The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Floyd's Posts in the Pot, Three Days Old

San Jose Mercury News sportswriter Mark Purdy has an Olympic blog. Sunday he did some useful snarling about how gymnastics should be thrown out of the games, and in passing discovers why the vault was set up too low during the 2000 Sydney games:


By the way, I later discovered what had happened with the vault apparatus in Sydney. When I was writing my column following the competition, volunteers carted all the stuff out of the arena and brought in trampolines for the next day's event. Then they climbed onto the trampolines and began bouncing up and down themselves.
"Excuse me," I asked one volunteer. "But did you do this kind stuff on the other gymnastics equipment that was in here last night?"
"Oh, yeah," the volunteer told me. "We were climbing all over the equipment."
Obviously, in the process, the fun-loving volunteers had also moved the vault's height down a few notches. And no gymnastics official had caught the error.





Also on Sunday I went up to San Bruno with my friend Eric. San Bruno is a suburb of some 40,000 people located about 12 miles south of San Francisco. San Bruno is not exactly an entertainment mecca -- it's cold as the devil and right next to the San Francisco Airport -- but it does have a good Burmese restaurant named Inya Lake, and the Artichoke Joe's card room two blocks to the north. Eric played 4-8 Omaha, and I played 3-6 Hold'em. I had my best session ever, winning $129. I was constantly confronted with problems that did not appear in the beginner poker books I read:

1. How To Play Against Someone Who Does Not Look At His Hand

A r00ling gambler sitting across from me proudly called preflop, and bet out on the flop, turn, and river, without looking at his cards.

The board was something like K J 5 3 2 rainbow and when the showdown came he discovered that he had been dealt A 4. Well played!

2. How To Play Against Someone Who Does Not Look At His Hand Redux:
Live Raises


The person sitting next to me liked to raise under the gun before seeing his hand. This play gave him the option to raise further when called back around to him -- I believe it's called a straddle?

One dealer asked me if I wanted to try live raises. I didn't have a witty response; what could I say, anyway? "Uh, no thanks, I'm trying a new strategy where I look at my cards."

3. How To Play With A 51-Card Deck

I held T9 of hearts and the dealer exposed the nine of clubs. Should I just fold when one of my cards is counterfeited? (Do I even care that much about the C9 as opposed to, say, H8?).

This is not an incredibly esoteric question, because while dealer misdeals are rare, people do show off their awful trash while folding -- my RHO showed me his hand a couple of times.






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