Monday, 22 April 2013

Money & Poker

Czech Republic Koruna (Money)

Travel and money seam intertwined but traveling in multiple countries with different currency well there is a whole new cook book to ways of doing it. The usual problems are the worst exchange rate that is out there. Its almost unavoidable since the money changers has to make a living and even bank rates are always slightly lower.

You are always a loser when it comes to traveling and changing money which was what I felt. Unless of course if you travel during a crisis (Euro debt) like me which feels awesome since I have never seen the Euro dip so low in respect to the Singapore Dollar. Still every time I draw money out the rates are bound to be better the next few days. Dang it.

So new currency and I change the minimum amount in Bratislava just so I could get to the hostel or buy a ticket once I arrived Prague. Emergency money! ATM was easily found and I drew out the most money in Europe …. A FEW THOUSAND KORUNA.

Lets see …. 1 SGD = 0.56 Euro and 1 Euro = 25.04 CZK and 1CHF = 18.18 CZK …

I was constantly on my calculator and that was not funny. I got cheated too at the money changer which listed 1 CHF = 18.18 CZK but only if you change a lot of money so for my balance Swiss francs of 128 CHF I got a measly 1836CZK ….

Are you confuse yet ??

Poker Match in Prague Casino

I could not help noticing all the casino at Prague and I was slightly spoilt for choice. Prague would make it three successive country + city which I would enter a casino and try to earn my keep. After much procrastination by visiting old town Prague and keeping myself busy with sightseeing gimmick my will buckled and I headed out at night for the casino. 
Entry Log on Casino Losses

Some were kind of small with only slots machines and limited games. Others were medium in size but low key. I found one that had table games and you had to check in your coat. Small for a casino for they only had two roulette table and two Caribbean stud poker a few blackjacks and one casino taxes hold’em poker where you play with the dealer instead of the players. The place was packed with people filled with smokes from cigarette and merry with chatter. People actually socialized in the casino.

It was my first time too where the non-alcoholic drinks are free and they served you pretty much everything even if all you do is change chips and sit down. I took my time warming up the seat with black jack and slowly eased my way to the poker table. A few hours later I noticed a new table open and they were playing Texas Hold’em poker players to players with the dealer as a facilitator. How much was the blinds I asked. 10 & 20 Koruna the dealer replied and I hopped in the last seat available.

This was my first time playing Texas Hold’em players style in the casino with random strangers. Usually it would be with friends over a casual house gathering with drinks hence the wagers were normally small and you don’t aim to wipe your friends out. I folded the first few rounds.

How good is your POKER FACE ??

Unlike playing with the casino whereby the dealer is not concern of losing money and always play with a set of rules, player poker involves bluffing which makes it more thrilling.

There are a few scenario which could occur :

1. You have GOD LIKE cards in hand … but BAD POKER FACE … hence everyone backs out and you don’t make a killing

2. You have GOD LIKE cards in hand … makes everyone thinks you are bluffing and fish in the money … PILE UP THAT STASH BABY ..

2. You have dirt shit hands, and so does everyone else and if you are able to read their expression which tells you everyone has shitty hands anyway … NOW how could you bluff them into thinking you have a winning hand and back away …

3. You have lousy hands …. GIVE IT UP

Then there is the TAIL …. A form / gesture / action / look / twitch / that everyone has which is instinctive and uncontrollable. There was finding a random strangers TAIL and at the same time be very cautious of your own action which may form a TAIL. It is said it is impossible to identify one own self TAIL and it is equally as difficult to identify someone else’s,  however if you do manage to identify, it that would be a HUGE power advantage.

Of course there is also the planting of a fake TAIL which I did. It was like a fishing game. You put the bait … wait for it …. wait for it …. Sacrifice the small bait …. Put up another bait …. and reel in the big fish …. I first went semi crazy upping the stakes all the way to the end … with a pair of deuce which was useless as all the commodity card was already higher than my deuce. I still opened my card when it was time to determined the winner and everyone laughed. I put on my best little boys face !!

Stagger of the hand … hesitant to put down more money since I had lost a few rounds already … everyone joined in my doubled up bet. Smirk … I had them nipping. More pondering and finally putting down chips only matching and not raising, but some idiot double up and everyone followed … Hooked. Last bet and a huge pile went down from the guy across me … I smiled … and double up his huge pile … everyone backed out left one …
“What do you have boy ? Pair Aces ?”He asked
I smiled a little, raised my shoulder to indicate I don’t know in a cheeky way. Lick my lips … and waited. He matched my stack and it was time to duel it out. I had a straight beating his trips … sweet sweet taste of victory.

I played a while longer but I had used up all the tricks I knew … time to move on while I had winnings.

The next stupid thing I did right after was hit the dealer tables. Overconfident with my wins over players I played on the tables games thinking I had the best luck in the world. Within an hour I had made almost an equivalent of 400 euros but alas due to my brain blunder in the currency conversion I thought I had only made 40 euros. I did not cash out and continue with the games thinking I had only won 40 euros and not long after lost everything back to the casino.

 If I did learn one thing from this … THERE IS NO BLUFFING THE CASINO

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