Immediately I was a little pissed because I had recently ordered a book from half.com and thought they had sent me an audiobook instead of the paperback I wanted.
But I opened it up. It was a pair of Copag decks. I looked a little closer at the top card -- it was a green ace of clubs!
The mailing said it had to do with a partnership between the plastic playing card company and Full Tilt. Maybe FT is trying to prove they are "the best online poker site" out there.
I love seeing blue diamonds and green clubs. Mason Malmuth doesn't like four-color decks in brick and mortars because of the off-chance that a card counter could receive a lot more information if a card flashed showed a particular color for a suit, instead of the two-color red and black that I'm used to.
These will be awesome for the home game! Can't wait!
On the plane ride back from Chicago I finished up the rest of E-dog's "Making the Final Table." I bought it used from half.com as a sort of poker equivalent to a Harlequin -- a lot of pulp, not much substance. But I was pretty impressed with his philosophies of breaking down hands, using tells and not being predictable. He even has a section on how not to leak all your winnings if you do hit it big. It's a fast read. There are a couple bonus Matt Matros chapters at the end of the book as well.
When I finished that, I turned on the portable DVD player to the second disc of the 2004 Ultimate Poker Challenge at the Plaza. I've had this Netflix so long I probably could have bought the entire series by now compared to what I've paid to keep holding on to it. I've long since pulled these discs from my queue because I find that when I'm home the last thing I want to do is watch poker when I could be playing it.
But up in the sky, it's a totally different manner. A portable DVD player makes it a more personal experience. I found myself focusing on the hands and trying to predict how the players, especially the pros, would make their moves. This disc contained several pros, including Mel Judah and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson at one table and Kathy Liebert at another.
I was totally impressed by Liebert after watching her work and respond to a table. She made every move perfectly, the way you'd expect a pro to go about business. It was almost like watching pro tennis, to see them hit the balls into the corners of the court until eventually someone made a mistake. And Liebert wasn't the one doing it. She was correctly folding to raises with weak cards, calling with good-enough hands and staying out of trouble. It was impressive stuff.
Really enjoyed the United Express jet I was in -- the regional Embraer ERJ-170 jet. The interior was nice and it seemed like it could scoot. We took some tight turns coming into the airport (I wondered if it was because there wasn't any other traffic out there at 12:30 a.m.) and it seemed to handle itself well. Today I was trying to find out if these 50-seaters are the same planes that make the corkscrew turns into Baghdad airport but couldn't verify that.
Today I was out to cover a ceremony for the new runway out here in Atlanta. It was really impressive. The events were out on an unused taxiway off to the side and the backdrop was a 767-300 and a 737-700 from a couple of the airlines that fly out of the airport the most.
Those planes are so big! And it was cool to be up close to them. One of my best memories of planes was once a few years back waiting to take an overnight flight on Japan Airlines from Tokyo/Narita to LAX. Just before boarding, you could see the Japanese captain making a final check around the plane, he looked very prim in his uniform but very small standing underneath the giant 777, examining every piece of the underbelly of the plane with love, the kind that in Firefly makes Serenity a ship and brings you home.
Back to today -- an unloaded 767 can really scoot and the Delta captain took the plane up in a hurry, a cloud of dust from the previously unused runway in its wake. With the chief of the airline and some other dignitaries on board, he landed in an equally spectacular way -- after the rear wheels touched, he kept the nose up for as long as he could, rolling down the runway, in a demonstration of his skills handling such a huge beast. It was fantastic and just another joy of being a reporter.