Sunday, February 20, 2005

Liver Damage And Other Pains

Not much to report this weekend on the poker front, due to two birthday parties and a football game. I can't report too much on the parties either, due to an element of alcohol induced amnesia. I surmise they must have been good.

I enjoyed the parties a heck of a lot more than the football, as Celtic lost at home to Rangers for the first time in five years.

It's difficult to be too harsh on a bunch of players who have served the faithful so well over the last five seasons, but to not only be outplayed, but also outfought, is pretty damn galling.

As a football player, I am absolutely useless. Yet I can guarantee when I do play, nobody gets an easy ride. I'll chase them down, jostle them and tackle them hard but fair. It'd be the same in any sport. Put me in the ring with Bernard Hopkin and he better be willing to knock out the amateur if he wants an early night.

It's about pride, heart, and being able to look yourself in the mirror and know that you did your best. To get the chance to do that for the team you love, in front of a capacity crowd, in an atmosphere which is bursting with tension and anticipation, should surely lift any player to new heights of endeavour and attainment.

Professional players don't always seem to see it that way. Maybe they are spoiled by the enormous earnings, or by the constant adulation, but even so, is it asking too much to stretch for every ball, to put your foot in when a tackle is there to be made, to feel the pain when the game goes against you? It didn't seem like they were hurt today, the way the fans were.

I did squeeze in a few hours of 2/4 limit poker on Saturday afternoon - netting a decent profit. The highlight was a straight flush, which went up against a Q-high flush. The betting was capped on the turn, but he chickened out on the river and only called my bet. It was a nice payoff, but would have been better if he had the Ace!

I was playing on the Prima network, and got some strange message about playing on TV tables on channel 226 of Sky. Sure enough, I checked in the early hours of this morning, and Sky were televising live internet poker.

There's a 10 minute broadcast lag to prevent players playing while watching their opponents hand on TV, but they really were televising low buy-in internet games. I'm sure one of the SnG was a $2 event. There was a voice-over commentary and an interactive Q&A session. Text now for £1 a message. Yeah, right.

Is this the ultimate in poker boom madness? What next? I'll be expecting Sky to make me an offer to televise my home game soon.

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