Halifax Gentlemen's Poker Association

"We're as honest as gambling men can be."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Game Report 10/17/06

Location: Dr. Smiley's Poker Emporium
Attendance: Chris, Neil, Smiley, Dirty, Miller

A sparse but hardy group decided to throw some cards at Smiley's swanky South End pad once again. Everyone who didn't come missed the chance to see Miller's awesome Dr. Doom gloves (affectionately dubbed "The Cheese Graters of Doom"), the spiffy new folding chairs made out of iron and padding and the insane display of bad karma for poor old Neil.

The low numbers meant many games were on the table, so a lot of stud was mixed into regular rounds of Hold 'Em and Omaha. Early round games saw Dirty and Smiley build some nice stacks. Eric and Neil played tight but just couldn't get any cards. Chris' stack swelled and shrunk like the tides, until a massive hand of Baseball early in the night saw him take a ginormous chip lead that he would lord over the table for the remainder of the games.

Further rounds of Omaha saw Neil take some catastrophic all-in losses thanks to several well timed river cards. Miller's play saw him build some stacks only to lose out on some decent calls that just didn't cut the mustard. Dirty's once proud stack was soon decimated, but he managed to turn his first buy-in into a comfortable stack in short order. Smiley's cryptic style of concealing his chips and cards with his hands made it hard to see how well he was doing, but he was smiling so who knows.

A few big hands of split-pot stud saw Dirty and Chris taking both ends of the pot, furthering their large stacks. Neil's despair deepened as he failed to get decent hands and the hands he did move in on were summarily destroyed on the river by better hands. Chris saw his once omipotent stack slowly dwindle to a mere gargantuan one, as Miller solidified his position heading into Crazy Games.

The usual suspects were played, including Smiley's Jesus Saves stud variation. Chris invented some kind a new Guts game called "Class Warfare" that allowed extra cards to be purchase based on a share of the pot. Neil desperately doubled-up a few times only to fall short on the third attempt, again thanks to the magic of the river card. Refusing to buy in for a sixth time, he watched the foursome hurl chips at one another in Pregnant Cows, Montezuma's Revenge, Tic Tac Toe and more. In what seems to be a recurring theme in HGPA weekly games, a large Gang War was the last hand of the night, and the game was called at 1 a.m. sharp.

Big Winner: Chris likely had far more at one point, but still managed to cash out at a very respectable +$60.

Big Loser: Neil, keeping with his desire to be Big Something every week, to the tune of -$50

Quadalicious: Several people hit quads in non-crazy games through the night. Coupled with Miller's Quadraphonia at the tourney last Saturday and it's been raining them all week.

Old Man River: Neil saw his better hand decimated not once, not twice, not three, four, five or six times, but SEVEN times courtesy of the river card. Suffice to say, this did not do wonders for his morale over the evening.

Bob & Baseball: Despite no Bob, Baseball was played. And not even during the Crazy Games! Must have been the baseball on the TV influencing us.

Chips Ahoy!: Smiley knocked over his own stack of chips several times and was also nice enough to smash Dirty's chips off the table at least 3-4 times over the course of the evening.

Throwing Down The Gauntlet: While not being forced into an Eric's Trip this week, at one point Miller donned his Dr. Doom gauntlets to "turn his luck around". Upon realizing he couldn't manipulate his cards with any realistic expertise, he quickly ditched them.

Quote of the Night: "Unnnnnnngh ... excellent. Well, here you go." - Neil, after seeing the only card in the deck that could beat him arrive on the river, having to deliver all of his chips to Smiley in what was a common occurance during the evening.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Tournament Report 14/10/06

Eleven men entered, but only one left. Well, everyone left. Except me, as I lived there.

Anyways: The tourney was another rousing success, even without our reigning champ Chris there or the likes of Alex, Bob, Tiger, Ward, Cal or Jarrod cluttering things up.

Eleven entrants, split for a long while into two tables (5/6). Several rebuys, a lot of reloads and the pot swelled to a delicious $400.

Once again the tourney ran far too long (a full six hours, 9 p.m.-3 a.m.), prompting this observer to suggest a 20 min capped round time limit on these things.

Lots of good moments, but since it was more that 24 hours ago I don't recall any of them. Good times, though.

Order of Elimination

11 - Cracker

10 - Dan Melvin

9 - Drake

8 - Neil

7 - Hyland

6 - Sean Jordan

5 - Speedbag

4 - Smiley

3 - Merrick ($80)

2 - Dirty ($120)

Grand Champion - Claming his first tourney win was Miller, netting $200 for his efforts which will surely salve some of the recent losses he has incurred at the weekly game. It was hard to not imagine him winning, since he hit quads an amazing four times through the night.

Since I was far too dazed after 2.5 hours of dealing cards to snap a picture, here's an artist's rendition of Eric enjoying his spoils:

Fun times, gents.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Poker with world leaders?

OK, here's a challenge for you HGPA blog readers: tell me what kind of players you think world leaders would be in a no-limit hold'em tournament, and what your strategy for dealing with them would be.

Here's some sample leaders, along with my answers, but feel free to use other leaders as well:

  1. George W. Bush - U.S. President

    Chris' read: Believes he is personally in touch with God, proudly not a member of the “reality-based” community.

    Chris' strategy: Dude thinks he can do no wrong, and the Lord will provide. He’s going to be heavy on any draw, because he thinks he’ll get his magic card. Any time I have a decent made hand and put him on a draw, I will bet hard. He might hit now and then, but in the long term I will clean him out.

  2. Kim Il-Jong - North Korean Supremeo

    Chris' read: Haircut, jump suits, family history, poking the tiger. Nuts. He’s a big bluffer. Nuclear test my ass.

    Chris' strategy: Treat him like Cal when he's drinking.

  3. Ehud Olmert - Prime Minister of Israel

    Chris' read: Justifiably insane; you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you. He'll be tight agressive.

    Chris' strategy: Mostly get out of his way, unless I’m on the nuts. Mix in occasional strong bluffs, to try to trigger his “tight” characteristic.

  4. Hugo Chavez - President of Venezuela

    Chris' read: Hugo knows the score, and it drives him nuts. He’s so pissed at Bush that he's started making moves that are less strategic than previously. Somewhat loose agressive.

    Chris' strategy: The key here is to put him on tilt, so he starts making mistakes. Ideally I would do this by making him extremely upset with another player at the table, and then sit back and play off of both of their mistakes.

  5. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - President of Iran

    Chris' read:Panders to his base as much as Bush, but doesn’t actually believe the shit he says. Knows just how far back to strand when poking the tiger.

    Chris' strategy: Watch out for traps, and wait until he makes his big play on a hand when I’m in the weeds with the nuts.

  6. Muammar al-Gaddafi - "Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya"

    Chris' read: Dude in a dress or not, he knew when the time was right to get “terrorist supporter” off his resume. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

    Chris' strategy: I have to make him think I’m a threat, so he will respect my bets (especially my bluffs). Since he’ll fear me, I’m going to get out his way when he raises back (he must have the nuts), and dime him down with bluffing.

  7. Vladimir Putin - President of Russia

    Chris' read: Deeply screwed by economic hit men & the nomeklatura, but not at all insane. Pretty hard to make him flinch.

    Chris' strategy: Just get him drunk. I.e. the MacFarlane strategy.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Game Report 10/10/06

Location: Dr. Smiley's Poker Emporium
Attendance: Smiley, Dirty, Neil, Drake, Chris, Alex, Miller, Mal

Another week back at the snuggly table at Smiley's place. Early fears of low numbers were quickly allayed and we dove into cards headlong.

Hold 'Em and Omaha dominated much of the early play. Dirty and Smiley had the luck of the Irish and both enjoyed numerous pots early on. Chris was into his second buy-in pretty early on, and Alex and Miller soon joined him.

A lot of pre-flop raises meant a sizeable amount of money being shuffled about. Mal made a couple of large pots, only to lose them all almost right away. Drake made a couple of big moves but failed to capitalize, sending him to the sidelines for a while. Neil won a big hand every 10th hand or so to keep him around neutral for much of the early going.

As the night progressed and more and more buy-ins meant more and more chips out on the table, the stakes were raised considerably. Mal pulled out a massive hand with quad Aces, which he coasted on for the rest of the night. Neil put a serious dent into Smiley's stack after unknowningly hitting a backdoor flush to take out Smiley's straight. Chris hit a few magical hands to slowly turn his fortunes around after hitting his $40 limit for buy-ins not much earlier. Alex, also in the hole for $40 also began restoring his stack with some large bets and gutsy calls.

Drake bought back in but soon found himself once again sidelined, which opened the door for some split-pot Stud games. The usual head to head splits occurred, with nobody able to get the big both-ender that usually sends the chips all one way. Eric's woes continued, and Neil hit a few big hands in a row to build a sizeable collection of black chips.

Heading into Crazy Games, Garbage Day, Slaughterhouse, Mass Barbecue, Federation Day, Montezuma's Revenge, eBay and a new game smiley invented called Jesus Saves all made showings. Not surprisingly, a lot of chips moved around, as Smiley and Dirty saw their earlier fortunes wane into poverty while Chris, Alex and Neil enjoyed a boomtime. Mal rode his earlier winnings in comfort, and Eric staved off complete bankruptcy with a few clutch hands. After large gang war left Neil with a large majority of the chips on the table, the game was called.

Big Winner: Neil, with +$110 off a single $10 buy-in (including a roll of quarters. Nice!)

Big Loser: Eric seemed to be the most down, likely around -$40 or so (but he also got a roll of quarters to soften the blow)

Big Swinger: Smiley went from clear Big Stack early to 4th or 5th in a matter of 2-3 hands of Omaha. Yowza.

Comeback Kids: Chris turned a -$40 into a +$0.35 in fairly short order. Alex also turned a -$30 into a spiffy +$15 profit near the end of the night.

Opiate of the Masses: The 2006 Scream Awards on Spike TV captivated many people at the game, with a precocious blend of glitz, titz and faux horror and comic-book geekery.

Science Content: The optic nerve is the second of twelve paired cranial nerves but is considered to be part of the central nervous system as it is derived from an outpouching of the diencephalon during embryonic development. Consequently, the fibers are covered with myelin produced by oligodendrocytes rather than the Schwann cells of the peripheral nervous system. Also, if you happen to cut this thing with a pair of rusty scissors, a thick white liquid will spurt out of the now vacated eyeball. Thank you, Spike TV.

Startling Revelation: Frank Miller, the diminutive graphic novelist, artist and film director best known for his film noir-style comic book stories, is apparently "a nerd". Stop the presses.

Bob & His Balls: No Bob = no baseball held true again tonight. Huzzah!

Quote of the Night: "It's a lot like when you fuck a fat chick - it feels great for a few minutes, but afterwards you feel awful and you're all like 'what the fuck was I thinking?!' " - Neil, describing the mental effects of a hangover donair.

Honorable Mention: "Who the fuck watches this kind of shit anyways?" - Mal, commenting on the Scream Awards that he intently watched and scrutinized for a full two hours.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Game Report 03/10/06

Location: Allan Street Poker Syndicate
Attendance: Neil, Chris, Drake, Miller, Alex, Carsten, Dirty, Smiley

I have almost no clear recollection of what happened last night thanks to my heroic intake of Jagermeister. I was so intoxicated that I am even having difficulty remembering what happened before I got smashed, which is never a good sign.

Anyways, the Coles Notes version:

Everyone came over and we started playing cards around 9:30 or so. Omaha and Hold 'Em, with some Guts in there as well. I dumped a significant amount of Jager onto myself and my chips, perhaps a desperate act of self-preservation vainly perpetrated my liver.

Smiley and Dirty appeared to have a lot of the chips, until Chris rocked Smiley with a clutch card on the river to nail quad 3s. Chris seemed to keep most of this money while myself, Eric and Carsten were soon sent back into our wallets.

At some point we busted Carsten out and played some stud and I lost a lot of money. Eric's Trip occured as Miller had to hit the ATM down the road. I got to the end stage of G.I. Joe on the MAME during one of the breaks. Alex cashed out around 12:30 a.m. and we started playing crazy games. Chris made up some game that confused everyone. I remember Gang War being played. A lot of money was in the middle and none of it came towards me.

We stopped playing at some point and everyone left. I woke up on my couch around dawn with a half-eaten pizza pocket on my chest, PBS blaring some special about the disapperance of wetlands and a disturbing gap in my recollection of what had occured over the previous few hours.

Big Winner: No idea, but Chris and Dirty seemed to have a lot of chips so I presume it's one of them.

Big Loser: Clearly me, with at least $60 and a large slice of my lifespan being lost.

Riverdance: Chris definitely should have done one when he rivered a magical 3 to hit quads over Smiley's full house for a game-shattering sized pot.

Science Content: Jägermeister is a strong (70-proof; 35%) liqueur flavored with herbs (similar to Danish stomach bitters such as Gammel Dansk, the Hungarian Unicum, or Czech liqueur Becherovka). The name Jägermeister comes from the German words Jäger and Meister meaning "master of the hunt" or "master hunter" in the sense of "expert" or "committed" hunter. Contrary to urban legends, Jägermeister contains neither deer blood nor opium. Also, this shit will get Neil fucking hammered out of his mind, esp. when swilled straight out of a glass.

Baseball Shocker: We actually played some even though Bob wasn't around to insist that we do.

Quote of the Night: Some joke I made about a guy sodomizing Chris delivered in the form of a golf analogy, but I can't for the life of me remember what the fuck I said. Everyone laughed for a bit, so I am guessing it was gangbusters, whatever it was.

Honorable Mention: "I have a right to hate whoever the fuck I want." - Drake reasserting his cheery demeanor after I had commented that he had a right to hate people he had previously lived with.