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Don Knotts In The Ghost And Mr. Chicken Is Still Delightful

“The Ghost and Mr. Chicken,” originally released in 1966, stars Don Knotts, whom you may remember best as Deputy Barney Fife from “The Andy Griffith Show.” Knotts plays Luther Hegg, a typesetter for a small-town newspaper in Rachel, Kansas.

One day Luther’s friend, Mr. Kelsey (Liam Redmond), the janitor for the newspaper, encourages Luther to write some filler copy for the newspaper. When Luther says he’s not sure what to write about, Kelsey suggests an article about the 20th anniversary of the Simmons murder/suicides, especially since the heir to the Simmons fortune, Nicholas Simmons (Phil Ober), has said he’s going to have the house destroyed.

Kelsey tells Luther the Simmons’ story: Mr. and Mrs. Simmons lived in a lovely house in Rachel. Mrs. Simmons was younger than her husband and was said to be very beautiful. One night after an argument, Mr. Simmons stabbed Mrs. Simmons and killed her. Then he ran to the pipe organ in the upper level of the house. He played like a madman, blood staining the organ’s keys. Then he flung himself out of the window and was killed. Kelsey was the Simmons’ gardener and was there on that fateful evening. He was very sad the Simmons couple died. He tells Luther that at the stroke of midnight, the organ can be heard playing by the ghost of Mr. Simmons.

With Kelsey’s help, Luther writes the article and it gets published on the front page. The newspaper manager, George Beckett (played by Dick Sargeant, who was Darren on the TV show “Bewitched”) isn’t thrilled, but tells Ollie Weaver (Skip Homeier) that he wants a really good story on the Simmons house. Ollie and George decide that Luther should go and spend the night in the house to prove whether or not it’s haunted. Luther says he doesn’t believe in ghosts and he’s excited to have the chance to write another story. George even tells Luther he’ll give him a job as a reporter for the paper if the story is good.

A woman named Alma (Joan Staley) is Luther’s love-interest in the movie. She casually dates Ollie but is sweet on Luther. Luther tells Alma he’s going to stay overnight in the Simmons house and she is concerned for him, but wishes him luck. It seems as though Luther thinks his promotion to reporter will help him win Alma’s heart.

The confident Luther heads off to the Simmons house. At first it just seems like an old house, neglected and covered in cobwebs. He throws a book at the bookcase, only to find that the bookcase slides back and there’s a secret, hidden staircase there. He climbs the staircase and goes into the organ room. He sees the blood stains on the keys where Mr. Simmons played the night he died. As he looks around the house, the smallest things scare him – the sounds of the wind, creaking floorboards, his reflection in a mirror. This is classic Don Knotts – the goofy scaredy-cat who’s afraid of his own shadow.

As Luther is descending the staircase back to the main floor, he hears the organ playing. It must be Mr. Simmons’ ghost! Luther runs down the staircase and is terrified at the sight of a pair of garden shears sticking out of the neck of Mrs. Simmons’ portrait, spurting blood! He runs out of the house screaming!

Back at the newspaper, Luther tells Ollie and George his harrowing tale. Ollie starts writing the story, embellishing most of it, and it gets printed on the front page. Everyone in town is thrilled and excited. Luther becomes a hero and is thrown a special lunch in the park, where a band plays “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Luther makes a nervous speech about being brave. As he leaves the podium he’s handed a court summons. Nicholas Simmons plans on suing Luther and the newspaper for libel, saying the story was made up, nothing happened in the house and that Luther made the Simmons family name look bad.

Nicholas Simmons tells George if he loses the court battle Nicholas will own the newspaper and fire Luther. This makes George very nervous and he tells Luther he hopes they lose the case. Luther is very saddened by this.

In the courtroom several witnesses speak about Luther, including his grade school teacher who says he used to make up wild stories. A credible-seeming witness saying he heard organ music and screaming coming from the house is discredited when the prosecution reveals the man is active in a UFO-hunting organization. It seems Luther is doomed to lose until the judge decides everyone needs to go to the Simmons house themselves and see what happened. The prosecution, defendants, Alma, the judge and jury all head to the Simmons house at midnight to see what happens.

Everyone piles into the Simmons house. Luther tries to get the bookcase to slide open and reveal the hidden staircase, but it’s not working. The portrait of Mrs. Simmons doesn’t have shears sticking out of her neck and it looks undamaged. The organ doesn’t play at the stroke of midnight. Luther is terribly disappointed. The law parties leave, citing Luther a fake. Only Alma remains behind, and when she accidentally moves a sconce on the fireplace, the bookcase moves, revealing the hidden staircase so she goes up to see what’s there.

As Luther is leaving the Simmons house to go home, he hears the organ playing! He runs back into the house and slowly creeps up to the organ room. Someone is sitting there playing the organ! Luther peeks around and finds…it’s Kelsey!

Kelsey tells Luther it was him playing the organ with the pipes below the floor and stabbing the shears into Mrs. Simmons’ portrait the night Luther was in the house. Suddenly they hear a scream – it is Alma, from downstairs! They rush to her aid.

Alma is being held hostage by Nicholas Simmons. He says he’ll kill her. Kelsey tries to reason with Nicholas while Luther sneaks downstairs. Earlier in the movie Luther tells Alma he’s been learning karate “by mail” and says, “My whole body is a weapon.” He tries to karate-chop Nicholas it only hurts his hand. Then he throws his whole body at Nicholas, who drops to the floor and releases Amla. Kelsey tells Alma to call the police. He keeps Nicholas at bay with his gardening shears.

When the police arrive, Nicholas is tied to a chair. Kelsey says he was there the night of the crime and was afraid to come forward because his gardening shears were used to kill Mrs. Simmons. And Nicholas is the killer! He snuck up the hidden stairway and killed Mrs. Simmons. When Mr. Simmons found her dead he threw himself from the window in grief. Luther is thrilled that the story has finally been revealed and he won’t lose his job at the newspaper.

At the end of the movie, Alma and Luther are married. As everyone is walking out of the church with the happy couple, the organ starts playing a happy song. Then the song turns ominous and everyone looks to see why. The camera pans back and show the organ is playing by itself! Perhaps the ghost of Mr. Simmons was happy his mystery was finally solved.

Overall, an enjoyable flick that keeps you on the edge of your seats till the end with Don Knotts coming up with yet another commendable performance and his terrified expressions look straight out of a Pkv Games Online horror flick.

Retro Video Game Reviews: Baseball (NES)

In 1985, the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home video game console was released in North America, along with its 18 launch titles. Although the machine would ultimately revolutionize the gaming industry altogether, its original cartridges ran the gamut of quality. Some would end up being famous, some infamous, and others downright notorious. Baseball is arguably among the latter; while popular sport would provide a remarkable number of titles for the NES for years to come, the first game that tackled the subject did not quite reach great heights in the measure of its execution.


Unlike the thoroughly fleshed out complete control baseball video game mechanics of classic titles such as R.B.I. Baseball and the Baseball Stars series, Baseball the original launch title is a stripped-down, bare-bones sports simulator. For example, the player does not control the fielders, nor truly the base-running to great extent. There are no statistics, no player names, no team names, and play takes place in a true “one and done” fashion, without any sort of series, season, play-offs, password, battery save, or any shred of any former game whatsoever. At least it has a two-player option. The gameplay of this game can be compared to Pkv games. Not in the way that they fall on the same category, because they are certainly different. But what they share in common is that they have amazing graphics and concepts. These features make the game even more interesting and enticing to play.

In addition to its limitations as a bare-minimum baseball title, Baseball also presents some intriguing design choices. For example, during the game, there are only two screens: The wider, broader, from-further-back view, which encompasses the entire field, the stands, and all players, which is the view used for balls hit further than the infield; and the infield view, which is used for pitching, hitting, and all base-running/fielding that takes place on short hits. In other words, the screen never scrolls, and the entire experience is remarkably claustrophobic. Also, when the player goes to pitch, something bizarre happens every time: Rather than simply pitch when desired, the player must actually suffer through the pitcher shaking pitches off. There is never simply just a pitch; there must be pageantry and wasted time, as the pitcher goes through the motions of ignoring imaginary suggestions and finally succumbing to the necessities of game progress.


While Baseball sports the usual pixelated simplicity expected of the NES launch titles, the animation (especially of the airborne ball movement) is pleasantly smooth, and the game manages a fair number of sprites with minimal flickering or slowdown issues. In addition, the flashing crowd effect rewarded for a home run is nice, without being so obnoxious as to cause seizures. The title screen is basic and cheesy, though, with the title being made up of dozens of baseballs forming the letters. Also, it is amusing to see the ball travel in a perfectly straight line, hovering a few feet above the ground the entire flight path when it is thrown by a fielder to another.


There is no background music throughout the game, only the occasional two or three short themes to make changes of innings and a new game. The sound effects are just floor-level computerized boops and beeps, although it is nice to hear the familiar pause effect from such early titles as Super Mario Bros. Otherwise, nothing remarkable in the audio department.


Well, it was among the first NES video games ever, and was definitely the first to feature the sport of baseball. However, its poor, limited execution prevents it from being good; it may have been a novelty at the time, and worth trying a game for kicks, but compared to later baseball games this is quite a bad effort in hindsight, including its issues with hit detection (that is, contact between sprites and in-game objects; the programming term, not the baseball statistics), pacing, and overall atmosphere. This results in a title not widely regarded as worthwhile, and for good reason, as it takes home one star out of five.

Casino Comps for Fun and Profit

Casino comps are items given by a casino to its patrons free of charge. Although there really isn’t an exclusive list, those items can include meals, hotel rooms, free event tickets, drinks, money to play with, and cash to spend.

Casinos in the central United States almost all offer free soft drinks to the person casually walking through the casino. Usually, there are conveniently placed fountain drink machines or waitresses pushing a cart of them around the casino

In the Nevada, Mississippi, and New Jersey casinos, alcoholic beverages are available free to patrons playing the games. Waitresses there circulate taking orders and delivering the free drinks.

Midwest casinos usually have cash bars. Waitresses from the bars circulate through the casino taking orders. They deliver and collect for the ordered drinks. An exception would be Bay Mills in upper Michigan where playing patrons are supplied with complimentary alcoholic beverages.

Comps beyond drinks fall into three different categories. There are earned comps, discretionary comps, and marketing comps.

Earned comps are returns to the patron based specifically on the level of play. Patrons should join the tracking club at any casino they frequent. That enables the casino to know where the player ranks in their hierarchy of play. It also allows the casino to know that an individual patron played perhaps $20 in a machine. The casino than might be comfortable returning part of that $20 to the player as a comp. These comps take the form of a cash rebate, comp dollars that can be used for food or rooms, or dollars that can be used for play in the machines. When a patron allows the casino to track their play on a machine the casino can calculate what the rebate should be. Each casino has its own method of arriving at a rebate percentage.

Several internet sites publish information on specific casino rebates. One of them VPFree2 is easy to use. At the top of the page, click on the region of the country for which information is desired. From the resultant list of casinos, select the one of interest. At the site for that casino, click on the Player’s Club button. A list of information about the percentage of cashback, credits available for the purchase of food or room, and credits available to be played on the machines will be displayed.

Video poker players can add the percentage of cash back, free play or comp dollars to the percentage return that can be discovered through the article on Fun at Video Poker previously published on Yahoo Voices. Slot machine players will find it more difficult to calculate the return expected on a machine because slot machine return rates vary widely but the comp rates are usually straightforward. You can try video poker with buktiqq which is one of the amazing online gaming portals that offer you different options when it comes to slot machines and poker games. 

If a patron is playing a video poker machine that returns 99.6% of the money put in the machine and the casino rebates .15% of the money bet, the return on the game becomes 99.75%. Slot machines normally have a lower percentage of return than video poker but a higher rebate from the casino.

Discretionary comps are comps that are handed out by the casino personnel. While generally based on the level of play of a patron, it is a subjective decision made by an employee. These include drinks, meals, event tickets, and rooms. Usually, a casino employee dispenses these comps – a supervisor at a table game or a slot host in the area of video poker and slot machines.

An example of discretionary comps is that after a reasonable length of time gambling, the casino when asked might provide a sandwich at the snack bar or a meal in the buffet or a steak in a steakhouse. Clearly, a comp for a sandwich would require a lower level of play than a comp for a steak dinner. These comps are available only when a request is made. If a patron is playing a game at a table, the dealer can initiate the action by getting the attention of his supervisor. If a patron is playing a machine, they should press the service button and ask the resulting attendant to speak to a casino host about a comp. The casino employee that is empowered to issue to issue comps works under guidelines set by the casino and might say “no” or suggest a different comp. However, the possibility of a “no” answer should not deter a patron from asking.

How the awarding of discretionary comps is calculated is specifically a mystery to most players. Each casino may have a slightly different method. Generally, however, the casino tries to calculate how much money a patron has bet. From that, they are able to estimate what the patron should lose on the average. They are then willing to return a percentage of that expected loss to the patron. As an example, a blackjack player might bet $5 a hand and play 60 hands an hour. His wagering in the hour would be $300. If the casino expected to win 5% of the wagers, they would expect to win $15 and they might be willing to return $5 of that to the patron.

The third type of comps is marketing comps. When a patron identifies himself as a club member, the casino’s computer tracks the activity of the patron. After the patron leaves the casino and goes home, the tracking computer passes the information to the advertising computer. The advertising computer makes a decision that ranges between “it’d be nice to see this patron again” and “he gave us a lot of action. Let’s get that patron back and see if he’ll lose some money.”

If the patron is in the first group, they might receive a marketing comp that invites the player back and offers a free or reduced rate room for a night or two or maybe a meal in the buffet or maybe a few dollars to play on one of the machines. If a patron is in the second group, they might get offered a plane ticket to the town where the casino is located, a limo to pick them up at the airport, a free luxury suite, free tickets and preferred seating for a name entertainer, and gourmet meals while in town. The computer normally makes those decisions.

The value of marketing comps can be added to the value of earned and discretionary comps to arrive at a return on money gambled.

Casinos are resort businesses that survive because they offer entertainment at a reasonable cost. Patrons need to budget their trips to the casinos. Casino comps can and should enter into that budget. Calculating the value of casino comps is different for each patron and it can become complicated. However, it is clear that comps can be profitable by increasing the return from the machines and that they can be fun by offering perquisites while in the resort.

Oceano New way to fun

Oceano, in the casino area of Reno, Nevada’s Peppermill Resort Spa Casino at 2707 South Virginia Street, is one of the best seafood restaurants I have ever been to! A similar experience that I had online was with judi bola with its amazing service and games that are just perfect for all the casino lovers around the globe. Well, coming back to Oceano here is a quick sneak peek to its services and my experience there.

If you are in awe of the lights and sounds emanating from the casino, Oceano will truly take your breath away! Walking through the casino, heading to the far back, you can’t miss Oceano. The outside of the restaurant is layered in bright light and electric blue lighting that sticks out in the already brilliant casino. 

Large aquariums with saltwater fish welcome you upon entering Oceano, in addition to the radiant blue and green lighting that continues throughout the restaurant, creating an impressive undersea setting. The hanging ceiling lights are florescent orange jellyfish strategically placed about a foot apart overhead. The seating is surprisingly not out of the norm for a restaurant, but if you are lucky enough to be seated at a booth, look behind you. Large fake lobsters and other marine life make you feel like you are wading at the bottom of the ocean.

Oceano has an extensive menu that will satisfy any taste buds or moods. Seafood is the theme, and an all you can eat sushi menu is available, although you can still order a salad or sandwich if you choose. Menu prices start as low as $4 for some of the Nigiri Sushi and can go as high as $60 for Maine Lobster or two pounds of Alaskan King Crab Legs.

I spent eight days at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino and am proud to say I ate at the Oceano twice and purchased the same item both times because it was amazing. I ordered shrimp from the fryer’s portion of the menu. For $16, you receive a very generous portion of lightly breaded shrimp, French fries and Coleslaw. Living in the eastern part of the United States, everyone seems to flock to the beaches for their fill of fresh and flavorful seafood, but after eating the shrimp at Oceano’s, the beach served shrimp selections can’t compare. The shrimp was of medium size and the breading was just enough to add an array of zesty flavors instead of eating the breading and looking for the shrimp in most cases when you visit a restaurant and order fried shrimp. Their coleslaw was unique, as it was not watery, and actually had substance to it. The French fries, on the other hand, weren’t different or snazzy in any way.

If you are not interested in shrimp, there are plenty of other raw, fried and grilled options, such as oysters, crab, prawns, lobster, scallops, calamari, tuna, soups, stews, roasts, swordfish, mahi-mahi, sea bass, halibut, and clams to choose from – at a reasonable price and all with sizeable portions!

I highly recommend that the next time you are visiting the Reno area, stop by the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino for a taste of the ocean at Oceano’s. It is well worth it and more!

When Will the Florida Legislature Finally Allow Casinos?

Florida, the vacation destination of millions, has it all. Beaches, Amusement Parks, Outdoor Recreation, and yes, even limited Gaming are all part of the Florida Tourism Industry, sort of. You can go to a Casino or try online casinos like 토토사이트 카지노, but only if it is run by Indians. You can go play poker, but only in certain cities, at certain parimutuel locations. You can play video games in strip malls that take your money and payout very little. Seems like every time you look, the state is adding a new lottery game, even though one’s chances of hitting the lottery are, well we all know how that goes.

All of this makes me wonder, why in the world is the Florida Legislature so opposed to allowing non-Indian Casinos in the State? The Indians and some parimutuel facilities (dog tracks in South Florida in particular) already have limited Casinos, but there are still ridiculous laws regarding what types of machines and table games they can have. So I wonder, why is the State still limiting Casino gambling in such a way that it is hurting the residents of the State?

We are a top vacation destination. Sure people want to go to Disney and the Beaches, but at some point, we need to consider adding and upgrading. The Amusement Parks are wonderful, but they are basically the same as the day they opened with a few exceptions and occasional upgrades. The beaches are wonderful, but not everyone wants to bake in the sun all day. Adding Casino Resorts, and I am talking about Mega Resorts with spas, and entertainment and restaurants, and even it’s own family amusements like you would see in Las Vegas, will only bring another dimension to our tourist State. People who go to Florida for vacation also are the same people who go to Vegas. Why this is seen as an either/or proposition, I don’t understand. Florida tends to act as if we would lose the business that the family-friendly destinations bring in. Somehow we would be presenting an image that is not family-friendly. Either a family destination spot or a place you wouldn’t dare take your family, filled with crime and prostitution and sin???? Come on. People with children will still come for Disney and Universal and the beaches. They may like some other entertainment too, but they aren’t going to stop using what is already here. Florida can regulate it in such a way that other industries such as strip clubs and 24-hour bars don’t follow. They can assure that it is still family-friendly, but they can allow the Industry to offer more variety. People who otherwise would have gone to Las Vegas, or some other gambling location, may just decide to go to Florida instead so they can go to the Beaches, or go to Disney too. When you choose a vacation spot, do you choose someplace that has one thing to do? Probably not. You probably decide what is the best value and which location you are going to have the most to do. You may even decide to stay longer just to fit everything you want to do in. There are some people who you don’t see a lot of at Disney or Universal or the Beaches. You don’t see a lot of Seniors. You don’t see a lot of little old ladies walking around Disney. It is hard to go to a casino though, and not see the little old lady who is having the best time just sitting in the cool air conditioning and a big cushy seat enjoying the fact that she doesn’t have to do a whole lot to be entertained. They even bring seniors into Casinos by the busloads, offering them great deals on food and entertainment. How about the young, hip couple who, although may enjoy an occasional amusement park is not looking for the full-blown experience of amusement parks and tacky dinner shows. Maybe they are looking for more sophisticated entertainment in a more adult-friendly environment. If we add to our tourism industry, it is a certainty we will get tourists that we may not have gotten otherwise.

And sadly for those who are just opposed to Casinos on moral grounds, the fact is there are Casinos in Florida, yet they are not consumer-friendly and Florida is not getting the full benefit. The consumer is not benefiting from them because there is no competition and the casinos end up getting away with way too much of your money. They are also very limited, often forcing residents and tourists alike to drive long distances to experience gaming. There are also very few (only two I know of, both run by the Seminole Indian tribe) that have their Casinos in a Resort, making it much less enticing for an out of state tourist. There have been many large gaming corporations willing to build beautiful facilities that would provide the state and towns with much-needed revenue, create much-needed jobs, and expand our tourist industry to include other tourists who would otherwise go to another state. The Florida Legislature continuously turns their noses up. To be fair, there is some buzz now about possibly allowing corporations to bid on gaming licenses on a limited basis creating a fair market place that doesn’t just benefit the Indians.

I hope to see this happen, and I am sure that one day it will. I just want to be one of the first to do it and not one of the last. I hope that Florida doesn’t take their popularity as a tourist destination for granted and assume that other states won’t beat us to the punch. Once other states get what we don’t have, there is more competition and it is harder for us to gain that business. As a resident, of Central Florida, I hope that we don’t take our tourist industry for granted either. I think we need to realize that when another city offers what we don’t have, they will be the ones getting the tourism dollars from it, not us. There is a whole world of people out there, and crazy as it sounds we can cater to families wanting to immerse themselves in roller coasters, and kiddie rides. We can cater to those adults who want to gamble and we can cater to those who want to do both. One look at what Vegas was before and what it is now, proves my point. They are actually getting closer to what Florida is with the Mega Resorts offering tropical oasis’ and amusements of all kinds. It’s not even all about the gambling there anymore. They have more variety than you will find almost anywhere. For Florida, it is out being well rounded, versatile, and offering something for everyone, and something that someone can not get anywhere else. Now if we could only build mountains and make it snow we will truly have it all.

Poker Hand Ranges

It is said that poker is not a game of your cards but situations. This is an experiment where we won’t know our hand until the river. We will try and figure out our opponent’s hand before we know our own and by that, we can make better decisions. Sound crazy? Read on. 

Stack sizes:

Phil ($200,000) – SB $500

You ($200,000) – BB $1,000

Phil raises to $3,000 from the SB and you call. We don’t raise because it wont help narrow his range and then were stuck playing a big pot out of position.

(Remember, it doesn’t matter what we have. The point in this experiment is to try and figure out Phil’s exact hand so we know how to play our hand).

The flop comes Jc 5h 6h

We check and Phil bets $4,000. His range at this point is still anything from nothing to three of a kind. He could have any 2 cards. Calling won’t help us figure out his range and so we should raise. If he folds, great. If he raises there are only 8 hands he could have and only a number of hands can call.

So by doing anything but calling we can figure out his hand range. We raise to $12,000.

Phil decides to call. Since he raises two-pair, sets, and over pairs but calls with draws and weak pairs we can put Phil on a pair of fives, sixes, jacks, middle pocket pairs, straight draws and flush draws.

The turn is the Ks bringing one over card. Now that we know what Phil’s range is, we can figure out the most profitable move. To most of Phil’s range the K of spades is a scary card. If we make a bet, most pairs are going to fold and only strong draws will continue. If we can get Phil to fold the majority of his range, the bet will be profitable. The pot is $30,000 and we bet $22,000. Phil takes some time and calls again. Since we believed most pairs would fold to a bet we can take weak pairs out of his range and leave flush draws, straight draws and two pairs that he caught with the king in.

The river is a blank leaving only the straight to connect. [Jc 5h 6h Ks 2s]

At this point, we leave Phil with these hands:

Flush draws (missed but maybe caught a king)

Straight draws (34 got there but most missed)

KJ, K6, K5

At this point, we have 2 choices: bet or check. Betting will fold worse hands and better hands will call. However if you check, a better hand will bet and also a worse hand. Based on that information we can make the correct decision. Since most of Phil’s range consists of missed draws we should check-call a strong or decent pair and be right most of the time. If we haven’t made a hand or have a weak pair, we should bet. Since he’s always folding missed draws and always calling with two-pair, we don’t have to fire a big bet like 80 into 100. If we fire something like 55 into 100, we can get the missed draws to fold and when we do get called, we don’t lose that much.

In this scenario, we have [8x 9x] for the missed gutshot straight draw. The pot is $74,000 and we bet $38,600. Phil calls and shows [Ks 6s] of spades, damn. Even though it was the wrong move at the time, the move will be profitable in the long run due to how his hand range compares to ours.

Replay the hand now while you know what you have and think of Phil’s decisions with [Ks 6s]. Then go vice-versa and be in Phil’s position to see what he did. It’s very interesting because from Phil’s point of view, the bluff looks stupid but its actually very calculated and will work in the long run.

Play Texas Holdem With Your Husband

 Come Friday night and my husband is off to have some poker time with this buddies. If I complain, I become the nag and if I stay silent then I suffer in loneliness. Both ways, I was the one who was in pain while he was the one who got away very easily, while putting all the blame on me alone.

It can be quite exasperating if you are one of those wives whose husband just can’t wait for Friday to come so that he can get away with the guys and have fun all alone, while you are at home expecting to spend some time with him.

When you do try to explain to him about how much you are yearning to spend some good quality time with him, you get ‘the look’, or the argument about how he drudges all week with no fun and how this is his only fun time and things like that. It seems as if nothing can get him convinced to stay home with you.

In addition, there are not even so many events such as action movies or car shows that might interest him. You will soon run out of these events. After trying several things, I came up with something that not only kept him with me for one Friday night but he has been spending his weekends with me for over two years now. And the cherry on the cake is that not only am I happy about it, but he too is excited and happy about it.

If you feel the same way that I felt all that time trying to keep him home, then read on to find out the secret that has kept him with me, happy and all.

The Revelation

After a careful thought as to what I could do about this, I came up with the thought that if he could not get interested in what I wanted him to do, I could certainly take up an interest in his hobby and for my husband, it was poker.

Therefore, I took it upon myself to teach myself poker until I could be good enough to play with him and even challenge him into playing a game with me. The stakes would be losing his guys time, if I won.

The Beginning

After having made up my mind, I started devouring every book I could lay my hands upon, reading about Texas Holdem. I decided it was better to focus on a single game rather than the multitude of them.

Thus, I started reading about it, in books and from all the information I could get from the internet.

The Progress

As I read, I felt I knew the basics well enough to try them out. So I started playing in online poker games whenever I could. I even played in some of our local casinos for some cash.

It was enjoyable for me because I was learning fast and easy and was making some money too, in the process.

The Final Challenge

When I though I had practised enough and was ready, I talked to him about his Friday games. The reaction was what I had expected, a long monologue of his hard work and no fun time and so on.

Now, the time was ripe to make the strike. I told him that I would accompany him to his games. I got the answer that only players were allowed. To that I replied that it could possibly be not so hard to play the game, if he was able to play then surely I could too.

That was it for him. He challenged me to play with him. I made the stakes clear.

The Result

What happened next was history. We had such a swell time playing. Of course, I did not win. However, I did manage to get him interested in playing with me. The interest lasts till today, it has been two years since that time and we still do it and our love has been blooming ever since.

At times, you just need to get interested.

Movie Review: Lucky You

After months of holding back their cards, Warner Bros. is finally releasing their romantic, poker playing dramady Lucky You. It’s been nearly a year since the picture was originally slated to debut, and the studio has upped the ante by choosing to open Lucky You as the sole alternative to perhaps this summer’s biggest blockbuster. Is Lucky You a royal flush or was the studio and talent behind the picture just bluffing?

On paper Lucky You sounded like a fantastic idea. With Curtis Hanson, the writer and director of “L.A. Confidential” and the surprisingly successful “In Her Shoes”, at the helm, plus the superb acting talents of Eric Bana and Robert Duvall, combined with the box office gold mine that is Drew Barrymore, how could Lucky You go wrong? To make things short and simple, televised poker is a snooze fest, so why would a dramatization be any different?

This is a shame too, especially since last year’s Casino Royale proved just how wildly exciting a game of Texas Holdem can be when the stakes are right. Whether it was the sheer number of card games featured throughout the picture’s hefty running time that desensitizes audiences, or perhaps it was the unexciting camera work and lack of energy in the editing, when the climax of Lucky You hits, you just want the principle tournament players to get it over with and fold.

Eric Bana plays Huck, a compulsive gambler who won’t admit to his addiction. The son of a two-time World Series poker champion, Huck spends his time in Las Vegas casinos where he has earned a reputation as a reckless player. Determined to step out of his father’s shadow, we meet Huck on his quest to raise the ten thousand dollar entry fee for a seat in the World Series poker championship.

Of course, since life is full of surprises, Huck meets a girl. Not just any girl mind you, but Drew Barrymore’s Billy, a girl he has absolutely no chemistry with, yet the film’s narrative structure demands they fall in love. Why? The reason is simple; she has to be the one to help him “change his game” and “change his life”.

At one point in the film Huck’s father, played by the legendary Robert Duvall, gives his son some interesting advice that perhaps the filmmakers should have taken. Referring to Huck’s cautious take on life and his aggressive poker playing the actor advises “You play cards the way you should lead your life. And you lead your life the way you should play cards”.

Perhaps if director Curtis Hanson had taken a few more risks with Lucky You, instead of trying to play the safe hand, he might have made an entertaining film. The premise is simple enough that an Oscar nominated director should be able to draw it out to a formidable conclusion, and aside from Barrymore’s wooden, poker-face-like acting, the performances are very solid.

While it is possible that the intention of Hanson was to showcase the wasteful life of compulsive gamblers with slow, drawn out dolly shots that have more fades transitioning them together than a student film, that really isn’t what attracts audiences to want to see a film set in Vegas. Take the highly underrated and under-seen film The Cooler for example. There is a sexiness to the gambling, an exciting style which breaks up the monotony and repetition of the games. While this would have helped the feel of Lucky You tremendously, one might wonder if this infusion of style would have detracted from showcasing Huck as a degenerate gambler. It may have given his compulsion a sexier look and feel, but it would have helped the picture’s ungodly pacing. Plus with all the ups and downs Huck faces outside of the poker table, audiences still would have seen the destructive path his lifestyle incurs.

With delay after delay one has to wonder why Warner Bros. didn’t just cut their losses and burn this card. Lucky You is a hand that would be better dealt to audiences during the January dumping grounds, when studios typically bring out the worst in their slate. Instead it had the misfortune of being released in a season where it will quickly get lost in the shuffle. While this move will inevitably lose the studio lots of playing chips, it is hard for me to sympathize since those of us who get stuck watching Lucky You are truly the unlucky ones.

How To Pull Out of a Big Downswing in Internet No-Limit Hold’em Poker

If you play winning poker for a long period of time, it’s inevitable because of the nature of the game that you will suffer a prolonged losing streak known as a downswing. Sometimes it’s going to just be a case of getting unlucky over and over again, sometimes it’s going to be because of a bad habit you picked up somewhere without realizing it, and sometimes it’s going to be a combination of both. A downswing in an Internet poker game is even more brutal because you are getting so many more hands per hour than in live games, so you can lose money much more quickly. In high-variance big-bet games like no-limit hold’em, this is compounded by how volatile the stacks are because of the wide range of bet-sizes you’ll face. The psychological effects of dealing with a downswing can lead to anger, depression, and a lower long-term win-rate, so we’re going to look at how to maintain our profits during these losing periods.

The first thing you need to do if you play online poker and multi-table no-limit hold’em is to cut your number of tables down. Normally you should drop one-third to one-half of the tables you normally play. We do this for two reasons. First, when you cut these tables you’ll be able to take more time on your decisions, which will help you to more quickly discover if you’re playing badly or not. Second, when you remove tables you’ll make your hands per hour rate go down, which leads to lower variance, which makes it harder to continue your downswing. While your hourly win-rate might suffer a bit in the short-term, it’s better in the long-term to play fewer tables so you can turn things around.

After dropping some tables, you need to objectively evaluate your play and decide if you need to move down in stakes for some period of time. Moving down one level is normally going to be sufficient, but moving down two levels wouldn’t hurt. The idea of moving down is to face easier competition while you figure out what in your normal poker game has went astray. In no-limit hold’em, it only takes one or two small leaks to take a solid, winning player to a break even or slightly losing player, so it’s absolutely critical that you find what’s causing you problems. You can only achieve this with objective feedback from yourself or others regarding your play.

If you drop tables and move down in stakes and you still can’t seem to win after a while, then something major is probably going on and you’ll want to re-evaluate your mental state and consider hiring a coach. While poker coaches can be expensive (anywhere from $50 an hour to $2000+ an hour) it will be money well spent if you hire a coach with a long track record of helping players get back on track and increase their winnings. You have to think of these adjustments as investments for your poker future, which after the initial cost will pay you great dividends in the form of bigger profits in online poker.


How to Learn Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em

No-limit Texas hold’em has exploded in popularity recently thanks to the broadcasting of live hole cards on television shows like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) or the World Poker Tour (WPT). The game is commonly played with up to 10 players at a single table. Although many new players are used to this style, heads-up is a different breed of poker which can be hard to adjust to for a beginner.

Is Heads-Up Hold ‘Em Right for Me?

Unlike a full table, heads-up hold’em is mono y mono. Your single opponent is your main focus the entire course of a match. At a full table, a player could patiently sit around waiting for good cards without paying too much attention to his opponents. A straightforward, basic strategy could be very profitable. In heads-up play, you will be playing nearly every single hand. As a result, the play is more wild, aggressive, and exciting. Betting, bluffing, and raising all the time results in bigger fluctuations in your bankroll. Only choose heads-up if you are prepared to handle the swings.

Preflop Starting Hands

In heads-up poker, you will always either be the small blind or the big blind. Because you will always have money invested in the hand, it is foolish to fold the small blind. It is worth it to literally call every single hand. In heads-up hold’em, your cards are not the most important thing. Your opponent’s cards should dictate how you play and bet.

Post-Flop Strategy

You will be seeing a lot of flops heads-up, so be aggressive. Constantly throw out bluffs and bets on the flop, the turn, and the river. By betting, you give your opponent the chance to fold and win the pot. Betting also maximizes value when you have a winning hand and might even encourage a raise. Although aggressive play has many rewards, it is not a free pass to bet all the time. Sometimes you will bluff huge and need to fold because you are beat. Your only goal is to defeat your opponent, not win every pot. The timing of your betting should be governed by your reads.

Reading Your Opponent

This is the single most important thing to master in heads-up. No other game relies on reads so heavily than heads-up no-limit hold’em. Notice how your opponent bets. Does he raise a lot before the flop? Will she bluff twice in a row? Answering questions like these are the key to winning. Also observe your opponent’s reactions to your bets. Bet different amounts until you know how much he will call and fold. Maximize value on winning hands and try to bluff risking the lowest amount of chips.

Turbo or Non-Turbo                                                                                                                 

Turbo heads-up sit-n-goes (SNG) are a quick, popular way to play heads-up. The blinds increase more rapidly than normal which ends the match sooner. Non-turbo SNGs are longer and a result you see more hands. This allows for more play between opponents. Turbo heads up SNGs are better for experienced players and might overwhelm a novice at first.

Managing Stakes and Bankroll 

You can play for virtually any amount of money heads-up with stakes as little as $2 or $5. At least 20 buy-ins are needed to play heads-up. It is not uncommon for profitable poker players to have downswings and lose 5 to 10 games in a row. 20 buy-ins allow for some breathing room, but you can play with a smaller bankroll if you feel comfortable.

Final Thoughts

Start out at the smallest limits offered or even play for fun. The more hands you play, the better you will be able to react to certain situations. As your skills increase, you might adjust your strategy or try fancier plays. Focus on figuring out and reading your opponent no matter what level you are playing at. Other flaws in your game will improve over time, but the ability to read your opponent separates the winning poker players from the fish.