Category Archives: Poker

Leisurely Weekend

It is a weird weekend. Very leisurely yet I am quite stressed up, perhaps due to some stuffs that I must do for work, quite heavy stuffs which I am still trying to figure out how to do. But it is also a very leisurely weekend, one of those that I really enjoy and look forward to.

It started with Saturday afternoon with about 7 hours of Texas Hold’em with some great friends of which I of course won quite a bit. This is followed by dinner at a cowboy restaurant but it seemed like that cowboy restaurant closed shop, so I went to have some tandoori chicken with garlic naan. It has been about one year since I had naan, simply because I was getting sick of them in India. But Hyderabad sure has some really good naan. The naan I had yesterday was no where close.

After a shower, I was settled in to watch some movies as the wife goes to bed and was pondering what to watch. I recalled having bought the Ozu boxed set in Jakarta that contains about 14 of Ozu’s movies. I have checked the DVDs at ths shop to make sure that they have subtitles but I did not check all of them, so looking at the ALWAYS DVD laying on the coffee table, I felt inspired to check out OHAYO and see if that DVD is subtitled. I have watched OHAYO some time back on the Ozu 100 Anniversary Collection DVD and I want to check the transfer quality of this supposedly China box set. Well, long story short, the OHAYO in the box set did not have English subtitles but I watched the OHAYO on the 100th Anniversary DVD again an enjoyed every minute of it.

And today, of course, I woke up late and went over to one of my favorite places, i.e. Berjaya Times Square. Went to Borders for a couple of hours and picked up a couple of magazines. And another pleasant surprise I had as I saw Haruki Murakami’s newly translated work available for sale. Title is After Dark. Being a Murakami fan, I didn’t even blink and picked it up.

With still some time on hand, I walked around and BTS today was quite noisy thanks to some Korean pop duo, Cross (or something), doing a promotional tour. Young girls were screaming everywhere.

I found peace at the Kiku Zakura restaurant. It is one of those places that not many people knows exist in BTS and as such a heaven for me. The food is delicious, the service superb, the environment very relaxing and quiet. I sat down, ordered my sake sashimi and read the first chapter of After Dark. Typical of Murakami, the writing is fluid and the characters engaging. Couldn’t wait to finish the novel. There is a reference to Alphaville and I wonder it has something to do with Godard’s ALPHAVILLE. I remember watching the movie and felt very weird throughout, not knowing what to make of that movie. It was very engaging nonetheless. I would, however, prefer MY LIFE TO LIVE and BREATHLESS, but ALPHAVILLE is surely a breath of fresh air.

And now, I have just watched NANA 2. Damn the subtitles but woo hoo….

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Busted the Go Player

Bao Yun decided to stay over the weekend so that he can watch the football Asian Cup. He likes games and football is one of them. He is here to cheer for China and when China beat Malaysia 5-1, he said he wanted to shout of joy but was very afraid as he was surrounded by Malaysians. So he decided to stay for the Sunday match China vs Iran.

On Saturday, of course, he was at the Japan Club for our regular Weiqi meet-up and he played two sessions of simultaneous games, against 10 players of various strengths per session. He won most of the games, of course. I got busted by him in a 6 handicap game as I lost two corner fights.

However, it seems like he is also very much into Texas Hold’em and what a heaven given opportunity to bust him back!!! :-) After dinner, we went over to our friend’s house where Bao Yun stayed and I didn’t lose the opportunity to show off my set of 500pc Pro Clay poker chips and a set of the super cool Kem bridge sized cards :) What more, I also showed off the chip shuffle that I have been practicing. With these and my fingers crossed, I was looking for a chance to bust Bao Yun’s chips at least once.

And I did. This was how the hand went as far as I can remember.

7 players with the blinds at 1 and 2. Buy-in was 100 chips with unlimited re-buys. The players’ chip stacks do not vary much, maybe around the region of 30-40 chips from each other. Both Bao Yun and myself have roughly the same number of chips, plus minus maybe 10-20 chips.

I was dealt pocket 7 and a player limped in. I limped in too as pocket 7 is not a particularly strong hand with two very loose players at the table. The others called to Bao Yun who raised it to 8 chips, 4 times the big blind. Everyone folded except me who called.

The flop was great for me, a 7 a 6 and a small card. I made my trips and a wonderful opportunity to bust Bao Yun who raised pre-flop. Chances are that this flop missed his hand. Pretending weakness, I slowplayed the hand by checking, hoping that he will bet and I will check-raise to take the pot down there and then. He bet 25 (five red chips) and I raised another 25, making the pot now standing at 94 chips. Maybe he sensed that I was trying to steal the pot (which is unlikely since my raise was just less than half the pot and my this small bet would usually send the poker pros all the signals to fold their hand unless he figured I may be trying to execute a post oak bluff), he made the move and pushed all his chips in. I called instantly.

He muttered something as he saw my trips 7 and he turned over a K and a 6, suited. There were two other cards that is of the same suit on the flop, so with a pair 6, a high kicker and a flush draw, he figured he had the chances. Then, a 6 appeared on the turn and he made his trip 6s but I made my full house. Unless another 6 comes out on the river, he would have lost all his chips. The 6 didn’t appear and I busted all his chips. Woo hoo!!!

Of course he made a re-buy and played some very excellent hands very aggressively and recovered somewhat :)

What a great way to spend a Saturday.

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Favourite Games

I have always love playing board games, ever since I was very young when I play police and thief using erasers that I cut to various sizes. I have tried to develop, without success, my own trading board game based on the manufacturing model and have attempted countless times to modify existing board games, especially so, Monopoly, where I have included more advanced financial instruments such as bonds, futures, complete with a stock market using a computer generated stock market where each players can list their companies if they met given criteria.

Nowadays, I have found the ultimate board game in Weiqi although I enjoy a lot playing Monopoly or Risk once in a while. Another of my favourite game besides Weiqi, is Texas Hold’em Poker. In fact, I rank it side by side with Weiqi and I learn a lot about myself and the world playing Texas Hold’em.

What is so fascinating about Texas Hold’em? Well, I don’t really know. It is a game of chance as well as skill and strategy. This complements well with Weiqi where it is a perfect information game. Texas Hold’em (or for that matter, any game that depends on chance) relies on chance as much as skill and strategy. From it, I learn to deal with situation where information is incomplete and a lot has to do with pure calculated risks, odds, understanding of human psychology, etc.

Fascinating.

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Filed under Poker, Weiqi/Go/Baduk