Posts tagged night

Kitchen Games Poker

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Two nights ago, I got a chance to go to a kitchen game poker night that a coworker was putting on. The whole idea for the night was to play dealer’s choice poker from the set of crazy games that people have come up with over the years. We weren’t allowed to choose the casino standbys of hold’em, omaha, or 7 card stud. Instead, we played a series of games like Chicago, 727, Midnight Baseball, Mexican Sweat, etc.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played games like this. I’ve been playing Texas Hold’em pretty seriously for a couple of years, so it’s kind of interesting to revisit some of these silly games to see if there is anything of interest. We played quite a few games, actually, that I’d like to note down for future reference because they were all quite fun. So here’s the rules for some fun kitchen games that have a little depth to them.

  • 727: Players get two cards down, and one up. The aim of the game is to be the closest to the total of 7 or 27. Face cards count either ten points or half a point. An ace counts either 1 point or eleven. On each round, players are asked one at a time if they want one more card added face up to their hand, followed by a round of betting. If all players pass on a card, then the game is over, but otherwise another round is dealt. The game can last quite a few rounds! After the last round, players then simultaneously indicate whether they are attempting to win by being closest to 7, by being closest to 27, or to both. Half the pot is awarded to the closest to 7 (who indicated they were trying to win that side), and half is awarded to the the closest to 27 (who indicated they were trying to win that side). To win both, the players who indicated so have to be closest on both sides.
  • Auction: Each player is dealt two down cards. Then a card is turned up in the middle of the table for each player in the hand. Players then make a blind bid. The person who bids the most chooses the card they want. The next highest bid chooses the next card and so on. When all the cards are gone, another set of cards is dealt in the middle. This is repeated until all the players have 7 cards each. A round of betting happens after that. The person with the best high hand takes half the pot and the person with the best low hand takes the other half.
  • Ten Card Regrets: There are 5 rounds to this game. The object of the game is to partition 10 cards into two 5 card poker hands: one that is a low hand and one that is a high hand. On each round, players get two cards and must decide whether to put them on the left side to be part of the low hand, or on the right side to be part of the high hand. At the end, the person with the best high hand takes half the pot and the person with the best low hand takes half the pot.
  • Tic-Tac-Toe Hold’em/Omaha: Players are dealt two or four cards depending if they are playing the hold’em or omaha variant of the game. The key difference is the community cards are dealt in a 3×3 grid of cards. First, the flop is the four cards that form the sides of the grid. The turn is the four corner cards, and the river is the middle card of the grid. Players then make the best poker hand they can from the cards in their hand and any of 8 sets of three cards from the board. These sets are the three horizontal lines, three vertical lines, and the two diagonals. You can play Hold’em, Omaha High, or Omaha High Low.

These were my favourites from the night. Do you have any fun kitchen games I can deal next time?

Heraldk

Playoff Predictor, Stanley Cup Finals, 2008

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Well my predictor is sure doing better than I did in my playoff pools. Going into the conference finals, it was 11 for 12 for predictions, and it got both of the conference finals right as well!

Pittsburgh_Penguins 0.579 0.204
Philadelphia_Flyers 0.421 0.119

Detroit_Red_Wings   0.681 0.498
Dallas_Stars        0.319 0.178

So what’s left? The Stanley cup finals start tomorrow night and it should be a great series. So I gave my predictor one final spin to see what it says. It should come as no surprise that Detroit is heavily favoured by the program:

Pittsburgh_Penguins 0.295
Detroit_Red_Wings   0.705

While I’d be happy to say my program went 14/15, I’m still kinda rooting for the penguins. They are an exciting team to watch with a hell of a lot of talent at a very young age. Whoever wins though, the series should be one for the ages.

Heraldk

Nightwish Edmonton Show Review

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Nightwish - Sold OutWow this took awhile to get around to doing. This past weekend I had the chance to check off the third of my five favourite european metal bands off my “I must see these bands” list. I was truly surprised to find out that Nightwish was coming to Edmonton to play a sold out show at the Starlite room. I was surprised that they were coming, and I was also surprised that they sold out faster than the other two bands I saw: Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius. Maybe it’s the female singer that makes them more attractive to more people. Not sure.

Anyways, Diane and I arrived a bit late to the Starlite room, and already an impressive looking line had formed all the way down the block. So there was nothing for us to do except go to the back of the line and wait for about 35-40 minutes to get in. Such is the state of going to the Starlite, since that has been the way of things in the past. On the plus side, the weather was beautiful so waiting in line wasn’t a big deal.

While in line the opening band started up. It didn’t really look like we were missing anything, and I didn’t even bother to find out who was playing. Then again, it’s really hard to tell since the volume was turned up so loud. *sigh*. The problem with live concerts.

Roadies Setting UpSo Diane and I found our spot on the right side of the venue on the stairs descending to the floor. It was packed in there though, so it took awhile to squirm into a good spot. It took a long time, as usual, for the main band to have all their gear setup and sound tested, but after the long wait Nightwish finally came on stage.

NightwishNightwish has undergone a bit of turmoil in the recent months. They fired their distinctive lead singer after the band decided that they were not on the same page concerning the direction of the band (or something, I’m not really familiar with the situation). This made for some troubling times as the band tried to find someone to replace her. I’m not sure they ever would’ve found someone with quite as deep and powerful a voice as Tarja, but they did find someone who does a pretty darn good job. The new vocalist didn’t sing too many classic Nightwish songs, but the ones that she did do she did pretty well I’d have to say.

Nightwish - Rock out Edmonton!
Here’s the setlist for the night:

  1. Intro + Bye Bye Beautiful
  2. Dark Chest of Wonders
  3. Who ever brings the night
  4. The Siren
  5. Amaranth
  6. Islander
  7. The Poet and the Pendulum
  8. Come Cover Me
  9. While Your Lips are Still Red
  10. Sahara
  11. Nemo
  12. 7 days
  13. Dead to the World
  14. Wish I had an Angel

Nightwish - Waiting for an EncoreAll in all the show was amazing. The various members of the band are quite good at their respective intruments. The keyboardist isn’t as flashy as the one in Stratovarius or Sonata Arctica, but that’s okay. One of the guitarist’s sported a rather epic beard/hair combination.

It’s been a few days since the event, so I don’t remember too many details. Also I wanted to get this post up before I forgot about it entirely. I took some video that I’d like to share, but I need to post process it so I can upload it somewhere useful (I was thinking flickr). That might take a little while.

Anyways, it was a pretty good show, and I was quite happy that I got the chance to go!
Nightwish - EncoreNightwish - Bowing

Heraldk

Downswing

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Well it’s been awhile, but I haven’t played through a big downswing in a little while. That all changed over the last couple days.

I had been running super hot playing 200NL for a couple of weeks. That seems like the past now that I dropped 7 stacks at 200nl last night, and another 6 stacks at 100nl tonight. Ouch.

I think it’s time for an extended break. I should probably concentrate on other tasks anyways. Going through a downswing puts me in a foul mood. Which is why I don’t think I could ever play pro. I don’t mind losing a stack now or again, but extended and brutal beatings are a little hard to get used to.

Heraldk

Dinner and Edmonton Tweetup

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Last night after I finally had to give up on the UPS guy coming with the RAM for my Mac Pro, I went to go pick up Diane on our way to her coworker An’s place for dinner. An had spent the entire day cooking up a storm. When we got there, her entire kitchen was filled with lots of food! We started our dinner off with salad rolls — they’re kind of like not deep fried spring rolls. Next were some freshly deep fried spring rolls, and then a bowl of wonton soup. After that the other two guests arrived and we continued to eat. There was grilled pork ribs, shrimp and chicken skewers, shrimp and squid stirfry (I’ve never had squid so tender and non-rubbery before!), and a bunch of other great foods as well. I ate so much that I didn’t eat anything all day until dinner.

Today was the Edmonton Tweetup. A while ago, I joined twitter and blogged a bit about the experience. To put it quickly – I was a bit bummed out that I was the first of my group of friends to join the twitter experience. Well that’s changed a bit, thanks to @mastermaq who found me using twitter local. After just a couple of weeks, I had several twitter friends and the service became useful for me. Not long after that, Mack started organizing a twitter meet, which apparently is affectionately called a tweetup. The planning and organizing ended up with today being the day for the tweetup.

I showed up with Diane and we had a great turnout. We had at least 14 or 15 people there, and it was great to meet everyone. There was quite a large range of people who showed up — young people, older people, and a fair range of fields (although most were tech related in some way). It was quite a fun time actually. I spent a lot of time chatting with @bruceclark since we shared an interest in photography, but I also chatted with quite a few other people. It was a most enjoyable afternoon.

After the party seemed to have waned a little, I returned home for a short time before heading out to the airport to pick up my parents who were in Europe on holidays for a month. I took them out for supper as a mother’s day thing since the actual Mother’s day involved driving my sister to a couple of gigs. I got to hear a little about their trip, and it was good to have them back in town :)

This evening I played a bit of poker, having my first real downswing at 200NL since an early downswing when I first moved up. Downswining 7 buyins is not my idea of a fun time. All sorts of crap happened to me that I had somehow avoided for the most part over the last little while of playing. Oh well, it can’t all go my way. I’m still up playing those limits, it’s just unfortunate that I couldn’t continue the trend that’s been lasting for the past little while. I guess it brings my winrate down to a much more sustainable level. It just sucks for it to happen all at once like this.

So I’m off to bed. I’m taking Megan to her first of two gigs tomorrow at the Radisson Hotel (formerly the Coast Terrace Inn) tomorrow morning. If you’re in the mood for some fancy brunch with some harp music for entertainment, feel free to stop in between 10:15 and 2:15.

Heraldk

Crazy

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I’m starting to go a tad crazy I think. This week has been insanely busy. It seems like I keep getting things piled on me. Work has been exceptionally busy as we madly prepare for the upcoming man-machine poker match. I’ve had a pile of fairly little tasks to do along with a couple of larger tasks. There’s a huge list of directions we want to go before the competition happens, and we’re going to be madly trying many of them right up until the competitions.

This week my Mac Pro arrived, so I’ve been pretty distracted by setting it up. It’s taking me a surprisingly long time to set it up. There’s a lot of things that go into my computer environment that I need to get just so. That, and copying large numbers of files to and from my drobo takes a little longer than I’d like it to.

The wedding planning continues at a relatively slow pace. We’ve got a lot of the things that we need checked off the list, but there’s still lots of things to do. It’s hard to believe that it’s only (less than) a month away!

Last night I finally caught up uploading photos to Flickr. That took entirely too long, but now I’ve got over a thousand photos up on my flirckr account. Pretty sweet to break that milestone.

Today I stayed home working and waiting for a package that contains some additional RAM sticks to put in my Mac Pro. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet arrived and I need to go join Diane for dinner at one of her coworker’s place. I don’t understand how UPS scheduling works — I saw one of their trucks stop at the building across the street, and my package had arrived in Edmonton yesterday morning. Why wasn’t my package on the truck that came that close to my place?

It seems every so often UPS just doesn’t work well for me. I was so happy to see that my RAM was scheduled to arrive today, but now it looks like it’ll be Monday or Tuesday before I get it. *sigh*.

Anyways, sorry for the haphazard-ish update. I’ve got to get going pretty soon here.

Heraldk

Week of Busy

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It’s been pretty busy the past few days. In the evenings after work I spent a large amount of time uploading backlogged photos to Flickr. I’ve gotten pretty far into my backlog, and I’ve almost got caught up to the point where I can start to post new photos again (and I’ve got a few to upload already).

I’ve been forced to change my focus though. Diane and I are headed to Ireland next week so I can meet some people at Full Tilt and hopefully get myself a job. I’ve been thinking for awhile what I could do for a demo if such a thing were called for. I was fast running out of time to make something brand new since that would take a lot of effot over a very short time period. Plus I didn’t really have any good ideas for stuff to do.

I remembered though that I had my lose-checkers program from my search course a couple years ago. So I’ve resurrected that, and my little demo program is one that utilizes sockets to play one program against another. It’s not all that flashy, but it was a really good review of socket programming for me. I’ve got the basic code working and will be testing it and adding a few features over the next couple days before we leave on tuesday night for Ireland.

I’m getting pretty excited about the trip. I don’t know what to expect, but it should be cool to see Dublin and meet some people working in a field that I’d like to be a part of.

Wish me luck!

Heraldk

Poker Night

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Last Night, the CPRG met up for a poker night. We got a great turnout. 15 people bought in for ten bucks, and we played a NL freezeout. We had most of the members of the CPRG, a few people from Biotools, and a special guest: Bryce Paradis. Bryce is an amazing heads-up limit player who made 2.6 million dollars last year playing his game of choice. While he might’ve run hot at times, his profit graph is a beautiful exponential curve. It’s been really cool to meet him and chat about poker related things.

I did pretty well in the tournament, although I got shortstacked before the tables merged, and when they did I had to get lucky to double up a couple of times. I doubled through Bryce when my K9 rivered a pair against his AQ. Sorry, Bryce. Once I doubled up a couple times I managed to last until we passed the bubble. A few hands after everyone made the money, I got down to just 2K in chips with the blinds being 500/1000 and I had to post the big blind. The button called, and so did the small blind so I pushed my T9. The flop came QJJ, but I couldn’t hit my straight against Duane’s top pair of queens. Oh well, that’s how it goes.

It was a great night, and I’m glad we got such a great turnout.

Heraldk

Stepping Up

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It has been awhile since I last seriously tried to move up in limits at Poker. I’ve only really done it a handful of time. From my starting ground of 0.5/1 full ring limit I moved up twice to 1/2 and 2/4 limit. Then I started playing 6max no limit at 50nl, and moved up once from there to 100nl which is where I’ve been at for awhile.

This past week had been very good to me. I got a Party Poker reload bonus emailed to me, so I decided it was time to go back there and try and clear it. Well, I did rather well playing 100nl. I was up over 7 stacks in 4 or 5 days playing a couple hours per day. I felt confident and on top of the world. So it occurred to me — what about moving up again? I had been playing 6max 100nl for quite a long time and had made a few grand at those stakes.

A few nights ago I gave it a shot. The first night I had 2 tables open and made about half a stack at 200nl. Not too shabby, but it was a short session. The next night was terrible. I dropped 4 stacks, and it just didn’t feel like anything clicked. It seemed like every time I raised preflop I’d get called by people who would call my continuation bets — but I wouldn’t flop anything. I know I made a few errors, and I think I got a bit flustered. But even if I played perfectly, I doubt I’d be better than down 2 stacks.

The next night went quite a bit better. I was down a stack fairly early, but I got pretty comfortable and in the end managed to win a stack and a half or so. That brought me to last night where I thought I played alright, but for the longest time couldn’t dig myself out of the one-stack whole I had got myself in. I had a great table with two incredible fish who were just asking to give their money away. It took me several hours to finally get one of them for about a stack and a half to finally draw even for the night.

It’s interesting — I don’t think the game is that much tougher than the one I’m used to playing. I think it’s just that the size of the swings is a little daunting. Like I said, it’s been awhile since I tried moving up. So far, the experiment seems to be going alright even though I’m down a little bit so far. I’ve got a bit of a bankroll to sustain some loss, so it’s not like I’m risking all that much. If I succeed in moving up, then I think my win rate in dollars goes up a fair amount which was the whole reason to move up.

Wish me luck!
Heraldk

Oiler Pregame

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Oiler Pregame, originally uploaded by Heraldk.

My friend and roommate was kind enough to give me a spare ticket he had for a recent hockey game between the Oilers and the Minnesota Wild. It was a fun night, and our Oilers managed to win the game! I wish the Oilers had managed to put together a better season this year. It’s looking like they won’t make the playoffs this year :(

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