8.11.06

Hey, wha'haaapen?

So posts of late have been about this and that, frivolous matter after frivolous matter. I figured it was time to get something up about what else is going on. Okay ramblers, let's get rambling.

Not much is really going on with the personal life right now, hence the lack of posts with any substance. I've been lazing around most days and just wasting time following random Wikipedia links, or laughing my ass off on T-Shirt Hell, or seeing what's out there for local events listed on meetup.com. And that's really just been tonight.

I've been keeping current on what little TV I watch, and I've been trying to plow through the backlog of movies (which numbers in the hundreds, alas). I set aside a dozen flicks as a goal for this past weekend (Friday to Sunday) and wound up getting through 7 of them; one of those was a flick I didn't intend to get so it really doesn't count as I didn't watch more than 15 minutes of it.

I'm still waiting for my iPod Shuffle from Futureshop, and it doesn't look like I'll have it in time to christen it at the poker game I've got this coming Sunday. I'd hoped to have it in plenty of time so I could have it charged, loaded with tunes, and get some familiarity with its size and the secret-decoder-ring style light sequences it displays. I guess that's not going to happen since the web store says they're not getting it in until November 10th (this coming Friday); factor in shipping (since you can't pick up online preorders at stores) and there's no way I'll have it for the 12th. Thank goodness I'm getting a discount on it at least.

So, anyway, yeah, there's this poker game I'm going to on Sunday. It's hosted by Hayden, with whom I used to work at Safeway years back. He's also married to the sister of my friend Rob's girlfriend, so that's where the "It's a small world" factor kicks into play. Hayden's a fun guy and the people who organized the last game at his place did a really nice job. There were some issues I had (namely with the blind positioning when players were knocked out; the way they did it was wacky in that they had 3 blinds instead of 2 until the button passed the empty seat), but mostly it was very well-run. I don't doubt I could do better (and have done better in my estimation) but they supplied things I wouldn't, like a nice table top.

Last time at Hayden's there were 17 or so people, and we were split up between two tables. I had been told there were about 25 people expected; there was a third table set up when I arrived, but that was quickly taken down when it was known we didn't have need for it. It was a fun night, filled with mostly n00b players, but there were a few there who had a clue. I enjoyed playing against new blood as sometimes other games I attend get tedious playing with the same people every time. The thing took 5 or so hours overall, but eventually I whittled my way through the field (not that I got very many kills, maybe 1 or 2) and finished in second place overall for a prize of $90. I got lucky a few times, but everyone who wins (or finishes well) in a tournament has to get lucky now and then. My road hand for the night was pocket tens, a hand with which I never lost (and with which I survived one all-in against Ace-Eight; I was a 2 to 1 or better favourite so it was only right I survived there). In the end I got impatient when it was heads up and went all-in with Deuce-Trey offsuit vs the chipleader who had me outchipped 4 or 5 to 1. It took him the better part of 5 minutes to decide, but eventually he called with Ace-Four. The flop gave nothing to either of us, but I turned a Deuce to take the lead, and he spiked a Four on the river to eliminate me. Given I had 2 live cards there, I was about a 3-2 underdog so I had no issues with my play that hand. I went all-in expecting to bluff him, but as the pros say, you can only bluff good players -- so, the tactic backfired slightly.

I also decided last night that I needed some practice for Sunday as I've not played much poker since going to the casino a couple weeks back. I was too lazy to pull out the MacBook Pro and boot into Windows (or run Parallels) and play on Tiger (my usual haunt), so I just went with what I had installed on the iMac, which was the client for Full Tilt. Full Tilt is a very well-respected site and frankly the only one I've come across so far with actual Mac support and a Mac client. (Most suggest running VirtualPC instead of bothering with a Mac client.) I entered a multi-table play money tournament (as I have no real money there yet; I keep wanting to deposit there so I can earn points and maybe one day cash in those points for a Full Tilt hockey jersey)... it was a 90-player tournament with the top 9 places paid. I got very lucky early on and amassed a huge stack, winding up 2nd overall in chips. From there I coasted for the most part until I lost HUGE with Jack-Ten of diamonds (and J-T suited is one of my favourite hands overall) when I flopped top two pair only to have someone else flop a flush (the flop was all hearts). I got lucky the next hand by surviving an all-in thanks to a board straight, and then I climbed back up until I was sitting pretty with chips again. After almost 2 hours of playing the tournament, I was finally knocked out in 5th place.

That was a good feeling, placing as high as I did given play money tournaments are generally very reckless in my experience. Still, not quite getting my fill, I then entered a single table sit & go; 9 players were allowed with the top 3 places paid. I was back and forth in chips for the most part early on, not really caring how I fared as I was playing with winnings. Still, I eventually focused and got to heads up with the person who'd lead in chips for most of the way (though I was chip leader when we got down to two). It took less than 10 hands to take care of them and win the tournament. So, I think I got some decent practice but I'll still play a little more before Sunday nonetheless.

Anyway, the weather is now officially crappy in Edmonton. Apparently there were blizzard (or blizzard-like) conditions tonight, so that may affect the turnout on Sunday. Regardless, I'm going in expecting to do well again. In my estimation, Rob and I amount to ringers at a game like that, which held true when one considers I finished second overall last time and he finished third. I'm curious to see if it continues to hold true this coming game.

Beyond those things, not much is really happening around here. I'm still content to not look for a job despite mounting boredom and too much of the same routine. I'm hoping I can manage to get through the winter without going postal but we'll see what happens. I've been playing a fair bit of NHL 07 on the XBox 360, trying to plod through a season and/or dynasty before I get rid of the game altogether. I bought the 360 to play Tiger Woods 2006 despite the fact it was a rampantly buggy game and there were a lot of things in the game which said they could be accomplished but in reality could not (eg. some of the gamer score achievements, the number of pro shop items, unlocking gold clubs without a cheat code, etc.). I played the game to death and still have a few things to accomplish for the single player mode. I also have Tiger Woods 07 sitting here, still in the shrinkwrap. After the crap EA served customers with Tiger Woods 2006, and the problems I've read about with 07, and the problems I've experienced with NHL 07, I'm quite tempted to take my copy of Tiger Woods 07 back to Futureshop and get my money back -- and boycott EA. There are loads of issues on both the EA and XBox forums about the shoddy nature of the development work and as a consumer I'm not happy with paying $70 for a game that's incomplete and buggy.

I could go on about that for another few pages but it's best to just stop there before I get overly worked up. I think this is about where it's appropriate (too late!) to end this post.

In honour of my friend Jean-Paul who's taking a beginner Spanish class to broaden his horizons, hasta luego!

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