Tuesday, January 01, 2008

He's back?

Well perhaps, if even for only a moment, to wish you all a Happy 2008, from 2008. Gotta take advantage of that date line thing when you can.

Anyhow, early 2008 resolution is to post a bit more regularly (like that's gonna be hard.) The blog may get a bit of a rebranding, as I'm not expecting to be playing much poker, but we'll see how it goes.

2007 is in the books as the year I learned that I shouldn't really play cash. I'm just not temperamentally suited for it I think. So, back to the sit and go arena, and the occasional MTT.

In 2008:

May all your bluffs succeed,
Your value bets be called,
And you river your one outers.

Unless of course, you are at my table.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas to all and to all ...

Yeah, yeah, I'm a bad blogger. No posts in almost two months.

What can I say?

End of academic year, paper deadlines, conference to organize, academic and social visitors, no poker, blah blah blah.

Anyhow, off to Brisbane tomorrow for a couple of weeks, and will reevaluate the future, or lack thereof, of this blog in the new year.

Meanwhile, have fun everyone.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Four too, two four, whatever ...

Following on from Kat, and Fuel, various fours for me. Partly to avoid an embarrassingly large overlap with the latter, I'll go the "low culture" route for the most part:

Four jobs I've held:
  1. Lawn mowing
  2. Undergrad research assistant
  3. Maths lecturer
  4. Computer science lecturer
(Sigh, not very exciting, I know.)

Four films I could watch over and over:
  1. Brazil
  2. A Knight's Tale
  3. The Incredibles
  4. O Brother, Where Art Thou
Four TV shows I watch:
  1. Dr Who
  2. Heroes
  3. CSI X
  4. Absolute Power (if it ever comes back)
Four places I've lived:
  1. Penetanguishene Ont
  2. Oxford UK
  3. Pittsburgh PA
  4. Dunedin NZ
Four favourite foods:
  1. Coquilles St Jacques
  2. Venison goulash
  3. Almond croissant
  4. Brötchen with butter and apricot jam
Four websites I visit daily: Too dull (not the topic, the answers.)

Four favourite colours: Mu

Four places I'd love to be right now:
  1. Arran
  2. Wanaka
  3. Toronto
  4. Actually, it's not too bad here

Four names I like but wouldn't name my children: that would be tempting fate in more ways than one.

Four favourite books:
  1. The Big Sleep
  2. The Moving Toyshop
  3. A Hat Full of Sky
  4. In the Skin of a Lion
Ok, so food and books stretched the definition of "low culture" a bit in places. Live with it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Veeery scaaary stuff ...

23Skidoo of Compromising Anonymity left a comment on my "best pop songs ever" post, pointing me towards a performance of Radio Radio by Elvis Costello (and the Beastie Boys) on SNL.

Thanks to teh magik of teh interwebz it was only a matter of moments before I found it on YouTube:

And, the really scary thing is, it looks like Elvis is related to Mike Matusow.

Hmm ... just found

and now I get the joke at the beginning of the other one. Ah, wheels within wheels.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sit 'n fold

There's certainly a lot of bridge reading to catch up on, or rather to review, as I've yet to acquire any new books. Regardless, it's left little time for poker. But, I had an hour or so to spare with a stew in the oven, as well as some radio listening to catch up on, so I fired up a turbo SNG.

It seems to me that more people are catching on to the "tight early" strategy, which is a bit worrisome. No one was eliminated from this one until the blinds were 50/100. There were a couple of fairly loose players, but they were sticking to small ball and handing chips around among themselves.

Stayed in my usual shell, including folding AQ suited on the button with a raise and reraise in front of me (the reraiser eventually took down the pot after the flop, so I don't know whether or not I was right). Then got AQ suited again UTG at 15/30. A raise to 100 brought two of the loose players and one other along. So, I felt I had to bet out (300) on the A63 rainbow flop. The two loosies dropped, but the other fellow called. Seemed AJ, AT (maybe), AQ (possible), and AK (unlikely) were his probable hands (or I was near dead to a set). I checked the 5 on the turn, and he bet a ridiculous 120 into a 1045 pot. I called (figuring I was ahead, but aiming to control the pot size just in case) and we both checked the 9 on the river, with my AQ just squeaking out his AJ.

Time for the turtle to pull his head in again. At 25/50 I was forced into a call preflop with T7 suited, a min raise and two callers in front. No joy on the flop, so that was that.

Down to 8 at 50/100 and I got 99 UTG+1. My raise (300) was called by the BB only (one of the loosies and down just under 1000). The 987 rainbow flop looked pretty good to me. He checked, I bet half pot, he pushed, I called, he showed A7. Sweet. Until the board straightened on the turn and river. Sigh.

Tried a steal with 87 suited on the button. Big blind called. I followed when he checked the A42 rainbow flop, and he folded. What an easy game. More folding ensued as we approached the bubble. AT suited in the BB, the SB completed, I raised, he folded.

On the bubble, I'm second in chips with 2300! We have a monster stack, and a 1900 and 1300. Still need to concentrate.

Again I try to steal (at 75/150) from the SB with 74 suited. The BB calls, and the flop is A73 rainbow. I check, intending to fold, but he checks. The turn brings another 7. I bet a suspicious looking "conserving my stack" 350 into the 900 pot. He pushes. I call -- he has 55. We're in the money!

At 100/200 I get AQ in the SB with the button raising. My push sends him packing. I take a bigger hit than necessary with KJ offsuit on the button. My raise is called by the BB. Flop comes AKQ two diamonds. He checks, I bet, he calls. For some reason on the 9 of diamonds turn I feel the need to bet again -- he calls. The river is a truly ugly 6 of diamonds, and I have none of those. He pushes, I fold, leaving myself with about 1700 chips (against 9000 and 2800).

I squeak into second when the big stack pushes over a raise from the button, and is called. They race, TT against KQ and TT holds up.

So, we start heads up with me outchipped by about 8:1. I push J9 offsuit on the first hand, called by 72 offsuit (sorry, this wasn't a blogger game, so that just can't be right ...) Two nines on the flop, and I can hear destiny calling. We trade small pots for a while and then I win a race (22 vs KQ) so the chips are almost even.

Well anyhow, we bounced around for a while as one does, and then with stacks almost even agian at 200/400/25 I got 66 in the BB. He completed, I pushed and he called with K7 suited in spades. A race, but a pretty bad call in my opinion (I suspect a "let's get this over with" call). The flop had a 6 for me, but two spades for him. And the turn completed his flush.

Perhaps that wasn't destiny calling, but a siren. Oh, ye of little faith. The board duly paired on the river, and I mopped up his few remaining chips (less than 2BB) with A9 v 32 on the next hand.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I wonder what he meant by that?

So, my last post on pop music having been such a raging success (cough), let's try another variation on that theme:

Your favourite lyrics that sound really impressive, but which you've never been quite sure of the actual meaning of.

And, to kill any possible suspense, I'll start with three of my own.

Number 3: The Invisible Man (Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Punch The Clock)
Crowds surround loudspeakers hanging from the lampposts
Listening to the murder mystery
Meanwhile someone's hiding in the classroom
Forging the books of history
I always thought that last line was "Polishing the books of history", which both scans better and is less obvious. And I've just listened to the song three times, and I'm still not sure. Costello can be like that, creating some really interesting double entendres by fudging on pronunciation in places (the best one I can think of is in Red Shoes, where in "chasing after vengeance" the "v"-word could be any one of: vengeance, visions, virgins. The latter works particularly well in conjunction with "punctured" in the next line.)

Number 2: The Call of the Wild (David Byrne, Rei Momo)
Albert Einstein wrote equations
God told Noah "Build an Ark"
Johnny Mathis sings Cole Porter
To bring light into the dark.
Slightly fish in a barrel as you could pick just about any verse of any given David Byrne song and use it.

And at number 1, from my favourite obscure Canadian band

Number 1: Wrong Kind of Right (Doug and the Slugs, Wrap It)
Tie it all up (tie it up, tie it up!)
With a piece of hemp from a hang man's memory
We'll attempt to redefine geometry
This time the official site no less claims that it's "Add it all up" and "the hang man's". But, my ears do not lie (at least not yet -- despite advancing years, they at least still seem to be working adequately.)

Probably no accident that two of my choices deal with mathematics in some way. What are yours?


Monday, October 08, 2007

Update on "best pop/rock song ever"

It's not too late to vote or make suggestions! See the original post, if you don't know what I'm talking about. (Remember the basic criterion: must have received significant commercial air time without dropping into the "I never want to hear that again" category.)

Fuel55 weighed in with an enormous list. But, his first suggestion (Bowie's Young Americans) is certainly right up there. I'd want to include some other Bowie classics from that general era as well: Changes, Suffragette City, Space Oddity.

Mr Subliminal was more restrained, putting up Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven (sorry, for me at least, it's in the too long and too overplayed categories), and the Stones Sympathy for the Devil (excellent, and of course there are plenty of other Stones candidates as well.)

I'd like to put some songs from The Who or Queen on the list, except I'm afraid that overexposure through CSI "insert city name here", and relentless playing of We are the Champions at sporting events (when it wasn't really much good to begin with), as well as the excessive length of Bohemian Rhapsody probably disqualify them. Well, perhaps except for My Generation, which for some of us at least is starting to acquire a nice ironic ring. I'm acquiring a collection of My Generation covers on my iPod -- would appreciate pointers to any new ones (so far I have the original, Green Day, and Patti Smith.)

Tangentially, does anyone remember The (remants of the) Who doing Won't get Fooled Again at one of the post 9/11 benefits (Madison Square Garden I think). Talk about irony.