Gratitude – Day 43 (Game Leagues)

We are in our third season of our League for the racing boardgame: Formula De. Leagues add a great element to boardgames and creates a “meta game” above the actual boardgame itself. We are also still trying to finish up our first season of the Wings of War League, but it has stalled out a couple of times, mostly just needs the focus to keep it front and center.

As a chronic organizer, creating a league structure must call to some inner need to create an organized format around a game system. It is rewarding to see the creation bloom and grow.There is also the continuity aspect. We have many people and combinations of people come to our house for boardgame nights. A league creates a tighter community as the group remains relatively constant throughout the course of the season. The point system highlights rivalries as players jockey to gain standings and points. The risk-reward elements of how you place on a single evening get augmented by the league standings. There are two games at stake. The evening game and the overall league. Makes for some fun trash talk and tension in each game night.

I first started running leagues with the Poker For Hacks league that gradually evolved into the Bixby Series of Poker. Those have been very successful and highly attended. I enjoy the leagues the most when a system can be established that basically makes running the league easy and smooth. The first couple of poker seasons had me doing some ambitious stuff with side pots and the like and it became too much work to run the league, host the league, and do the reporting. The Wings of War League has suffered from that as well. I change the Poker from the complicated PFH to a much simpler BSOP and it is a piece of cake to run. The Wings of War is still hosted at my place, but Bob Newis is at the helm for running the group now, so that is a huge burden off of my shoulders.

There is certainly something to be said for the dynamics created by a league. I know there are many long running sports leagues in Regina. I am not referring to people actually playing the sport, but fantasy leagues, strat-o-matic, and other game like leagues. Many of these involve an entry fee or some other form of prize pool. For many of our leagues, we have players buy into the league with a six pack of beer and the beer becomes the prize pool. I think there could be an opportunity to turn this into a fundraiser of sorts. I enjoy the community and camaraderie that is created with this format. It is yet another form of community engineering. I think this is a potential growth area for the SaskGames initiative and could be used to grow the sense of community around boardgaming in Saskatchewan.

It is all just another facet of the hobby that I am very grateful for. That, and my driver in the Formula De League came in first in last night’s race. Way to go Willie Survive.

Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor. ~ Abe Lemons

…of Monarchs & Toilets, aka, Royal Flush

Royal FlushFate works in strange ways. My last blog entry was all about me getting beat like a red headed step child at the poker table. The very next night, Kathy & I hosted a game at our place and I could do no wrong. From card-dead to card extravagant in one day. Oh the contrast. We had 13 players and I eliminated 9 of them. It eneded up being Carly and I in heads up play and I get a Royal Flush on the river to win the night.

I have seen two Royal Flushes in all of my years playing poker, and not one of them was mine. This was a real treat for me. The fact that this hand came up in heads up play with both of us betting the farm is TV Poker. Just like my previous blog entry, I want to state that I play for fun. Winning is gravy. We have a great group and I am very thankful for the fun evenings of poker with good friends. This is certainlyย at the top of my highlight reel for Poker moments though. My bankroll took a jump to $735.50

“Sometimes I am the seal, sometimes I am the club.”

Clubbed like a Harp Seal

Baby Harp SealLard Tunderin’ Jeezuz. I seem to be on a real Poker Cooler. I came in 43 out of 60 players at the Regina Senior Citizen Centre Charity Poker game at Casino Regina last night. I have been somewhat “card dead” for awhile, but I could not parlay in my modest hands into anything. All of my hands were exercises in putting my tail between my legs or losing the hand to a marginally better hand. Meh. That’s poker.

Good thing I enjoy the game. ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a good time and a good crew. I am glad to see that Brad was able to get 60 players come out to support the charity. That’s it. I never lost a poker game, I supported a great charity. Ahhhh. Much better, it is amazing what a little positive thinking and self deception can do. My bankroll is still on the plus side at $570.50, but I would really like to see that climb up over $1000 to feel comfortable with my play.

I have been playing tons of board games lately and not as much poker. Very enjoyable, but I need to focus on getting the Poker League (Poker For Hacks) going for the 2008 season. There are a number of things that need to be done, of which league reporting is the biggest. I am meeting with a couple of co-conspirators tonight to try and figure that out. After the meeting…
…we play Poker. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients For a Great Saturday

Monk Madness AleThe day started, as all great Saturdays start; a gathering at O’Hanlon’s Pub for Guinness Breakfast. There were only a mere four of us that shared tasty victuals and libations. Fred Mountjoy, Shelley Wilde, John Kennedy, and myself. A nice relaxing start to the day. Once my belly was full and I managed to kill two pints of Guinness, it is off to road hockey. There was a great tournout for Road Hockey and the weather was perfect. Actually, it could have been a bit colder for my liking. We played around for about an hour and a half then headed to the Cathedral Village Free House for our post game banter & brew. We have been getting decent turnouts for road hockey since we started back up, shoudl continue through January and on.

Ah, Poker. Yes. Another rewarding Hobby. Rob Allin hosted a poker game Saturday night and there were 14 players. I Managed to build aup a huge stack then squander it away when the two tables merged. It is odd how the table dynamic and the betting patterns shift so radically when tables merge. I need to retool my game play a bit when that happens. I am too slow to adjust and I get myself in trouble. I placed 7 out of the 14. I am down $25.00 to put my Bankroll at $663.50, hardly big league material. I am still very pleased that I have a positive amount. Get to have 100 of hours of entertainment, and I have actually made a little money. Go figure.

I took one of my last Premier Beers to the Poker game. A Monk Madness Ale from Rogue Brewing company in Oregon. I opened it and half the bottle foamed out, not sure why. It was chilled well and not shaken. Being Scottish, I drank most of what was foaming out of the bottle so as not to waste any. I enjoyed the last half of the bottle between belching from the first half.

The Ingredients for a Great Saturday? Start with a beer, end with a beer. All hail Norm Peterson!

Our First Poker Tournament at the Casino

Poker HandKathy and I decided to join Mark Crouse, Gail Crouse, and Fred Mountjoy at the Casino for a Freeze out Hold’em Tournament. Not that I have aspirations of becoming Daniel Negraneau or anything, just fun to try playing in a different setting. The buy in was $105 and there were 103 registrants. It was a fun night. I managed to come in 30th and Kathy made it to 21st place. She is a strong player. I was happy with my play with the exception of a couple of poker faux pas that I will not do in a Casino again. ๐Ÿ™‚ The top ten positions were in teh money. We may go down and play in these “ocassionally”.