Monday, December 06, 2004

The Weekend That Nearly Was

First things first, awesome weekend on all fronts, both gambling and non-gambling. Other than the fact that an apparently healthy tree in my backyard keeps shedding massive limbs, all is well on the homefront. It sounds a little selfish, but I'm really looking forward to this Christmas, as it's going to be the first one of my adult life where I don't have to travel back to Tennessee, don't have worry about flights or long-ass drives, don't have to do anything but kick back and enjoy the holidays. We're also going to get an actual tree this year, which I've never done as an independent adult-type person. My mom's not too happy that we won't be making it to Tennessee but I've built up enough getting-married-and-therefore-dramatically-increasing-the-odds-of-grandchildren credits that she's not too upset.

Somehow Texas leapfrogged Cal in the BCS, which leaves me baffled but happy. Granted, Cal shouldn't have been ahead of Texas in the first place, but that's a pretty raw deal, winning their last game fairly easily and still getting bumped down in the standings.

But what about the dang ol' gambling you say? The gambling was good. I cleared the TigerGaming bonus finally, after a monster session on Friday. Deposited $200 on 11/21/2004, cashed out $1,143. Cool beans. I left a little bit in the account to play with, so I'll prolly pop my head back in there every now and then. TigerGaming is the first low-traffic site I've played at for a decent amount of time, and it's sort of an interesting experience, as far as identifying and targeting weak players and exploiting them, as you see basically the same players, night in and night out. It isn't so much trying to isolate them at the table as that's pretty mechanical and straightforward. The interesting part of it is watching people interact and encourage the ATMs to stick around, not just at that particular table but also for the long-term. I never really partake in table chat at all but I could definitely see the advantage of doing that much more at a fish-rich, low traffic site where you see the same players every day, where everyone really does know everyone elses name.

Cleared off some more casino bonuses and started in on the montly Crypto poker bonuses. Played a little $25 NL on Party and did pretty well. Nothing spectacular, just good solid sessions.

The highlight/lowlight of the weekend, though, was the World Slots Championship qualifier I played on StarLuck. I'd won the $50 qualifier tournament I got a freeroll for when joining, winning an entry into the $500 semifinal, which I played yesterday. 5 players maximum and 1st place gets a $4,000 cruise package and entry into the World Slots Championship.

Things started off pretty well and I was in 1st place by the first break. All five of us were pretty close, though, and no one had hit any big jackpots. I'm still in 1st at the second break, heading into the final round, but I noticed that the second place person (who I was only a few thousand ahead of) was playing the stalling game, and not spinning at all. I'm no slots guru, but the strategy seems to be to sit tight, too, and wait for him to make a move and pass me before I spin. So that
s what we did through most of the final round. Two other players busted out so it was just three of us, and the third place guy was way behind. So I'm just sitting there, trying to will the clock to count down faster. I'm getting nervous, as although I'm in first, my score is relatively tiny, since no one has hit a decent jackpot, and someone, at some point, almost always hits a big jackpot in these things.

So we both just sit there. And sit there. Three minutes to go. Two minutes to go. One minute to go. He starts spinning at one minute left and keeps dropping farther and farther down. I'm sitting there, thinking "Holy shit", as he drops farther behind, to the point where only a pretty big jackpot can overtake me.

Which he hits with about fifteen seconds left. I start spinning desperately but no luck, nada, and he wins the cruise. No soup for me.

I did, though, win another entry into the same tournament for finishing second, so i've got another shot at it. And I can't feel too bad, seeing as its slots and a crap shoot anyway. Yeah, he got pretty insanely lucky, given that he only took about 80 spins in the whole tournament and managed to hit a jackpot with fifteen seconds left, but such is life.

A couple of actual poker strategy posts coming later today *gasp*, when I dig out from underneath the day job work a bit. Stay tuned.

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