Saturday, June 24, 2006

Football American Style (but not American Football)

Jaime Moreno scored his 102nd MLS goal to see D.C. United to a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards. "What?" you ask. "Yet more football?" Well the World Cup is on AND I went to a match tonight. Don't worry poker is coming as other more yakrelated topics.

I went to the footy tonight with my brother-in-law Keith. Twas, as usual, an entertaining yet slightly unfulfilling affair. This being my 3rd D.C. United Match, I've become used to the level of play but can't help yearn for a Premiership level match.(Oh! To see one of those epic Man U-Arse or Spus-Arse matchs) D.C. United are miles clear of the rest of the MLS table, yet I still sometimes wonder about the bridge in quality in this league to the English Leagues.

The first match I went to was quite boring and offputting. It seemed at times to be little kids soccer with 20 players all chasing the ball around mobhanded and very little shape. The second match was very different. It seemed like Chelsea playing a 2nd division overachiever with high quality flow and complete domination by United.

Tonights match was at times a mix of both. Some comic defending at points followed with some high quality buildup and attacking play. Tonight's match experience was a bit tainted though by the fact that in the 48th minute the heavens opened up and rain started pissing down upon us in great bucketloads. The game was suspended at the 50 min point for over 30 mins to allow the worst lightening to pass by. United then scored 2 minutes after the restart and Keith and I bailed out soon thereafter to make good our escape to the Metro (Underground) as it is about a 3/4 mile walk and we figured it best to cover that distance in less than pissing down conditions

Whil at the match, Keith and I got into 2 discussions involving the footy. First after about 15 mins we arrived at the conclusion that D.C. United would probably be analagous to either a top end English League 1 team or an overachieving midtable Championship Team. This discussion stemmed from a conversation we had had at the last match with a fervent US Soccer advocate guy who didn't take kindly to my suggestion that maybe expanision wasn't the greatest idea for the MLS as the necesary talent base wasn't strong enough. He assured me that "HELL YEAH! There be plenty O' talent in dem dere hills" Well judging by the USA's dismal performance in the World Cup and some of the displays I've seen in the MLS perhaps he wasn't quite on there.

The second discussion we had involved the purpose of the 6 yard goal box on a football pitch. For the life of us we exhausted about 50 ideas but we still couldn't figure out it's true purpose. I even exchanged a series of text messages with my Londoner friend, Michael, but after several "Stop questioning everything. you MadYank!" texts even he had to admit he wasn't quite sure.
Of course, once home, twas google to the rescue and I now know it exists purely as the area from within which goal kicks must be taken.

And Then There was Poker:
I only played about 1.5 hrs today almost exclusively PLO. I had another one of those sessions wherein everything rapidly goes pearshaped in the first 15 mins then normal service restores and I get out of it. Actually, I did better than getting out of it and booked around $100 profit. Not much, but once again, better than a $600 loss in 15 mins.

The 3 most interesting hands went as such.

1st hand: I pot raised 5 limpers with KKdbl sooooted on the button and got 4 callers.
Flop = K89 with the 8 and 9 of one of my suits. They all checked. I bet pot. The BB raised pot. The others folded and I re-potted him for a little bit more to set him in. Happy days with top set and 2nd nut flush draw.
The turn card was an blank (red 2) and the river was a red 6. This schmo then of course turns over A-2-7-10 of 4 suits to snake me for $450 pot. Not so happy days :(

2nd hand: I call a weak raise from Mid Position with 8d-10h-Qc-Jc.
Flop = SUPER BINGO of 9c-8h-10c. So I've flopped the nut str8 with a str8 flush draw as well as 2 pair. The BB lead out for 1/2 the pot and was called by 2 players. In these small PLO games there is little point in slowplaying these monsters as you often get heavy action from 2 sometimes even 3 players with heavily dominated hands. Thus, I of course POT raise. I get called by the BB and one other middle player.
Turn = 10d. SWEET! I've now got 2nd nut full house. Check, check and I pot bet again. BB calls and he other player calls allin for a lot less than the bet.
River = 6d. BB moves allin for 1/3rd the pot and I, of course call. He rolls over 10-9-7-2 for the NUT full house and snakes me for a $550 pot.
ARRRRRRRRGH! he bet than called a pot raise on the flop with 2 pair against an obvious made str8 and least one flush draw to hit a 3 outer (with only one card, the 10, getting him any action since I back off quickly if the 9 pairs up).

3rd hand: I call a pot raise fom the 10-9 bandit with AdJdJh10h. We see the flop 4 handed.
Flop = Js2c5d. BOOM! Top set again. He bets 1/2 pot and middle man calls. I pot raise (knowing that I'll gt action from a full range of wanky hands from this guy). 10-9 bandit calls my raise and the middle man drops out.
Turn = 8d. Sweet! I now have top set and the nut flush draw. 10-9 bandit checks and I bet the pot. He calls sharpishly.
River = 8c. BOOM! Nut full house for me. He checks and I bet 1/2 pot. Without any esitation he raises allin for $150 more. I think briefly to myslef "WTF? Don't tell me this donk just hit running quad 8s to fook me!" and then call. Well... he rolls over K-J-A-Q of 4 suits for 2 pair and I take down the $850+ pot (which includes the money he snaked me for and a bit of interest on top)

Then of course it was 20 mins till I had to leave for the footy so I loggd off, showered and it the road to DC United.


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