Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Game

As it happened I went to play poker on Friday night. A complete amateur with people who knew what they were doing.

Most of them did. There were two others who hadn't played before and really how difficult is it to lose money? We started at around 11pm.

By midnight I was starting to wilt physically but the problem was that I'd made more than my 10 euro buy in. I thought that leaving at 1220 with about 16 euros wasn't really the way to go about bonding with the guys.

So I set about losing it and I must say I was successful. I was out by 1.50am. The first to go but I felt I'd done enough to show to myself that I could play and win. And play and lose.

I think poker has come to me too late in life. There are so many other places to lose and gain money. I just don't see me being seduced by this game to such an extent that I'd forsake football on Saturday morning and take this up on a regular monthly basis.

But at least I learned bit about Texas ringjack or whatever it was I scalped myself with such aplomb.

I returned home to find a boy in a state of misery. He had his triple shot for measles, mumps and rubella about 10 days ago and as the doctor said at the time, if he's going to be unwell it should be in 10 days time.

VoilĂ .

So he's taken to waking up and just screaming. Some real hearty bawling. But as I'm recovering from a debilitating virus I am on hand or bended knee to soak up and salve this kind of cacophony.

I took him from his cot and put him on the sofa while I cosied myself into the cushion complex on the floor and listened into the BBC World Service on the earphones.

He calmed down and I went to sleep. This boy doesn't bluff. Why go out and seek thrills when you can stay home and live on the edge?

I got a letter from Eurostar today telling me that they haven't yet completed the lounge for frequent travellers at St Pancras International.

Apparently the station has got the longest champagne bar in this corner of the cosmos but as yet no lounge for the hapless souls who take the train on a regular basis.

As long as the vast majority are happily sloshed.

I've been offered a couple of complimentary drinks to ease me through this inconvenience, says the letter.

I must admit I only gave the missive a cursory glance when it arrived and ought to study it in more detail. My initial feeling was billions have been spent on a lavish refurbishment and the lounge isn't finished. How does this happen?

Odd. Especially since emails over the past few months have been telling how Waterloo is going to meet its eponymous end and St Pancras International is the zipping place. Only takes 2hrs and 15 minutes. That's not really enough time to fulminate about having to fraternise with the hoi polloi before boarding the train.

But that might be good for me. I'll really appreciate the ace facility when it is finally opened.

On the subject of aces, I've been watching the Tennis Masters from Shanghai.

Sport+ brings it to us about 11 hours after the matches have happened. So there's no element of suspense since I've already seen the results on the event's website.

Still I've been impressed with the abilities of Roger Federer to play averagely and still end up in Sunday's final. But I guess that kind of thing tends to happen when you're world number one.

Though Saturday's semi final saw a straight sets victory over Rafael Nadal, I just know that come June it will be Nadal lifting the Roland Garros trophy. But that's then and on clay. It will be interesting to see if the Swiss can overcome David Ferrer who's in his first major final on Sunday.

Ferrer's got nothing to lose even though he has never beaten Federer. It might be a case of beginner's luck.

A bit like me and the poker.