Friday, May 25, 2007

A blaggers guide to...

I awoke yesterday on the sofa. It was lunchtime and with only 5 hours until the deadline for my magazine features it was time to do some work. I spark of inspiration entered my head: Instead of not handing any work in, why not hand a couple of shitty articles and if they receive a grade of 40% or better it's a bonus.

I can write shitty articles, I thought to myself. So with my balls against the wall, I knocked up a thousand words on 28 Weeks Later (using very little research) and five hundred words titled "The Blagger's Guide To: The White Stripes". The latter being a run through of my favourite White Stripes album "De Stijl". Not too much thinking work involved, and not too much effort spent. With the big hand approaching the twelve and the little one edging on to the five, I got my work submitted. Job's a good'ne.

The evening was spent carting my crap over to my mate's house in West London. I must have lost about 3kg in sweat as I heaved my backpack (which weighs at least the equivilant of my body mass), two laptop bags (only one computer, the other one full of magazines and other assorted junk) and my parker (I don't know why I brought a parker with me. It's been drizzling at best) to Shepherd's Bush station.

After the blandest fish and chips I've ever had, about 3 or 4 cups of tea, and a little smokie, I passed out at my new lodgings. I'm going to miss all these adventures when I go back to Cornwall next week.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The suited hammer hits home!

I've just got a fresh gust of wind in my sails after dropping the suited hammer (7-2) to smash an ace high all-in bluff. With bottom pair (the 2s) and a flush draw I felt it was time to raise up the pot. Some jackass re raises me and pushes. What else could I do? It's my first hammer in ages. I call (not a great call, admittedly) and he shows A-Qo. The hammer holds and I double up. Shit yeah! Or as the great Alan Partridge just said on UK Gold "Jurassic Park"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ho hum...

I haven't done any real work today, despite having a feature to hand in tomorrow, I haven't started (and can't, because my contact hasn't come in and won't answer their phone). This doesn't really put me in the mood to do any work.

At the placement today my task was to go around London and photograph the town's casinos and cardrooms. A very enjoyable task on a hot and sunny day. I don't know what it is, but either more good looking girls come out in public when it's hot, or it's the heat and everyone looks hotter. Are hotties just a mirage? No, that can't be. But as soon as it went cloudy I couldn't see a looker among them.

My last cardroom to photograph was the Gutshot. I almost walked past it. Through the media and stories of grandeur, I imagined the Gutshot to be a classy and quite intimidating place. The fact that it looks like an internet café from the outside made me laugh, and wee a little. The inside wasn't much of an improvement either. But, I can understand that they're effectively fighting a legal battle against the legal system - so finishing the building work can't really be on the top of their list of worries.

The timing of my arrival to the Gutshot fit in perfectly with their lunchtime £20 tournament. Not wanting to look like a complete twat, I made sure not to be the first player eliminated. As the first hour approached I found my stack effectively destroyed. The player to my left said he was going to raise, out of turn. I looked down to see pocket Queens. I called, to see how much he was going to bet. He bets about 4 times the big blind. The button calls and so do I. The flop comes down 10-6-3 with two spades. Out of turn guy starts talking like he's on a flush draw and bets (about half my stack). Matey on the button calls and I figure, fuck it. If anything, he is on a draw and the other guy has a low pocket pair or A-10 or middle/bottom pair top kicker. I push. They both call. Out of turn guy shows A-J spades, exactly what I thought. Button turns over pocket Tens for trips. Shit. I'm effectively drawing dead. The turn and river don't help and I'm down to about 500 from a starting stack of 1500. With the blinds going up every other hand (or so it seemed), I pushed with K-10d looking to steal. I get called by out of turn guy, who shows A-Q and a Queen on the flop speeds up my exit. No help again on the turn or river and I'm sent packing ruing my weak play. I should've pushed with the Queens pre flop, but seeing as it was early on in the game it's bit of a marginal decision. Ah well, at least I can vent my frustrations in clichĂ© poker speak.
Need to sleep, must write...

Well, in all honesty, I mustn't. It's late, I've had a long day (been at the office all day, until 7.30 - quick sit n go afterwards). I've been doing college work since 9.00, that's over 5 hours in my book, and now I need to sleep. [You can tell from all the sentences I'm being with the the "I've"]

It's really annoying because I spent the day doing pretty much sweet f.a. My tasks included: going to the post room and writing some ideas for a feature on the best ways to steal a pot. Why they asked me, I do not know. My style of play doesn't get in the slightest bit aggressive until the really late (probably too late) stages of a tournament/sng. I even proved the point by making terrible moves with terrible cards. I should stick to my own game, that if anything, is the only thing I've learned from any literature. Perhaps some stuff is seeping in subconsciously.

Yes, the lovely college work. My first task (and I use the term task very lightly in this case) was to sub-edit a college colleague's work [I like the sound and look of those two words together]. It wasn't a pleasurable job, but I did have a laugh (and a cry almost) doing it. Following that was the joy that was transcribing my interview with the Associate Publisher her. Firstly, that use of the word 'joy' was sarcastic, whereas actually doing the interview was of the standard definition of the word. I think I'm getting better at doing them, I must be if I take pleasure from doing them.

That's it for today. I've got to get up in five and a half hours to start again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I arrived back from work tired and hungry and with the intention of eaking a little bit more work out of my sleepy body after a long day at the office. Seeing as we had a game of poker, I didn't get in until around 8.30. But it was worth the delay, I came second (again), which isn't bad when you are as bad at heads up as I am. The deciding hand I decided to push on the button with anything. I'd been folding often, and generally being beaten around the park for the past five minutes. "I'm all in", I say with confidence, concealing the fact that I had 4-5o. Rick replied "I'd string it out like I did with Alun, but I can't do it again", I knew as soon as he said that it was over. He had Aces. The flop was friendly, giving me a pair and an up and down straight draw. It was to no avail though. I walked to the tube in good spirits, knowing that I was beaten by a better hand.

When I got in I was going to have a pizza and do some transcribing of an interview I did. It turns out the recording was really quiet. Too quiet to hear barely in the office. "Barton Fink's on in a minute", my mate Jane said. "Great film. It's got an awesome script, you should watch it." These comments came about from me telling her about my new found (or is that re-) interest in writing, with a certain focus on screen writing. Bugger, I was going to have to watch it.

And so I did, and I did enjoy it, very much. I don't have to explain how good it is. There are film critics for that, I get the impression that they enjoyed it as much as I did. Although at the minute I don't have the slightest energy to go on about it any further.

So now I'm in bed. Completely knackered. Inspired by a great film (inspired to not go to Hollywood and be a writer perhaps) and still miles behind on my work load. I have an article to do for college that I need to email in tomorrow night and I haven't got a clue where to start. I also don't have a clue when I'm moving out of this place, which will make things even more fun. But that's my working time frame, the last second of the last minute. I wouldn't have any excuses if I spent too much time over my work.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I thought I'd make notes on a tournament I entered, to see where I went wrong etc etc. I played alright until the cards went a bit quiet. And then I got caught on the fish hooks. Back to the 5/10c cash games...

Shootout notes
$11 294 entrants

I haven't played a shootout before. And seeing as I've made +$11 on the 5c/10c tables, if think it's worth an investment to step up my game from the $3 s&gs that i'm placing in and the $6 games that i waste.

AJh on the button, get raised behind me, call. Flop comes 7 A K all spades, checked round to raiser. i call, they fold. turn 2h, he bets small. i call, not putting him on flush. river 7 blank, he bets 1/4 pot. i call, he shows Ac-Qs, winning with kicker. cock.

A-Qo pre flop raise, (4bb), one caller. A 10 7 flop, bet out 3bb, called. turn 8, bet 4bbs called. river 2, bet 5bbs, called. i win.

Big blind, 5 handed. I get Jacks, matey on the button raises to 1000 (bb 200), i put the squeeze on. Push. He calls, flips the hilton sisters. Bugger. A queen hits on the flop. Mother fucker, I'm out.