Thursday, April 28, 2005

Midweek Musings

Just a stream of consciousness today comrades. Lots to cover, but nothing in much depth.

Poker news first. With my Belkin Pre-N wireless connection finally stable (minus encryption - still working on that) I've been grinding the latest Party Poker bonus on the laptop in front of the TV. Results so far broadly neutral, but the hands are going past quickly and the bonus draws near.

I took in the Chelsea v Liverpool game last night, then went to Sky 265 for The Poker Channel live coverage of the British Poker Open qualifying tournament. Each night there's a six handed qualifier - winner goes through to the next round - with a mix of big names and internet qualifiers from a different online site. When I say live, I really do mean live. Every hand is shown in real time with interviews conducted after each elimination.

Last night's session saw Gus Hansen suck out big style on Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott. Devilfish had QQ when Gus tried a move on him with 75s. Of course Devilfish ended up all-in and was helpless as the flop brought a 5 and the turn a 7. Ouch!! So he ended up in the losers lounge and didn't seem to be enjoying the interview - which I could easily understand!

Later Gus Hansen made the point that the constant breaks for commercials had disrupted his game, as he thrives on action. He lost heads up to an internet qualifier. Tonight Chris Ferguson and Howard Lederer will be involved in the Full Tilt Poker heat.

Watching Devilfish's bad beat put my most memorable hand of the evening in perspective. I was playing a very sociable $1/2 table with some intelligent chat - a pleasant change from the usual 'fu faggot' nonsense. There had been a few interesting hands which prompted the chat - including KK v AA twice in quick succession. Soon after, I got dealt AA in the SB.

Of course I raised the limpers and they all called. The flop comes 234 and I bet out, and am immediately raised. It's then folded back to me. Channeling the spirit of Ferguson and Lederer, I type into chat 'Surely not A5s?' - then call. There's no improvement on the turn or river as I check-call down, and the villain shows A5o for the flopped wheel. Close!

'Wow' says one of the other players. Heh. I did quite enjoy that. $5 thrown away chasing a 3-outer for a chop, but it was fun. If the table hadn't been so sociable I'd have folded to the raise, but I wanted to see how close I was.

The second bloggers WSOP satellite is this Sunday. It kicks off at either midnight or 1am UK time(still struggling with EDT, EST, GMT, BST), so normally I'd have to give it a miss due to work next morning. However I have a late start on Monday so I am expecting to play. Since I didn't have a Poker Stars account, I decided to continue my tradition of signing up through other bloggers. This time Grubby got the honour. I hope to see a few of you there! I hope my avatar is approved in time.

Anyone thinking of signing up for any poker site, or even buying from Amazon, please adopt a blogger and use their link. It makes no sense to give all your rake to 'the man'. He makes enough as it is.

Also get over to Milkybarkid's blog and check out the pot sizes!

While you are still here, check out my Google Page Ranking! Wow. I am well chuffed. From zero to four overnight. Hopefully that means a few more people will start to find me through keyword searches. I've already had a couple of hits on Gametime+ and Neteller. I might need to start throwing in spurious references to Paris Hilton and Christina Aguilera again if this keeps up.

I'm not sure how my site got ranked so well. From my limited understanding of how Google works, I suspect it may be because the few referrals I've got from others tend to be from pretty high quality sites which already have good rankings. So, thanks to all who have linked me up.

I've also been using Blog Explosion to drive some more traffic this way. Probably 95% of these browsers skip straight through, but it's a relatively pain free way to snare one or two new readers. I just keep a session running while I play, and click to a new link each time there's a lull in the poker action.

I do find a lot of insane, objectionable or just abjectly dull sites, but there are some gems to be found. Perhaps enough material for a later post.

Speaking of stuff I found on the net - NEVER play poker against this girl! When I saw this story I thought it had to be a spoof but it seems not.

Away from poker, my job continues to depress me. Each hour of each day is a life sapping experience. Sitting at 9am counting the minutes until 5pm is soul destroying. It's too late for a total change of career - not due to age or lack of willingness to learn, but the financial realities of owning a family size house, and having a kid on the way and a wife about to embark on maternity leave.

Perhaps a more interesting opportunity within the IT world will come my way. Here's hoping.

At the moment I am reading Dave Gorman's Googlewhack Adventure. Gorman seems to be a very personable guy, and he has certainly found a pleasant niche for himself. Randomly traveling the world to meet new people joined only by a tenuous Google search connection sounds like fun to me. Getting paid to do it is a work of genius.

If only I'd thought of searching for, and meeting, 'francophile namesakes', 'bushranger doublespeak', 'acehigh lawnmowers' and co. first! If you don't know what I'm talking about, buy the book. It's a good read.

I've always enjoyed traveling and seeing new places. One of my big regrets from school is not learning a few foreign languages - though I always take a phrase book when I go abroad.

It's a shame my hormones didn't kick in a bit earlier since the French teacher was lovely and some extra testosterone in my system might have swayed the class choices in a different direction. Away from the corduroy and elbow patches of Modern Studies, towards the slender legs and alluring perfume of French.

Alas I was a rather intense child, and the exotic delights of France, and the French teacher, seemed less important than working out how to get rid of the Thatcher witch.

You just don't get the right careers advice at school. No 'Scrap physics and chemistry or you'll end up doing electrical engineering with 198 guys and one ugly girl who by the end of the first semester looks like Claudia Schiffer to your ravenous eyes', or 'Do marketing at uni. Loads of hot chicks and an overpaid, underworked career of travel and cocaine'.

Instead you get 'ah yes Div, with your grades you are ideally qualified to train as a computer programmer'. They just forget to add '...and work in a desert of femininity where your job will be shipped to India the second the cost justifies it.'

Still on the hormone subject, my new found wireless freedom let me catch an episode of Desperate Housewives - which Mrs Div enjoys very much. It was a pleasant relief to find some very fanciable females on TV who were actually the same age, if not older, than myself. I found myself appraising Eva Longoria the way Homer appraises an ice cold keg of Duff. The show was pretty funny too.

I'm still quite happy checking out the latest pop princesses, but it can be a bit disconcerting to discover they are the same age as my friend's daughter. Yet not as disconcerting as thinking 'hmm Britney is definitely looking a bit past it now' then realising she is still ten years younger than me.

Yikes! With that thought I'll bid you adieu for now. Back to the tables....

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