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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Texas Hold'em Tourney

Since Cim already has some nice clay poker chips and we just finished the game table, we decided that it was time to have a Texas Hold'em tourney at Foster Street Studios. While Both Cim and I have played Poker, we have never played in a real game of Hold'em. Like most of North America, we have seen games on TV, but this will be the first real experience.

We have some likely players lined up, and we are looking at a $20 buy in for the tourney, with players being able to buy back in if they run out during the first hour. The top three players will split the pot 60%-30%-10%, so no one will make, or lose, a fortune. We will also have the PS2 fired up with some good multiplayer games, like DOA2 Hardcore, NHL 2K5, Timesplitters 3, etc.

Since some of the Poker players are not in the regular boardgame group (as Cim calls them, "The Usual Suspects"), we might use the opportunity to introduce a gateway game or two. It should be an interesting experience.

In order to get ready for the game, I started playing World Series of Poker on the PSP. I am trying to get a feel for when to stay in and when to drop before the Flop, which seems to be one of the biggest decision points in the game. If any of you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know, I could use the benefit of your experience.

As an aside, I do have a couple of great poker stories. My dad was a big gambler, and he loved to play poker. Everyone, except me, called him Lloydie. I just called him dad. His favourite city in the whole wide world was Las Vegas, and he would try to get down at least once a year. I was able to travel to Vegas with him twice, once when I was 18 and once when I was in University. I remember meeting him at the Poker table, as we were supposed to head out to lunch together, and he called me over. He was playing 7 card stud, and he had a look on his face like his dog had just died, mom had left him and he was about to be audited by Revenue Canada. But, he kept staying in, even though it looked like he couldn't have much of a hand.

When the showdown came, he flipped up his cards, and the biggest smile I have ever seen on his face came up. He had four of a kind, which is very hard to get in 7 card stud. He raked in the pot and they gave him a special chain to mark the occasion. I have never seen anyone play the nonverbal side of poker as well as my dad.

My own story is not as dramatic, but it's all I have.. 8-) Later that same trip, I decided that I would hit a low-stakes 7 card table for the experience. I am not a big gambler, but I do enjoy the odd game of Blackjack, and I have a pretty good memory for the best plays. I usually do OK. So, I get a spot at a low stakes table, buy some chips, and start to play. I stay in for a few cards, but then the bets start going up, and I just don't have the cards to stay in, so I fold. Finally, I decide that I am going to stay in next hand to the River, no matter what I have. So, I call every bet, I stay, and I hope, against all hope, that I can finally draw a hand.

As you can guess, I had junk. a busted-straight-busted flush, high card maybe a 10. Not exactly awe inspiring. I can't even remember what my up cards were, but they were certainly not very threatening. But, by this time, it's just me and a big Texan wearing his cowboy hat. It's up to me, so I bet $20.... He looks at his cards, looks at me and says, in a lazy Texas drawl,

"Boy, unless you got the hand I think you got, you're stupid.......... I fold".

Needless to say, I had a pretty big smile on my own face when I took the pot.. 8-)

Stay tuned for next week's report on Foster Street Studios' non WSOP sanctioned Texas Hold'em Tourney.

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