During my school days I was in a number of classes with a Pakistani chap called Kashif. He was very highly strung, and had some fairly strange ideas about things. As a result of his suspect temperament, he was by far the most amusing person to wind up, and I achieved this primarily through excessive, exuberant celebration of the loss of any Pakistani wickets in the cricket, even if they were playing Zimbabwe. This was normally enough to earn the death stare. More of Kashif in a moment.
On the poker front, I attempted to adopt a new strategy in the LC cash game on Tuesday night. To prevent another disastrous loss on my current woeful run, I decided to play the 50p/£1 game short stacked, buying for £50 at a go, to see how I went.
I didn't play too badly to be honest, but didn't enjoy the change in dynamic I discovered in playing the shorter stack. I usually like to play speculative hands like connectors and suited gappers fairly aggressively, coming in for a raise. That adds deception when I hit big, and also allows me to get paid off when I have premium pocket holdings. However, due to the fact I was playing off mostly a short stack, often I had to let these mediocre holdings go as I never had the implied odds to play due to the size of my stack.
The only time I could really play them was if I could limp in, or perhaps there was just a single raise in front. Even then, I couldn't really play the hand aggressively so it was probably pretty transparent for what it was - a small hand that could flop big.
I played extremely conservatively and spent most of the evening drinking beer and folding cards, which I guess has its place. I folded AAxx with the flush draw in Omaha after Dev made it clear he had the straight, I folded JJ in Irish on a low flop when I was again clearly behind, and made one bad fold of KQ on a Queen high board when I was convinced The Baron had a big pair in the hole. Baron obviously had 9 high, or some such nonsense, on that occasion so the radar was a bit off.
Despite these setbacks, I eventually found myself £150 ahead as the evening drew to a close, but suffered a few outdraws, as well as making a big blunder when I misread a straight, to end up pretty much level for the night.
I plan to play online tournaments this weekend, as Shazbo is away, before The Don is flying in from Dubai next week to play a £100 deep stacked sit and go on Thursday, which should be a great night. I've also pencilled in the £200 at the International Paradise Poker Festival as my first big field tournament to play after Vegas, on 26th August.
The short stacking of the cash game was an interesting experiment, and I will probably be forced to play this way again in the near future, but I just felt completely shackled and unable to play my normal game.
Speaking, of being shackled, back to Kashif.........
I guess I've already established Kashif was a bit of a loose cannon and highly amusing to wind up, but he was to top everything in our final year before university.
The headmaster had decided to hold a religious diversity week, which involved various speakers coming in to discuss their beliefs. First we had the standard Christianity pitch from the Chaplain, followed by a chilled talk by a Buddhist guy. So far so good. Next up - it's Judaism and a chat from a Rabbi.
We gather in the hall to hear his delivery, but just as he starts, Kashif is on his feet waving his arms!
"SCREW YOU RABBI!"
"FREE PALESTINE FROM THE SHACKLES OF DEATH!"
At this point Kashif is being ushered out of the hall, wide eyed with fury
"DOWN WITH ZIONISM!"
As a person who has a fairly dismissive opinion of all things religious, for me this was the cause of huge entertainment value. Even better, the Headmaster, whose hamfisted idea this had been in the first place, had now appeared to have picked up a rather hot political potato. On the one hand he had invited in a religious guest, who had promptly been verbally attacked, and had to say something. On the other hand, he could not really discipline Kashif on the grounds of free speech, and particularly being Jewish himself, could not be seen to be taking an active stance on the Middle East Conflict. Since our school had a significant population of both Muslim and Jewish pupils, the good old headmaster had dug himself a huge hole.
General hilarity and awkwardness all round.
The last I heard of Kashif was nearly two decades ago. He was off to study law at Cambridge I think, so has probably done very well for himself. Well, either that, or he is currently hiding in a cave northwest of Kabul.
Obviously I am more mature now, and have realised that deliberately antagonising religious extremists probably isn't the best plan I have ever had.
Until next time friends
P&L GBP 2009
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