Today was an all-around really cool day. Where do we start off?
Well, first, after watching the NBA Playoffs (which appear to be heading towards a most unsatisfying climax), I began to get a hankering to shoot some hoops myself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my old basketball (and something tells me we wouldn’t have the pump to re-inflate it anyway), so it was off to the sporting goods store to buy a new one. Afterwards I began to search for an open court to play on. To my dismay, the outdoor courts at the college were farming weeds, so I walked on over to Camino Real Park instead. It was the first time I’d shot a basketball since we took out the hoop in my front yard – a good seven years ago – and dear lord, it showed. I think it took me five tries to make my first lay-up. Even worse, I think I airballed at least 10% of the shots I put up, and another 10% or so hit the rim in such a way that it went in the complete opposite direction. Needless to say, I was spending a lot of time chasing the ball down from missed shots. Still it was a lot of fun, and I’ll probably do it again soon. (Need to get my money’s worth from that ball, ya know.)
After that, I went home, had lunch, and managed to win a $20 S&G at Party. Looks like the cash-out jinx is over – it was my second win in a row (my first was a $5+1 that I used with my last $6 on my most recent deposit; I’ll bet someone realized if I lost that, I probably wasn’t going to be giving them any money for a long time). The table seemed really gunshy for most of the tournament – we still had 9 players left by level 4 (when the blinds were 50/100), and nobody seemed willing to call the all-in pre-flop bets of the short stacks, even though their raise only amounted to 4 or 5 BB. But eventually the blinds caught up to a number of players and they started dropping in quick succession. I caught a few lucky breaks as well – for example, I was down to 770 chips (blinds were 150/300 at this point), and went all-in with Q6. I was called with an A8, but found a 6 on the flop to hang on. On the next hand, I had KQ, moved all-in once more against AQ, and caught a nut straight (T-9-2 flop, J on the turn, another J on the river), putting me right back in contention. Two hands later, I called someone’s all-in bet with a K9. The other player showed K5, giving him only three outs to survive. Naturally, the 5 popped up on the flop, leaving me with the three-outer – but lo and behold, I spiked the 9 on the river to send him packing and put me heads-up against the other player.
The last hand of the tournament was unreal. I was dealt J2s and called the big blind. Flop was A-7-6 with one spade. We both check. Turn was the 6 of spades (giving me a flush draw). We both check again. At this point I know he doesn’t have a pair or he would’ve bet something by now to protect against the flush draw. The river was the two of clubs, giving me a lowly pair of ducks. But as it turns out, those ducks were golden geese: knowing he didn’t have a pair, I bet the pot, he raised all-in, and I called. Sure enough, he had K8 and missed the board completely. It’s not every day that you can say you won a tournament with a pair of twos.
While we’re on the topic of poker, I found two great sites on the subject: BillFillmaff.com is a hysterical parody of seminal poker uber-brat Phil Hellmuth, with a little bit of Mike the Mouth thrown in for good measure. Chapters 2 and 3 of his “Secret System” videos are utterly hilarious. Also, I’ve discovered the LiveJournal of poker pro Paul Phillips. He’s a really smart and funny guy on his LJ, and even better – he’s a libertarian! (I was disappointed when I found out when Daniel Negreanu, one of my favorite players, thought Micheal Moore’s Dude, Where’s My Country? was such a fantastic book. Then again, he’s originally from Canada, so I guess I should’ve seen it coming.)
Lastly, I had a very good overall night at EA, where I managed to improve scores on a number of fronts:
– I actually managed to pass Pandemonium Hard with a score of over 75% – an over 15-point improvement on my last score. Weird thing is, I wasn’t really that wiped out when I was done.
– I bumped my Charlene Expert score to 92.71%, my best score for any song rated more than 11.
– I managed to finally FEC Tell Hard with a score of 98.19%. That thing was a dog.
– Don’t tell me how I managed this, but I actually got a B on Legend of Max over on the DDR machine. I somehow comboed the entire first part of the song, right up until the jumpy part. I also almost FC’d So Deep (missed the final jump, natch) and got 26 Greats/1 Miss on the song. Wow.
– Speaking of not being tired, I pulled off a feat I never thought I’d ever accomplish, even with easier combinations available: I played my first 40-foot game. Max300, MaxX Unlimited, Legend of Max, and Sakura, all back-to-back, all passed. I even got Extra Stage with my Sakura score and went for 50 with ParaSurv, but I wasn’t able to make it all the way through.
OK, time to sleep. We’ll see if this good fortune continues tomorrow.