Thursday, 8 October 2009

Off to the New World

Back on the 29th.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

An (Un)Interesting Dream

I'm not a workaholic, and I never will be. I find workaholics a dull and preachy bunch. For instance, one workaholic, via facebook status, lamented at the "80 hour week" they had ahead of them. What a workslut. I guess some people's definition of a fulfilling life is suddenly waking up aged 55 with some house in the Home Counties, with a boring family, kids going through "uni" so they too can become some godforsaken workaholic who squanders their youth (and a good chunk of their adulthood) pursuing goals they don't really want.

Yes, I'm not a workaholic. Though I am by no means workshy either. However, in my current line of employment (freelance data work) the urgency with which the work has to be done varies and, accordingly, the time at which I work changes too.

Last night my venerable employer sent me work at 6pm. It was only meant to take 4 hours (including breaks), and initially, it did. However, on completing it, it was clear that there were other things which needed to be done which had not been pointed out to me - so I took the initiative and did them too.

Suddenly, it was midnight. Realising I was past my best, I slithered to bed. Set alarm for 5, got up, finished work around 8 (i.e. within the last hour).

However, despite this five hour rest break, as far as my mind is concerned I never actually stopped working.

What is this riddle I puzzle you with? Well, let me elucidate.

I dreamed about work.

I remember two distinct segments of the dream (although curiously enough, not the order in which they occurred).

One segment involved me walking around what looked like a mixture of a children's playground and a cemetery (yes, very sombre combination). In fact, there were actually some children playing, seemingly insolent male youths probably around the ages 9-13, but they did not notice my presence. The climbing frames/swings they were on were seemingly suspended over a pool of water. I tried to get out of the place I was, but it was surrounded by either bars or hedges, and the entrance was in fact a golden/red gate which, confirmed to me, that I was trapped. I saw some sign which told me where I was, confirming indeed that this was a cemetery. (I should note at this point that the data work I do is for Cemeteries and Crematoria) I think the place was 'Salisbury' or something. In the dream I remember having had the distinct feeling that the place I was in was somewhere between Coventry and Brighton which, as it turns out, Salisbury is. Also, for the entire time, I was lugging around in my hands what appeared to be various computer parts - a mouse, a keyboard, a falling-apart laptop, and I was having difficulty balancing all these things.

Some interpretation: like most young adults I am irrationally scared of children in that age group, as they tend to be uncouth and armed with knives (or so the Daily Mail would have us all believe, anyway). The falling apart computer equipment is clear - my laptop IS falling apart as I write. And the water? Well, obviously I must have needed the toilet.

The other segment involved me looking at a huge department store from a side glance, as if it were an architectural paper. The building was arranged in such a way as it was easy to tell from outside where one floor ended and another started, and the horizontal segments of the building were visible too, creating the effect where you had probably around 24 floors high and 17 rooms across, each room per floor resembling the proportions of a railway carriage. They were not all the length, some were even slanted away from my point of view slightly as if the building was not built in one straight line. It was when I heard the voices of two of my work colleagues in the background that I realised that the building was just a strange visual representation of a spreadsheet, and that Column E (which was long, and slanted away from me) was 'not as important as the other columns' and the data didn't really need to be recorded.

This subconscious conceptualisation of the 'everyday' has happened to me in dreams before. In one dream, I think in July, I dreamt that a metaphorical game of Civilization 3 was being played on the staircase in my house, with the more modern military units at the top (large, ghostly figures, but their colours and contours clearly distinguishable) fighting some earlier military units (mid/late 19th century).

Anyway. It's 9AM now so will get leave the realm of the imaginary and move on to the less important stuff, the so called 'real world'.

Monday, 5 October 2009

A little MTT session

After dinner yesterday, on realising I had the last free evening for about a month, I decided to make the most of it... by having an MTT session. The last tournament I had played in a week earlier had been a great success. As I boasted in my previous post (or posted in my previous boast) I came 4th for $981 in a $5 turbo.

This week's tournaments were rather less eventful.

Tourney I
$7.50 NL Hold'em [turbo]
Time 18:30
Entrants 976
Position 318th (19:27)
Prize $0.00

Not too exciting - believe I got knocked out after isolation shoving the big blind with 98o after there were several limpers. I was expecting to get one caller, but the dead money was so lucrative I figured it was worth a shot. As it happened, I got called by QTs, who beat me.

Tourney II
Daily Thirty Grand [$11 NLHE - $30k guaranteed]
Time 19:00
Entrants 7994
Position 431st
Prize $31.98

For the hour and a half this tourney was rather lame. I had not exceeded 3,000 (the starting stack). Suddenly I doubled up a few times in succession. The last of these hands was magnificent.

My elimination hand brings up issues of when and with which hands I should be shoving with.
I understand the theory, i.e. "shove to survive", "shove with hands less likely to be dominated", but it's the practice I am weak on.

Tourney III
$3.30+R NL Hold'em [$50,000 guaranteed]
Time 19:15
Entrants 9472
Position 2335
Prize $0.00

Nothing too interesting about this one. Not sure if I'm too keen on 12 minute blinds either.

Tourney IV
$12 NL Hold'em [turbo - 45 players]
Time 19:30
Entrants 45 (Sit & Go)
Position 9th
Prize $0.00

Well, lost a flip on the final table. Weird! I never normally lose those! 7 paid, but gotta play for first.

Tourney V
$5.50 NL Hold'em [turbo - $12,000 guaranteed]
Time 20:00
Entrants 3600 (Capped)
Position 1671
Prize $0.00

Well, it was always going to be difficult to repeat my 4th place finish made last Saturday. Ended up making another of those 'survival shoves'. I did not survive.

Tourney VI
$11 NL Hold'em [$15,000 guaranteed]
Time 20:15
Entrants 3322
Position 1841
Prize $0.00
Not much I could do there. 3 way all-ins always were risky!

Tourney VII
Sunday Quarter Million [$250k guaranteed]
Time 20:30
Entrants 27535
Position 13299
Prize $0.00

I think this hand speaks for itself.
Miraculously, I've yet to cash in the Sunday Quarter Million

A fun little session, except for a period of about half an hour where Stars just stopped working. There was much anger, and huge outrage was expressed on the 2+2 forums. I felt like the television producer who had just happened to be making a documentary about the New York fire service in the run up to 11th September 2001, and who captured the first airplane.

Not that I would call Pokerstars crashing "history in the making", but it was so unexpected, rare and abysmal to be, for me, one of those "where were you when it happened" moments. Well, I was sat happily in my bedroom, as I suspect most Sunday night Stars players are. (That is to say, their own respective bedrooms, not all in my bedroom, I don't think my router can support 200,000 simultaneous log ins. Seemingly, nor could Stars...).

In other news, am stocked up for Peru. Took out some CASH which I shall change for Dollars tomorrow and have bought some new leather shoes. The Brighton streets were not too busy today, particularly the seafront. I suppose that's what RAIN does to people. Yes, RAIN. Probably the first we've had in a month. Arrived at the Brighton Grosvenor at about quarter to noon to see the results of the recent Deepstack I had missed. As it turns out, I had missed nothing. The tournament result printouts betrayed the fact that they had had their regular tournaments on Saturday and Sunday nights, but that no deepstack had been played. This is disappointing. I might have to wait all the way until GUKPT side events to get a good game, and that hasn't even been scheduled yet!

On the topic of schedules and disappointment, I'm gonna quickly read Jules Verne's "Around the World in Eighty Days" before my own voyages. It was in my father's science-fiction section, which includes works by Clarke, Asimov and Lem (whose "Star Diaries" is one of my favourites).
As it turns out, the copy of Verne did not belong to my father but, rather, "Brighton College Junior School Library". It is laminated, has a library stampcard inside and the book is part of a series called "Children's Classics", these words straddling the book's title garishly and almost mockingly. I do so detest the fact that some books have been designated as 'suitable for children', implicitly demeaning the book and any adult who chooses to read them. There is some truth in the fact that children won't really be able to appreciate certain 'adult' aspects of some books, such as lust, ageing, and personal alienation. Whether we like it or not, it is hard to understand something we have not had direct experience of. However, the things which are common in a lot of "books for children", such as unidimensional characters and a pervading sense of 'adventure', can be as entertaining and thought-provoking for adults as they are for children.

To cut a long story short (excuse the pun), a book does not have to be 1,100 pages long and littered obscure existential references and populated with cynical, complex, passive-aggressive characters to be appreciated by a thinking adult.

And nor does this blog.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Welcome to Royal Fish's Tilt Blog

Or, should I say, welcome back, for those that know me will recall that my old Warwick Blog boar [sic] the same name. Now, of course, I am a graduate of that university, and have moved on from being a student of history to a student of life. *RAISES EYES TO THE HEAVENS IN A PRETENTIOUS, PIOUS GESTURE* Yea, 'tis life's long examination that now I must pass; and may I not be he who sits silent in the seminar eternal, but he who speaks, he who rules. Fall not into mediocrity, but rise to neverending triumph.

And so on. Ironically I am now reading a lot of the history books which I should have read as part of my course - mainly on Medieval Europe ("if one can talk of 'Medieval' as being a distinct age in human development").

Why have I started this blog? Out of vanity, essentially. I enjoy writing all manner of nonsense and I know there are people who enjoy reading it. Even those of an outwardly cynical and seldom-pleased nature will enjoy it; they even enjoy the fact that I just referred to them.

What do I intend to write? Well, such self-referential twaddle as this. But it's my twaddle, and mine alone. It is nonsense through my eyes. It is the nonsense that is important to me.

How often will I update this blog? Whenever I feel the urge to. At one point this could be everyday for a week. There may be one month stretches with not so much as a comment. I can assure you that I won't be writing much this month anyway, as I am off to Lima, Peru, South America (, World) for a family holiday. As usual, I'm looking forward to the flight (some 14hours from London to Madrid to Lima) as much as the destination itself! Apart from attending two weddings I suspect most of the time will be spent touring Lima and the surrounding area.

Indeed, the trip is shrouded in such mystery and speculation that I'm not even sure when I'm returning to England! What I do know, however, is that on my initial departure on Thursday 8th October, I shall have to leave my house well before dawn to catch the flight. Whether this will mean getting up ridiculously early or staying up ridiculously late is something that will be decided at the time. Neither is easily practicable, seeing as I normally sleep somewhere between 1am and 9.30am.

Indeed I've been keeping fairly normal hours recently. Gone are the days where I would stay up for 40 hours "just to see if I can". Let it suffice to say that my circadian rhythms have suffered so much in the past that I can't imagine jet lag, in the scheme of things, posing too much of a problem.

Poker. Was going to be playing the £220 Deepstack tonight (300 big blinds, 1 hour levels, dealer dealt) at the Brighton Grosvenor. Alas, one of my stakers had to pull out. That plus family politics. On boasting recently to my parents about winning $981 after coming 4th in a 3600-person $5 turbo on Stars, my mother made her usual anti-gambling tirade. Variance.

There are some nice looking events coming up in December though. Indeed, I've vowed never to play low stakes live again. As I have a job at the moment, I can play higher games. Will look into 1/2 at the VIC next time I am there.

Haven't played much online since my fourth place finish. With the risk of sounding like a workaholic busybody lifeslut, let's just say I "don't have enough time". I'm simply spending too much time on other things (work, eating, meeting, watching the Palin travel series) that I haven't any nice stretches for MTT playing. My connection isn't too great either, something which I shall be resolving on my return from Peru. In a recent example, I played some 2am $20+$2 tournament, part of the MiniFTOPS. I did quite well in the first hour... but that was the last hour played. Not because I was eliminated in one fell swoop - it took me several hours. But I did not play a hand. My connection, conspiring with memory issues (probably both from my machine and from the Full Tilt server itself) meant I was unable to play a single hand after the hour. Sometimes I would be able to log on and see my hand, only for the server to freeze for a minute and then show me as sitting out again.

I should be getting a new laptop at some point. My current one has served me well since September '06. But since then, the CD drive has bust - the replacement CD drive has bust, and the screen has lost most of its suspension - effectively meaning I can no longer change the angle of the screen. Nor indeed, can I use the computer as a 'laptop', gravity will not permit anything other than a completely flat surface.

One thing which isn't a flat surface is the Earth. I shall bear this in mind while travelling the 6,000 miles or so to Peru.

Here endeth the blog post.

Will post again shortly.

In the mean time, you can read my old blog here: