Wednesday, December 26, 2018

This survey said I’m from Belarus

Nearly everyone lies about something – and for most people it’s usually about exactly the same thing. It’s also a question that your answer probably depends upon your age and your answer will most likely change over time. But whatever age you are when asked this question the answer will probably be a lie. How much alcohol do you drink?

Now when we’re first asked this question by friends or family – usually in our late teens we’ll probably understate the answer. Then a few years later we’ll overstate it. Then starting from our 30s onwards we’ll go back to understating it.

Examples of answers to the question would be:

19 year old son to mum – Only a couple (despite having had 6). No one wants to tell their mum how much they drink.

Friend to friend in 20s – It was mad and we were out most of the night (despite having had 3 beers and heading home about 10pm). No one wants to admit not being able to party all night.

Friend to friend in 30s or later – We don’t drink much now, mainly wine at dinner parties (forgetting the pre dinner beers plus scotch or brandy afterwards). It’s not seen as mature to over drink.

And I can virtually guarantee that if you’ve ever been asked this question by a doctor you’ve probably lied – I certainly have. I’ve had numerous medicals (usually work related to ensure I’m not going to die on a job) and I’ve just given an answer that is within the recommended healthy guidelines. I’m pretty sure that the majority of people lie on medicals as well – a friend of mine was once a telecoms engineer in the Army and his job entailed repairing telecoms towers on the edge of a military zone. During the night angry, well armed, locals would then try to shoot at these towers, only for my friend to have to repair any damage again the next day. Unsurprisingly, whilst he was in this post he drank a lot and when asked at his medical how many units he drank he replied with 20-25. The doctor replied that this was a little on the high side (recommended 16-20 per week) but nothing exceptional – my friend failed to mention that his figure was a daily, rather than weekly, intake.

But I decided to be honest about my alcohol intake – it wasn’t for a medical and I haven’t shared the results with anyone. But there was a catch – it included the week before Christmas where I’d been to 3 or 4 parties plus had 1 day at a sports event which entailed all day drinking. So it was never going to be truly representative of my average consumption – just a snapshot into a week of my life. 

It was worrying to say the least – I’d consumed over a litre of pure alcohol that week. Dear god how am I still alive but that might explain the sore head then!! The survey said I was unlike any other country but my nearest match was Belarus – the heaviest drinking nation in the world. Inhabitants of Belarus consume about 17.5 litres of pure alcohol per capita each year – compare that to Russians (15.1 litres), Brits (11.6 litres) and Americans (9.2 litres).  

As I said earlier it was never going to be truly representative of my normal intake but it’s certainly worrying that over a short period of time I can drink more in a week than other nations average in a year. But it’s not put me off the beer – if only for this reason

If anyone wants to take this themselves here is the link Please comment with your drinking nationality.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

No it wasn’t a good call. It was f*cking terrible

There’s lots of things that annoy me at the poker table and most of these are down to other people, having totted up my list I think I’m going to look like a sociopath. But if other people didn’t do things to annoy me then I wouldn’t get annoyed so surely I’m not a sociopath – right?

There’s only a few things that a casino can influence though. The lack of inbuilt cup holders are one of my biggest gripes along with slow waitress service. But I get the economics of the waitress service – it costs the poker room money to provide this service so they do the bare minimum possible whilst keeping people coming to the room. Plus a lot of poker players don’t drink at the table anyway so I’m probably in the minority waiting for a waitress who only comes round every half an hour or so. Plus I have a choice – if I really dislike a room’s service I won’t go there.

But I don’t really have a choice about other people – when I sit down at a table it’s just pot luck whether the table will be full of people who should be classified as oxygen thieves. A lack of basic personal hygiene, being obnoxious and “spreading” are all worthy of being added to my list headed “people to taser when I come to power”. I had an encounter with one particularly horrid individual, who managed to combine all three, a while ago who kept telling people they need to do something – move, act, post blinds etc. It came to a head when he persistently bumped into my chair when manoeuvring his enormous frame around his seat followed by him snarling “you NEED to move to let me in” followed by me declaring “I don’t NEED to do anything, if you’d like me to do something you’d better learn some manners”. But anyway – I digress.

One of the things that doesn’t wind me up at the table are bad beats. We all get them but they are actually good for poker – I know that anyone at the table who is on the positive side of a bad beat is generally a bad player and thus is more likely to lose money. Which is good – so in a way bad beats are good. What does annoy me is what sometimes happens after a bad beat – as the pot is pushed to the luckbox someone will state “Good call” without any hint of sarcasm or irony (note this doesn’t always happen – probably only about 10% of the time). 

Now I reserve “good call” for a completely different scenario – it’s making a truly difficult decision, potentially for a lot of money. Holding pocket 10s on an ace high board and making an informed decision that the LAG repping an ace hasn’t actually got one would be that scenario, not luckboxing a 2 outer on the river having called a pot sized bet on the turn from the tightest player at the table. You know your 10s are behind here but spiking a set to beat AK will sometimes cause someone at the table to pipe up “good call”. Which makes me want to scream “No it wasn’t a good call. It was fucking terrible”. But us Brits don’t like to make a scene, so I’ll probably just tut and stare which is one of the worst insults we have, whilst silently adding another name to my list

Thursday, December 6, 2018

I’ve been done on 2 sick bad beats. I’ll tell you about it later

I’d been sat at a $1/2 table for about 3 hours and over that period there had been quite a number of LAG players. Nothing overly crazy but play was definitely on the looser side of the spectrum for the majority of the session. There had been a player sat 2 seats to my right (I’m in the 5 seat) for about half my session and he was running well. When he first sat down I thought he was a crazy loon but it turned out he was just being hit by the deck – hard. Over the course of his first hour he must have raised nearly half the time and very rarely slowed down on the flop. But whenever he got to showdown he had a decent enough hand and I don’t recall him being caught bluffing. He held pocket Kings 2 or 3 times, Aces and Queens at least once and if he didn’t have a big pocket pair to start he’d usually hit the flop – all in the course of an hour or so. Unfortunately I’d lost about $200 to him on one particular hand – I had pocket 10s to his KQ and he spiked a K on the turn and after about 90 minutes he’s sat on over $1,000 and I’m on about $600 (I’d rebought so I’m effectively even for the session). 

He lost about $200 when he called someone’s all in – he held 10s and the other guy had Kings. That’s when the wheels started to fall off the bus. Whether it was tilt or just plain stupidity I didn’t know but if ever there was a time to have banked a profit it was now. He won a few then lost a few in quick succession but nothing catastrophic until this hand – we’re now about evenly stacked at around $600 apiece.

I look down at AA from UTG +1 and raise. There’s 1 caller before this guy (now in the BB) gets to act and he 3 bets to $35. Now I have a decision to make – if he’d been a crazy loon I would have raised but I think that just telegraphs my hand. I’m only really doing this with 2 or 3 hands and a smart player will get away from anything other than Aces, Kings, Queens or potentially AK. I don’t particularly care about the other guy in the flop as he only had about $150 behind and he’d not been overly aggressive at any point. I give it my best Hollywood “Really – you keep getting it eh?” to him and puff my cheeks as I call. Other guy folds and we see a flop of A-10-9 (2 spades and I’ve got the Ace of spades). BB now bets about $50 and I raise to $150, BB jams and I instacall. Neither of us show and the turn and river are both Jacks. BB flips over AJ and shouts “full house baby” and thinks he’s won. I’ve not slowrolled but I’ve waited for him to show here. I flip over my cards and scoop the pot whilst this guy rebuys. 

He’s now lost most of that that rebuy in the space of 15 minutes when one of his buddies walks past the table and they have a chat which I can overhear. Buddy asks him what happened to his chips as he saw him with a monster pile the last time he walked past. Our man now says “I’ve been done on 2 sick bad beats – I’ll tell you about it later”.  

So losing with a pair v overpair and flopped pair v flopped set are now classified as bad beats are they? Please don’t tell the wider poker community as it’s just going to add to the long list of bad beat stories we all have to endure.