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Poker in the UK

Evening all! Today, I put a deposit down on two airline tickets to the UK. Flight Centre gave us a good deal with Emirates. We'll be popping over for the first two weeks in November to catch up with family. Although we arrive back on the nineteenth, I think we'll be so jet-lagged that we're not likely to be available for anything until the weekend anyway!

Marcus and I are still ironing out some issues with Movable Type and the hosting on his server. I've been bombarding the poor bloke with e-mails, to which he's responded as best he can. I have the feeling he didn't quite realise what he was taking on with me! :-D Anyway, I have a new rant ready, but I'm going to hold until the new site is up before I post it.

You may also have noticed that the last news-post, dated last Monday, didn't go up until Wednesday. That was because, for some God-unknown reason, Telstra wasn't letting me into my own webspace via FTP. No, I have no idea why. The great part is that the only way I can get in is by using an FTP application; Telstra doesn't offer any kind of site-building or uploading tool on their website. So if WS_FTP can't get in, I'm stuffed.

This is yet another of the reasons why I'm so looking forward to getting Movable Type up and running on Marcus's system; once it's up, all I need is a web browser and a good link and I can put news posts, articles, reviews and the like up very quickly (provided Marcus' system isn't having nay problems; at the very least, though, Marcus is much more accessible than Telstra).

There are a few things I'm going to have to look at with this new site implementation. I don't know how to get the Activity Monitor working under Movable Type; while it does allow me to get in and fiddle with the HTML directly, I'm trying to avoid direct HTML editing wherever possible with the new site. I want to save having to monkey around with HTML until the next site overhaul, by which time I should be more familiar with the tag-set that Movable Type uses. I also have the feeling that the Links list is going to have to drop drastically; rather than being a page unto itself, it's going to get tucked into a sidebar, as on the majority of Movable Type-enabled pages. Still, it'll cut out the greater volume of links that I simply don't visit any longer.

A post by das Wilmeister over on Wil Wheaton Dot Net had me scurrying to various Web-based sources of information on that wonderful game called poker. I've never actually played the game, and I have vague, vague memories of some fellow school kid trying to explain the rules to me one day on a bus ride. All of a sudden, Wheaton's throwing around these mysterious, glamorous terms like "no-limit freeze-out", "flop", "Fifth Street", "turn card", "River card", and while I'm utterly lost, I'm definitely intrigued.

Turns out Wilbur and his young charge (I don't know why Wilhelm's so hot on playing poker with the youth of today; if he's as big a geek as he claims, why isn't he sticking with nice, simple, old-fashioned D&D?) were playing a poker variant called "Hold-'Em", where each player is dealt two cards and has to make the best poker hand possible out of them and a gradually-dealt public pile of five. You don't pick up the public cards, though; they're simultaneously available to anyone (which sort of had me thrown at first). In between all of this, you squeeze four rounds of betting. Very intriguing stuff.

It's worthwhile knowing this, as Dan's been talking about getting together for a poker evening occasionally. It sounded fun at first, you know, yeah, the Great American Male Pastime and all that (and you all know what an Americanaphile I am) but after actually doing something thinking about our mutual friend the Danimal lately, and come to some realisations (which Vickie, being both the better judge of character and more worldly wise of our marriage, had long since deduced). I get the feeling that Our Man Dan is a poker player. "Well, duh," you undoubtedly respond, "you just said he was trying to get a game going." Maybe I didn't insinuate the nuance properly - I don't think Dan is just someone who plays poker, I think he's a poker player. That's his thing, it's what he does. You disagree? Well, me old chum, just examine that politely reserved demeanour, those icy-blue eyes of his next time you see him, and tell me he's not learning your tells. As soon as you or I sit down at a table with him and a deck of cards, we'll have handed him my chips/matchsticks/whatever, it just won't actually happen until later in the evening. I know there's nothing personal; it's just like a force of nature. ("It's only poker," sayeth the spider to the fly.) and after having Gav kick my arse in Crimson Skies, my ego is a little too bruised to sustain the sort of battering that I have no doubt Dan can deal out with a mere fifty-two slips of laminated, inked card.

That wonderful lingo still makes the idea of the odd game tempting, though. Even if I'd be a minnow trying to stare down a shark.

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