Saturday, February 26, 2011

I bet this has never, ever happened to any of you

In a small way I have returned to playing online poker. I've been having some success at heads-up tourneys so I've been playing a lot of those. Mostly shootouts actually because in the 5/10/20 range my success rate is high enough to thus far make some money at it; but at this time of the morning (it's 5:42 AM; I'm a complete nocturne now) there aren't many takers.  

So I sit down at a double-stack $30 table and wait for an opponent; one comes along fairly quickly. We play maybe 10 hands, then he times out.  Next hand was a good one for me so I raised; I got the insta-fold that means his time-out has continued and FT is sitting him out. And the next hand.  And the hand after that.  It seemed pretty obvious to me that he fell dead asleep.

I did what any one of us would do; I auto-raised as quickly as I could.  Is it legal?  Of course.  Is it ethical?  That depends.  The completely honorable thing to do, I suppose, is to time myself out so that we're both in that netherworld of poker; two card-playing nosferatu drinking each other's blood until the world ends.  But brothers and sisters, I ain't got that kind of time.  Or, for that matter, that kind of bankroll.  I see a shot at a risk-free, if tedious, path to thirty squeeds and I took it.  My fingers were lightning; I made a point of wasting zero time min-raising his button, while he insta-folded to mine.  Within a matter of ten minutes I had his money.

And here's where it gets weird.

Like it does, at the end of the game FT offered us both a rematch.  I started thinking to myself that if by a miracle he wakes up now, and offers me a rematch, I'll take it because that, at the very least, is the honorable thing to do; give the dude a shot at making his money back.  But what were the odds of him waking up, mastering his faculties, and accepting a rematch in the ensuing 10 seconds or so?

Whatever the odds were, he beat them.  Out of nowhere I see he offers a rematch! Before I can change my mind I accept .  And it's Sleepy-pie vs. the Crafty Southpaw, round two.

We play maybe a half-dozen hands, and he...


he FALLS ASLEEP AGAIN.  And Buddha help me,once again I blind him down to the fingernails in 10 minutes.  His last hand, the one he goes all-in with automatically, is 2-7.  And now he's into me for sixty smacks that he didn't even stay awake for. 

I admit with only a touch of shamefacedness that during the beginning of the second game I deliberately took my time making my plays, hoping to induce another bout of sleepy-time, a strategy that seemed to work. Actually I had employed this strategy before; many moons ago, a skirt that I was chasing (unsuccessfully, as it turned out) was a counselor at a group home. We wanted the residents to hurry up and go to sleep, so we both started yawning until our jaws were cracking like lobster claws.  It worked to get them to go to sleep; it did not succeed in getting me laid, but no matter, no matter.

The more I think about it, the clearer the morality of my actions becomes.  Lookit: poker is all about personal responsibility.  YOU are responsible for the security of your hand.  It's YOUR job to make sure the dealer doesn't accidentally muck your cards.  YOU have to make sure no-one else can see your cards when you look at them.  Someone shoots an angle and peeks in?  Shame on YOU, not him (at least until you get outside, when a punch in the face isn't entirely out of order).  So am I responsible for saving a dude who puts $60 down on the table and doesn't stay awake long enough to see how it disappeared?  I gotta say, no.

I so wanted him to wake up, accept a third rematch, and give me more of his money.  I'm telling you, if he did that I'd be texting him lullabies in the chat window. Alas, this time he stayed asleep, and the spigot of free money dried up.

So until next time, please remember that inducing sleep in people has its benefits, but blowjobs are not one of them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What you know, and what you think you know, are two different things

For example, newer readers might justifiably think that I am a passionate Bruins fan, to the exclusion of all other teams.  Not so!  My first love, and if you knocked me down and gave me noogies until I cracked, I'd confess, my dearest love, is baseball and the by-god Boston Red Sox.  

From 2005-2008 I took advantage of my proximity to Pawtucket and McCoy Stadium and ran a Farm Report post for the BostonDirtDogs web site.  50,000 hits a day - heady stuff indeed (a couple of typical columns can be found here and here, and a non-typical one can be found at the bottom of the page here). It was a lot of fun and it served to crisp up my writing in a fast hurry:  nothing quite like writing if you aspire to be a writer.

Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is this: another opportunity has come my way to do some writing about the Sox; in fact to run the site itself.  The ownership of Giants 101, a hugely popular NY Giants fan site, are branching out and will be creating among other sites a Red Sox 101 site.  The only catch is, the model calls for a foursome of writers to assure that there is enough content.  As soon as the advertising income covers costs and the site starts running a profit, the writers will be paid according to their contributions.  

So: Like the Sox?  Good writer? Smart? Did you love Johnny Val when you were younger? Want to attract thousands of readers a day instead of hundreds or dozens?  Get in touch with me. 

Until next time, please remember what my dad would say in moments of frustration:  "Fuck you and the Boston Red Sox."  I like to think he meant that kindly.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Still Alive

"Remember, Red, hope is a good thing - maybe the best of things - and no good thing ever died." -Andy Dufresne