motivational captions on random photos. Be prepared for a fair amount of profanity and captions that will surely send you straight to hell - it is the internet after all.

I could spend hours there, and have, and just reading the other submissions for when the funny comes in.

At times, there are not enough people on to play, and you have to pick your times but as it is relativly new there are more people coming every day. Worth a look, trust me once you get past the little log in game thing, it's worth it.