Thursday, October 27, 2005

Poker ramblings

Yes, I do still play poker. And here's a posting on various things, with poker being the unifying link. Uber-posts aren't necessarily pure dwarf territory.

Boingboing mentioned an extremely strange role-playing site, Last Call Poker (apparently the correct term is "alternate reality game or ARGs"), about a week back where the central theme is Hold `Em. According to a Boston Globe article, LCP was developed by the same people who did similar things for AI (the movie) and Halo 2, and is apparently a stealth promotion for a Wild West-themed video game.

I've been playing on Last Call intermittently when I feel like poker but don't feel like gambling real money. Although I seem to be a minority opinion, I like the interface - not least because I'm impressed that anyone could build a poker site in Flash - although it is a bit slow. The "alternate reality" part of it I'm not getting, I think as much due to a lack of patience as anything else. So far I've only gotten a few so-called "spooky" emails, that read as if I walked in on the middle of a very complicated story. I wasn't about to give them out my phone number as I have this vision of Peg picking up the line and listening to a sultry voice inviting me to a midnight poker session at our local graveyard.


The Good Doctor recently wrote an essay on poker blogger vernacular that's worth a read. It includes the history of the infamous Hammer, which two cards equal the Hilton Sisters (an unfortunate comparison to Siegfried and Roy that I heard at a live poker table always comes to my mind when they appear in my hand), and which two starting cards are likely to leave you a loser and face down in the muck.


And how is your play, Unca Fred? Well, let's see. On Sunday in the 1st All-Blogger free-roll tournament on PokerStars, I placed in 336th position out of field of 1473, which ain't too shabby but didn't put a Nano in Daddy's pocket either. Pauly, btw, was nice enough to list ricoM's finish in his list of "Notable Eliminations."

I did finish ahead of many of my imaginary friends, including that sweet lil ol' lady, and the Guinness-swilling, table-chilling, hand-filling, Bushmilling dwarf housewife - who, btw, I have a bone to pick with, as he cavalierly includes someone in their 50s as part of a "busload of senior citizens" in his Ireland travel report. Here's news for you, you young whipper-snapper you, 50s ain't senior. It ain't even seasoned yet.

Where was I? Oh yeah, also notable was who was at my table (and unusual for a PokerStars tourney, I was at the same table for my entire game). I dueled a couple of times with a player on my left going under the handle of "Siren," who had a good-looking avatar, which means nothing, as the person behind the curtain is more likely to be a 400-lb toothless guy from Arkansas playing in his underwear as it is to be a babe. But Siren accumulated an impressive grouping of railbirds cheering her on, some of whom were calling her "Shirley," and it finally occurred to somewhat dense Rico that he was looking at a picture of and sharing a table with a real poker babe Shirley Rosario, aka "The Poker Babes."

Long before I knew there was a blogfather or a Tao, long before I read the perspectives of a tough player from the state where the corn grows as high as a n'elephant's eye, I was reading the Poker Babes site. I drifted away from Poker Babes 'cause Shirley tended to post irregularly, but she's back on my list again. It was nice to be playing with someone whose blog turned me on to poker. As I said at the table, "Thank you, Shirley."

Anyway, the PokerStars tourney was fun, and I hope they do something similar soon. Nice viral marketing, too, btw, to whoever came up with the idea. On the other hand, I thought their ad on BoingBoing (which was still there the last I looked, and I reproduce here for history) was the nadir of low taste. Neither good, PokerStars, nor funny.

Other games: I went into a total funk when I lost my pinkie ring (since recovered. Peggy had accidentally swept it into a drawer and found it again - as she always does - that evening. I knew it was still in the house!), and compensated by playing poker. Mean poker, where I was deliberately hammering at every player in a 45 MTT, not caring whether I survived or not. Not loose, but probably the poker I should play more often, aggressive poker. Big bets when I thought I had the better hand. Good-size bets to make the other players rethink about staying in. And of course I did well, placing 2nd; the best I've ever done in a 45 MTT (I usually stay with two or three tables for MTT SnGs).

As I already know, I need to play more aggressively. That was just a proof point. So far the lesson has stuck, and my game has been better than it has in months. Tomorrow I'm planning on trying my hand at Wil Wheaton's weekly Friday game at PokerStars:

What: WWdN: Up4Poker Invitational
Where: PokerStars.
When: Friday, October 28th. 9:00 PM EST
Password: monkey
Tournament number: 14090593
Buy-in: $10+1

Lotta bloggers there for the first two as well as Wil fans, sez alliterative Mr. Rico, and it should be fun. Glad he moved up the time, as I may make it a semi-regular game.

And the uber-post ends. Not too shabby for a creaky old senior citizen, huh?


Ignatious said...

not too shabby, indeed.

only male senior citizens would DARE wear a pinky ring.

nuff said. :)

Maudie said...

Let me warm up my creaky, arthritic, senior-citizen, nubby hands here and... .... .... ... uh, what was I going to say?? hmmmm, must be the alzheimer's. Or a hormanal shift.... or... what? You say something? Speak up, the batteries in the hearing aide are dead...

Heh. See you at Wil's place! 8^)