Thursday, December 24, 2009

Life Wagering: Planes, Pac-Man, Sportsbooks, Top Chef, and Parking Meters

By Pauly
New York City

Even though I might not be playing poker, I'm making decisions every day and employing some tenets of poker strategy. The rest of the time, I find myself in gambling situations, assessing risk and calculating odds in every day situations. Sometimes, I'm just degening it up.

A few random examples...

* * * * *

Day before Thanksgiving. Long Beach Airport. My flight to New York City was delayed and I chatted up a guy who proclaimed, "I hate people" after a rich-bitch nearly ran him over rushing to the gate, "Whatever happened to 'Excuse me' or 'I'm sorry?'" he bemoaned. That's when he uttered, "I hate people." I figured, this is the one guy on my flight I want to talk to. So we bullshitted about the downfall of modern civilization while we waited for our flight to finally board and we both prayed that the wailing baby at the gate would not be seated next to us.

"Hey, you play poker, what are my odds that I get stuck next to the baby?" he asked.

"Well, there's 27 rows on an Airbus with 6 seats across. That's 1 in 162 chance you will random be seated next to the baby. However, you have to take into account the screaming radius, which I estimate as three or four rows give or take. So that makes it 1 in 6 or 7 that you're seated in a danger zone. Roughly 15 to 18% that you're fucked."

He was amazed that I was able to spit out those numbers. I was amazed that I think in that way. Luckily, I was away from the baby and seated near the front of the plane -- part of my strategy so I could be one of the first passengers off the plane at JFK so I could sprint to the taxi stand and beat the rush.

* * * * *

Winter storm pummeled the Mid-Atlantic states last weekend. I was schedule to fly on the Saturday night redeye out of LAX and scheduled to land at New York City around 6am. The snow was supposed to stop sometime in the middle of the night. Would the JFK runways be plowed by then or would my flight be canceled? On Friday night I made the snap decision to re-book my flight. I was worried about the snow so I took a proactive approach. The earliest flight I could get was 48 hours later and I booked that flight. 12 hours before my original flight was scheduled to take off -- JetBlue canceled that flight along with the next two days of flights. Had I waited, I would have been scrambling with 200 other fools on mega-travel-tilt. I sucked out and got a seat on the first possible flight out of JFK.

* * * * *

Degening it up sports betting again. I had a couple of bucks left in one of my online accounts. I wanted to see if I could pull off a Jesus-like resurrection and run up my roll in time for the NFL playoffs.

On Sunday, one NBA game caught my eye. The Cavs limped into Dallas who were Dirk-less and a +3 home dog. I love home dogs so I bet Dallas and the moneyline. It hit at +165.

I pressed that win on the Monday night football game. The Giants seemed too good to be true at -3. They blew out the Redskins and I was off to a hot start.

Never bet on a game that you can't sweat. I scrambled to find the Fordham/Jams Madison game on the radio. I had James Madison -12. They were getting blown out at home by a crappy team. They trailed by double digits at half time. With 7 minutes to go, they held a 2 point lead then went on a run. They were up by 14 with under 10 seconds to go, but a missed free throw and a last second layup fucked me. James Madison won by 12. Push. Fuck me. At least I got my money back.

Sometimes lines jump right off the screen. I was going to type "page" but I don't look for lines in the newspapers anymore like I used to when I was a kid. I saw the -6.5 line in the UNLV/Hawaii game. Sure it's in Hawaii, but the Runnin Rebs have a Sweet 16 caliber team this year. They're even ranked in the top 20 and should have been a double digit favorite in that game. I let it ride on UNLV. The game was on ESPN2. I passed out watching it and missed the 24 point victory. I was 3-0-1 since Sunday.

* * * * *

Change100 posted a 29K score on Pac-Man after a couple of games. I told her that I could beat that in one game using her laptop. Turns out her laptop keys are much different from mine and I posted a horrible showing. Double or nothing. I whiffed again but finally adjusted to her keyboard. Doubled up again and won this time posting 59K. I offered her 3-1 if she could beat that milestone -- but she never came close. I won that battle.

Of course after sprinting out to a huge lead, I lost in our Top Chef fantasy pool. I was at a disadvantage going into the final. I had Kevin and Change100 had both Voltaggio brothers - who finished 1-2 while my guy choked and fizzled out in third. Looks like I owe her a meal at any restaurant where any former Top Chef contestant currently works.

* * * * *

The parking meters in the slums of Beverly Hills start at 8am daily. My breakfalst ran a little long at the coffeeshop. The time was 7:57. I looked at how much food I had left on my plate. I glanced at the copy of the LA Weekly that I was reading. I had about 8-10 minutes left and decided to risk the ticket and kept eating. Three minutes later, I saw a group of motorcycle cops get ready to leave from the back booth. I told the waiter that I needed to feed the meter and sprinted outside. It was 8:02 and I drove the car forward one spot to a "failed meter" (that was originally taken) to save 25 cents. I enjoyed the rest of my meal.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

No comments:

Post a Comment