Monday, October 22, 2007


Last Friday, our group at work had a little team-building competition. It consisted of two parts; both of which, luckily for me, involved Unlimited Texas Hold Them.

Our current boss is a recreational player and thought it would be neat to have the company sponsor two types of tournaments: a live one and a computer simulated one. During a weekend business trip, he wrote a poker tournament simulator (in Excel of course, because if you're not sure what your development environment should be, the default is Excel) and gave us access to player functions in which we'd write our "Poker AI" if you will.

We were given a couple of weeks to code our bots using the vbScript within Excel. Whoever's bot won the 12-player Sit 'n Go simulation would take home an 8 gig iPod Nano.

After the simulation was over, we'd convene at a co-workers house for a live tournament where 1st would pay out an 8 gig iPod touch, and 2nd place would earn a 4 gig Nano.

Pretty cool for free shit, huh?

After ironing out a few minor bugs in the wrapper code, my "bot" lucksacked its way to victory. I had won a 2nd iPod for the week. I wasn't sure what I'd do with it since I had that 160 gig one coming soon from PokerStars. Still, a win is a win, and I felt it more than appropriate to be as unbearable as possible to my co-workers.

Enter the live tournament. Few of the players had any real poker experience; only Random101 had played nearly as much as I did so we were the favorites going in. A few hours later, and it was heads up between he and I. I had a chip lead and won the final hand with a race, my 88 beating his A9s.

I had just won my 3rd iPod of the week. In fact, I'd won each of the different kinds offered by Apple: the Classic, the nano and a Touch. Crazy.

After dishing out the appropriate level of trash talk, I gave away my nano so that the 3rd place finisher in the live tournament wouldn't go away empty handed. After all, how many iPods can one person use? I still have my 30gig video iPod, so having four of them was a little much.


After a weekend of using the Touch, all I can say is that it's an amazing little toy. The most usage it got was browsing the web via the Safari application and built-in wireless connection. It's pretty sick.

Also, I ripped some DVD movies to it and in widescreen format, the quality is pretty amazing. Apparently, Apple is opening up the API so my guess is a ton of 3rd party apps are on the way.

Not a bad six days, $900 in Apple merchandise won through poker.

Now if I could only win some cash.

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