Monday, May 30, 2016

Comic strip artistry

One of the things I'm drawn to is comic strips. Not so much comic books. Even as a kid, I couldn't pas up a newspaper without finding and devouring the comics section. I liked some more than others but would read every strip or panel in print. Of course my tastes and interest evolved. I found my self drawn to the strips that told stories, but were bigger than life at least in an artistic way.

What got me thinking was I did a HubPage article, Favorite Comic Strips, giving some of my favorites. I was surfing in HubPages and came across, From Peanuts to Zippy: My Ten Favorite Newspaper Cartoon Strips by Mike Lickteig and read his quite different list. His list ran a little more to more recent popular strips. We shared some favorites like Calvin and Hobbs, and The Far Side (ones I'll probably add to my article.) I realized that my list wasn't really personal favorites list, but more a nostalgic reach back.

Of course, lists like these are not definitive, they're just conversation starters. What's your favorite comic strip?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

New poker group

I started a new Yahoo group, Poker Night, Tonight. Why? Frustration with the Internet.

If you want to follow the poker pros, hold'em, online poker, tournaments, casino poker, the Internet has you covered. But try to follow neighborhood poker on the Internet and where do you go?

Looking for new game variations? Be prepared to dig. Play in games with 20-30 dollar buy-ins? Where can you talk about it, with other players who relate and care?

There's got to be as many home poker players as casino players. I'd like to find some of you with Poker Night Tonight. Check it out and join.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Poker Variation, Roll Your Own

3 Card Stud
This is a neat little 3 card stud game. So many of the Dealer's Choice variations seem to have big community card boards which result in lots of big hands. It's nice to play a game where there is no chance of a full house!

I first encountered it as a sub in an established low limit game. It seemed too tight, in that small pot venue, but I've grown to appreciate its subtleties of play. I've since introduced it in other neighborhood game venues with higher limits and it's been well received.

The Play
It's essentially 3 card stud, where you roll your own up cards. It's generally played as a Hi Lo split pot game, but could be High only, or Lo only (a really twisted Raz game.) With only 3 cards, the nut Lo is A,2, 4. This HubPage describes the deal and play with pictures. Read it and come back.

Since your hand is never more than 3 cards, two of them exposed, you are playing pretty naked. The lay of the up cards is pretty situational, so watch out for bluff situations or opportunities. Some times a good board read can lead to a "no contest" win. For example, everybody looks Lo and you can represent High.

Some, very few, hands can look High and Lo at the same time, which is strong to the table, and gives you an extra hidden option to buy a new down card. For example Down, 3,4 can look like a great Lo (A, 3,4) and a weak straight (3,4,5.) If you have a brick down, like a Jack, you can hold the Jack and bluff, buy a new down card, and improve or bluff.

As in any poker game, letting the table draw free, invites a suck out!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Neighborhood poker keeps me going.

There's a casino in the neighborhood, and I occasionally play there. But that's not what I mean by neighborhood poker. I'm talking about home games. The players are typically friends or neighbors, or at least an acquaintance.

Everybody is trying to outplay each other, but there is no rake, no commission, no House to pay off. At most everybody chips in for food or snacks, and pitches in to put away chairs and clean up.

Casinos offer all the Hold'em you can stand. At a home game, there's always a game change a deal or two away. No two home games are alike. There's lots of different buy-ins, stakes, limit spreads, game arrays, and variations to play.

Neighborhood poker keeps me interested and gives me something to talk about here. Let me know what you think?