Monday, September 11, 2006

Podcasting and poker ruminations

Cincinnati Sean and Brent Stacks have folded up their virtual table and poker podcast at Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio with Episode 84. A shame to see them go, as they were the only other poker podcast I subscribe to. I sample a lot but find most of them are bad - often Very Bad, real stinkeroos, as Dan Ackroyd used to say on SNL.

If you haven't listened to CCoLAR before, and want to check them out, I wouldn't recommend the last show, which sounds like it was haphazardly cobbled together as quickly as possible, probably symptomatic of why Sean decided to shut the podcast down. The sound quality is so bad through most of the episode that I thought my iPod was broken. Kind of a shame that they'd go out that way, but there are any more - and much better - episodes in their archives that you can give a listen to. Sean also makes several claims in the last two shows that while he's done with a regular podcast - I suspect the Cincinnati Kid makes a regular schedule impossible - he expects to post occasional shows when time and tide allow. So, I'll keep subscribed to his feed, and CCoLAR will stay in the blogroll for awhile longer.

I liked Sean and Brent's conversations, but the highlight of CCoLAR for me was Columbo's One-Minute Mysteries, a sample poker hand offered to the reader for thought on how it should be played out... and then Columbo's explanation on how he played it out, sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. The Good News is the Columbo has moved the OMM to another podcast. The Bad News is that it's Ante Up, (warning: annoying QuickTime load at their site) one of those poker podcasts that (in my opinion, of course) falls into the latter category I noted in my opening paragraph. But it's been some time since I last listened to AU. Maybe it's improved, or maybe Columbo will be enough incentive for me to stay listening. But I dunno. And this isn't an encouraging sign about the longevity of AU either.

The other poker podcast I recommend is PokerDiagram, which I warn in advance, won't be to everyone's tastes. PD, as their intro states, are two Brits "playing online poker, and talking about it as they do so." I know that sounds as enticing as listening to a podcast about paint drying ("Do you think?" "Well, let's try!" "No, still tacky, I'm afraid.""Okay, and what color did we choose again?"), but I find it a perfect podcast to exercise by or mow the lawn.

Yesterday, while doing that very thing, I was listening to a PokerDiagram conversation about correctly reading another player's cards, realizing that you were behind... and still playing out the hand. "Ain't that the truth," I thought while later playing in a SnG, on the bubble with AA in my hand. I have a smallish-size stack of around $3k. Blinds are $100/200. I bet out $800, and get a call from the chip leader, who has like four times my stack. Flop is Q blank, blank. I bet the pot, and he calls me, which tells me he probably has the Queen, with the possibility of maybe he's holding a small pair that has tripped out for him. Turn is a Queen, so now he's tripped that if I'm right. I check, as does he, which I expect him to do if he's laying a trap. River is another blank, and he bets just enough to convince me that he does have the Queen... but I call him away. And, of course, he did have the Queen, as I knew from the Flop. But I still bet it, in a perfect example of the hand disregarding what the brain is telling it.

Why do we do that? Who knows, but we all do at one time or another. Bubbling out on that game, football on the TV and Peggy out, I'd go into another SnG and end up taking 1st place, a nice salve for my wounds.

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