Friday, July 14, 2006

The Week

Tuesday - Dollar Poker Day

We went in a different direction regarding the typical poker portrait shots for Tuesday's Dollar Poker Day. Scott and I were thinking of recording that day, until his sump-pump gave out with a loud beep-beep-beep, so recording was out. We audibled into Dollar Poker Day that afternoon. God, I love these days. Three-handed dealer's choice, and this time we played a lot of wild card games. Scott had four-of-a-kind in three consecutive hands and ended up losing two of them to better hands - a straight flush and a better four-of-a-kind, I believe. He had to rebuy once and ended up losing everything by the end of the game. I, too, had to rebuy once, but ended up making it back on the last hand.

John, the Poker Ghost, ended up walking away two dollars ahead that day. I swear to you, this guy is a poker machine. He's so quiet and unassuming at the table, you hardly notice he's there. Next thing you know he has all of your chips (or money in a cash game). He's the only two-time bracelet winner in our monthly game, and I think he's my bet for the player of the year for our upcoming 2006-2007 season. He should go pro.

Wednesday - ???
I have no idea what I did on Wednesday.

Thursday - Adventure Day

Jesse accompanied me to my walkthrough at the new house that morning, and we spent the rest of the day tooling around the near Western suburbs looking for boxes for me to move with, and bracelet-like materials for the monthly poker game. Obviously we were successful on the first account, though we did not find anything cheap with which to make bracelets.

We did have an interesting poker discussion, though, prompted by Zach and Ryan's story about Ryan being put all-in on the first hand of a game. The question:

Is it ever justifiable to go all-in on the first hand in a poker tournament?

Obviously, the guy response is "yes" it is justifiable if you are holding a hand that absolutely cannot be beat, and if you have a player that you believe will call your all-in. Check the 2004 World Series where Sam Farha puts Kate Hudson's brother all-in on the very first hand of the tournament. Both had full houses - Farha, As full of 10s; Hudson, 10s full of As.

My answer is a little less straightforward, and I think it goes back to how I play at the table: I say "no," it is usually not justifiable to put a player all-in on the first hand, for a few reasons:
(1) In a friendly game, such as the one Ryan encountered, the motivation for playing should not be money. It should be socialization first, money and competition second and third, or vice-versa. This is especially true when you are playing with people you are marginally friends with, and you are simply getting together to get to know one another more outside of your comfort zones (i.e. - work). I have no way of knowing if the above situation fits Ryan's predicament, but in that case, I would not put someone all-in on the first hand. Where's the fun? Where's the camaraderie? What happens, then, to the person that ultimately loses that hand? Do they have to sit at the table and endure the rest of the game without chips, without cards, and without a vested interest in the goings-on? I think it's a garbage move, frankly.
(2) Betting precedent. Scott and I have talked about this before. Obviously, the blind and ante structure is very rigged in any poker game. For example, our monthly game starts off at $1/$2 blinds and doubles on upwards to $500/$1000 blinds. Also, we all start off with $1000 in chips. When the minimum bet at any hand is $2, what sense does it make to push $1000 chips into the pot? It's overbetting and it's a bit reckless, in my opinion. Instead, I would much rather make value bets at a pot. I would be worried that, should I have a decent hand, even after the flop, if I were to push my opponent(s) all-in, he would immediately fold, thinking that the amount wasn't worth the call. I would like to take a lot of that person's chips, instead making bets in smaller amounts which I think that would be called as each round of betting progressed. Jesse's argument differs with mine at this point. He says, "Why not go all-in and double-up and play from a position of strength throughout the rest of the game?" Fine, if you can, do it.

In reality, his idea is ideal, though it works more often than not in theory, not in real life. Also, he called my thinking "pansy" betting and playing more to be "friendly", which I had to explain to him repeatedly was not the case. Any thoughts, please post in the comments section below.

We talked about some of this playing catch, in some of the stores we hit up, and at a Denny's on Harlem in Oak Park.

Friday - Homeownership Day

Annie and I officially own a home today. We closed this afternoon and made it to the house in the early evening to tear down some wallpaper. Tomorrow we paint with the help of some friends and family. I'll take more extensive pictures then.

The closing thing took three hours. Everything was smooth as could be, according to both of the lawyers and the realtor that were present, though the person actually doing the closing for some title company didn't quite have her stuff together. We signed all of the documents in one hour and sat around for another two waiting for her to finalize everything. So we talked and talked and talked about everything from poker (shocking) to Soviet submarines to boating to traffic.

I still cannot believe we own a home.


At 8:45 AM, Blogger Lindsey said...

Congrats on the house Marc and Annie. I am very excited for you two. Can't wait to see the place when I'm home for Thanksgiving. Miss you both.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Baker Baker 1-9 said...

Congrats dawgz. When's the college party?

At 5:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Zo said...

Mazel Tov!

Where the hell's Berkeley?


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