Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Poker, poker and more poker

So this week we have a Texas Hold'em Poker tournament at work (for charity). Being an occasional poker player, I registered, just to see what it would be like. On the weekend we had a few friends over and had a friendly game, which was good practice. I was still feeling a little hesitant about it, given that I had never really played according to the official Texas Hold'em rules. For example, when we play with friends, we always play that Aces are high, so a hand of A-2-3-4-5 would not be a straight. But in the official rules, it is.

So Monday afternoon rolls around, and I head to the cafeteria, where the tournament takes place. A few of my coworkers were coming with me, but when we drew our table numbers, we were all located at different tables. There were 20 tables, with pretty much 10 players each - for a total of 197 players! Imagine my surprise when I found out that one of the guys at my table was a good friend who we play poker with regularly. It made me feel better to have a friendly face at my table, as I was still a little worried about not being able to keep up with all those serious looking poker players. But then something happened. I was getting really good hands (2-pairs, A-K flushes, etc). After the first half hour, I was the person with the most chips at the table ;) When you have that many chips, it makes it easier and easier to bluff people off, and I should have taken advantage of that. But I was playing a little timidly, and in the end that cost me the game. I finished a respectable 4th at our table, but only the top 2 advanced. My friend finished first, so he advanced to the Tuesday round, where he was eliminated as well (by a hand with three 8).

So my Texas hold'em carreer at the work tournament was pretty short lived, but I am determined to learn from my mistakes and do better next year. I still have some memorization to do, as I sometimes confuse the ranking of hands, and I have to hone my bluffing skills. But overall I had a blast, and I am definitely going back in next year. Though I still can't imagine playing this for real money (not the nickel-ante we play at home).

In other news, this week marks the start of the JA Company Program in Ottawa. This is a program I have volounteered with over the last 4 years. It's a program ran for high-school students to give them some exposure to the world of business. The idea is to setup, run and take down an actual company. They have to come up with a product or service, create a production line, a marketing strategy, produce and sell the product, and hopefully come out of the whole process having generated some profit. They get exposed to the concept of break-even point, capitalization, share price, commissions etc. At the same time, they get to learn about leadership, teamwork, competition and such things. And they need some volounteers to introduce the program to them and serve as resources while they run the company. For more information about the program, you can go to the Ottawa JA page. This week we met with the students at our designated high school, and did some introductions, and next week we will be trying to settle on a product. I'll keep you posted on how that goes :)


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