Missed me? Haven’t posted the past week and change because I was out-of town visiting family. However, I did manage to fit in an overnight trip to Niagara Falls. We stayed at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino and yes, I got around to playing cards and no, it didn’t go well.
The casino itself was nice, but a little too slot machine heavy for my taste, as are all casinos. It is the largest casino on the New York side of the falls, but not on the Canadian side. I have visited the Canadian Slot Online previously, but only when they didn’t require a passport to cross the border. It looked like that little bit of U.S. legislation but a dent in Canada’s border tourism.
Cutting to the chase, (and I use the term chase here for a reason) I sat down at a $1/$2 no-limit table. After a little folding while I got to know my table, I’m dealt pocket Queens. My table appeared tight and I was in the dealer position. Three people called the $2 blind. I raise it up to six times the blind, $12, over-betting the pot. The small blind folds, the big blind calls as does two of the three other callers. More callers than I would have liked, I half thought that bet was high enough to steal the blinds from how the table was going, still the flop brought a smile to my face.
The flop was all trash, 2 4 9 off suit. Everyone checks to me. The only thing to fear was someone slow playing trips, unlikely. I bet $20 and one person stays with me. To sum up, the turn is a 2, I go all-in with another $20 or so and he calls and win with trip 2s. His hand was K 2.
Granted, he could have also beaten me with a king, but at least if a king shown I would have spent more effort in reading my opponent and may have folded. If I played it wrong, it was my not going all-in on the flop. I accepted that the poker gods had forsaken me and the bad taste of someone calling that pre-flop raise with a K 2 off made me swear off poker for the night.
If you would have played the hand different let me know in the comments. We all can learn from our mistakes. My next post will be back to saying something of value, I promise.
Celebrity Poker Showdown: Star Wars edition
Last time, on Celebrity poker showdown, we explored which popular superhero would claim victory at the poker table. This time I am having the characters of Star Wars shuffle up and deal. As ground rules, I am taking the players from the original series as seen in the Empire Strikes Back. The dark side is excluded in that Vader would refuse to play, not check his lightsaber, and most likely cause a scene. (i.e. kill everyone in the room.) The players will stay true to their nature in their efforts to win the kitty.
The first contestant is C3-PO. Today’s best computer can’t best today’s top professional, but in a galaxy far far away the technology is no doubt more advanced. Using the speed in which my favorite droid calculates odds, C3-PO will have the poker math down pat. However, he never did seem to understand human motivations well, which hurts his ability to read bets. At least he doesn’t have to worry about the ol’ jedi mind trick.
Speaking of jedi mind tricks, the next contestant is the son of Vader himself, Luke Skywalker. Luke will avoid the dark side of the game and keep everything on the up and up. Therefore, no mind tricks. Cheating leads to money, money leads to greed, greed leads to suffering! And all that. It is this geek’s opinion that barring jedi tom foolery, Luke would be a lousy poker player.
Poker takes practice and I believe Han Solo has made his rounds with the type of alien crowd that would partake in “vices” such as poker and other games of risk. Han knows how to stay cool under pressure which translates into a good poker face. He also exhibits a good sixth sense which means he may know the best time to fold. If C3-PO goes all-in on a paired board, expect Han Solo to have a “bad feeling” about that.
Moving on to another jedi, we may have found a little green ringer. Yoda has all the advantages of Luke only more defined. No, Yoda won’t resort to mind tricks, but I doubt he would need to. Yoda is so connected to the force that he can see glimpses into the future and may know the outcome of the hand before he contributes any time and money. He is also very old with hundreds of years worth of life experiences to draw from. And like the best jedi’s he is without fear, a game if risk is a walk in the park to him.
Finally, what is any Star Wars game without Chewy. Like Han, he has probably played the game before, but unlike Han, I don’t see Chewbacca as the smartest Wookie in the galaxy. But then again droids don’t tend to pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose.
And the winner is…Yoda! A jedi in a game that tests the players’ will and mind is a shoewin, and Yoda is just closer to the force than Luke. C3-PO is a contender if luck is with him, but in the Star Wars universe it could be argued that luck and the force are either connected or the same thing. If that is true, then luck would always be favoring Yoda.