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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

the best poker player in iqaluit ?

Sunday, 04SEP2005:

we had 19 players to kick off tonite's poker tourney at todd's, including 3 women. we split off into 3 tables, with 1000 in chips each and 10/20 blinds to start. i ended up at the head of table 1 to face off with 6 others. i went down to 300 in chips early on, but fought my way back up to even after knocking david out with my pocket kings that doubled up on the board.

we definitely had the toughest table as we had 4 people knocked off in the time that the other 2 tables combined only knocked off 1 person. vinnie was inscrutable as ever, and ma won hand after hand, at times taking down the next pot without having even had the time to clean up from winning the previous one. by the time we were down to 3, i was way short-stacked as ma had a massive chip lead with vinnie holding a respectable pile of chips as well. after surviving that slog, i confidently predicted that the winner of the tourney would come from table 1.

when we re-split into two tables with 14 players left, all 3 of the survivors of table 1 ended up at the same table again along with 4 others including the other 2 women. the most memorable hand for me at this table was when i folded pocket 10's with a king and a queen on the board, only to watch in horror as madeleine beat vinnie's pocket 4's with pocket 6's. as i had warned, the survivors of table 1 continued to dominate, and of the 4 who joined us, only madeleine survived to accompany the trio of table 1 veterans to the final table. vinnie had pulled up almost alongside with ma, while madeleine and i were not far on either side of even with our original stack of chips.

seated around the final table were: madeleine, ma, vinnie, daryl, patrick, todd, jim and me. jim was the short stack here and when he was the first all-in he almost seemed happy to move over to the sidegames. vinnie had started taking down ma's stake before the final table and continued to do so here until he finally bled her dry. patrick was next out and then it was 5 of us for a good while, with daryl playing tight, vinnie and madeleine wearing down the felt between them as they exchanged piles of chips with abandon, and todd and i waiting for the right opportunity to sacrifice our shorter-stacks.

i was the first to succumb, misplaying the pocket kings that i had won with earlier in the night. instead of either betting out before the flop or testing the waters after the flop, i went all-in when there was an ace on the board. silly me, i actually had the worst hand on the table as vinnie and todd both had paired up. vinnie took me out and crippled todd with an ace-six to todd's ace-five. todd hung on for a few more hands but got knocked out when he went all-in on pocket rockets.

in the money round, daryl, who had played maybe 5 hands in over 2 hours at the final table, was now the short stack and was eventually forced out as the blinds crept up. that left madeleine and vinnie to play heads up. both played very erratically, making extreme bets on shoestring hands. in the end, madeleine prevailed at 04:23 after over 8 hours of play. the pot was split 70-20-10, with madeleine taking down over a grand.

lessons learned to engrave on my thumb:
  • wait for the right opportunities - play the tourney, not the hand
  • when betting, look at what's on the board first and don't get greedy
  • give out as little info as possible and get your mind away from the game when it doesn't have to be there
on a positive note, the techno mix that i had made up for the tourney worked really well to keep me focused, seeing as i was short-stacked most of the night. 4 of us at the final table play together regularly, so i know that i'm skilled enough to deserve to be sitting there. next time, i just have to make sure to execute properly and i'll be in the money round.

it's funny, but i'm not at all concerned about the money spent, seeing as i'm still way up on the year in winnings. i have successfully toned down my competitive streak over the years, but when it comes to poker, i really seem to be more interested in acquiring bragging rights than acquiring the cash. the other benefit is the goldmine of stories about the clash of personalities and playing styles.

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scenic sylvia grinnel

Monday, 05SEP2005:

sylvia grinnell panorama with falls
hiked out to the sylvia grinnell falls with alison and bella this afternoon where we evaluated a few plays for feasibility of production. the play that was most enticing was tomson highway's 'the rez sisters'. i'll send out a notice tomorrow for a casting call next weekend.

closeup on sylvia grinnell falls
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sharing a bit of writing

Tuesday, 06SEP2005:

after work, went to this month's 'first draft' writers group meeting at l'ecole des trois soleils. bernie, maria and jen listened attentively as anna read a short story and carolyn and i read some poems in development.

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playing tired

Wednesday, 07SEP2005:

when patrick called late in the day to propose a quiet friendly, i jumped at the chance to improve from my still-respectable 5th placement on sunday. alas, a tired mind is a stupid mind and i busted out first after only about an hour of play to come in 7th.

in the news today, there was a note that a mail subsidy for canadian magazines was being cut back by heritage canada. with the similarly boneheaded maneuver earlier this year to try to eliminate the library book rate on top of the proposed anti-user copyright reforms, you have to wonder how a department that is charged with promoting canadian culture can demonstrate such a disturbing lack of vision.

i remember all the fuss when the canada-u.s. trade agreement was signed, when cultural subsidies were vehemently not on the table. today, it seems that our cultural bureaucrats are following the lead of the u.s. trade reps rather than standing behind canadian culture. contrast this kow-towing response to the combative softwood lumber eruptions and you have to shake your head. selling canadian trees is apparently more important than supporting canadian stories.

rather than undermining the tools that help provide an infrastructure to allow canadians to better communicate and share information with each other, what heritage canada should do if they want canada to succeed in the 'knowledge economy', is to move even further the other way to weaken intellectual property restrictions. if canada were to increase direct creator subsidies, with the understanding that what is created must be shared, and make canada a haven for P2P efforts, we can use our deep broadband penetration to flood the electronic universe with canadian content. rather than following the u.s. efforts to bully the world by sending troops, canada can lead by sending out ideas and stories that help to shape a more nunanced understanding of the world.

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all night long

Friday, 09SEP2005:

pulled an all-nighter at the office to meet deadline for today. the good things are that i actually did a half decent job on no sleep and that my latest mix of favourite techno-ish played for over 24 hours without me getting sick of it. went home early in the afternoon and crashed for the rest of the day.

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surviving another saturday frenzy

Saturday, 10SEP2005:

got up before noon, a rarity on a saturday, and wandered over to the curling rink to man the sign-up table for the broomball club. martha joined me and we signed up about a dozen players for the new season that will officially start at the beginning of october.

from there, i wandered up the hill to assist bella with her casting call duties. afterwards, i went home for a nap before, yes, another saturday evening of poker. as usual, i hit up the navigator for some sustenance first, bringing my own tupperware since i have enough of those foil dishes in my cabinets already.

8 of us started off the evening with todd, cyndi, jim, patrick, karen, becky, vinnie and myself. patrick and karen went out surprisingly early, with vinnie and todd going out next. cyndi continued to hang in there, but finally was knocked out, leaving 3 of us in the money round. jim came in 3d to get his buy-in back. when we were down to 2, becky hit a quad 5 and declined to go all in, but just took me down for a few hundred. i made a few agressive bad bets and suddenly becky was the chip leader. as we kept playing tho, the momentum swung back my way and somehow i was able to finish ahead.

6 of us signed up to play the side game. on the very first hand, vinnie had an ace-high and called todd's all-in. too bad, since todd had a set of kings. cyndi went out next, tho she managed to get 1 card shy of a straight flush a couple of times. i knocked out both jim and becky on the same hand, so i was left to play heads up with todd. we tussled for a few rounds, but when i finally put him all in, we both had top pair, and my kicker won that match.

while i won back the bragging rights that had eluded me over the last few weeks, it seems that a few of the other players feel that i have an unfair advantage by playing sober. so, since i don't plan on starting to drink just to play poker, i guess i just won't be playing as often. ah well, it will be good for me to put this vice into hibernation for a spell, as i can definitely use the free time to get caught up with some of my other projects.

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