Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year 2007!

What a Christmas!

Thank g-d it's all over for another bluddy year. Spent most of it in bed. No. Not with a hangover. Viral infection. That's what the quack says. Anyway.

And it's not funny. Let me tell you. I've been at death's door for the best part of 2 weeks.

But here I am!

Though. To tell the truth. I'm not right. Even now. Not really. Still coughing a lot. And my ears keep clicking. But. Hopefully. I'll be well enough to go back into work on Tuesday. That's the plan. And. yet. You know. I gotta admit. There were times when old Phil Diamond actually wondered if he was gonna make it through at all.

But. You see. Even down there. Even in the darkest depths. Something in me made me fight back. You know. And I mentally decided. I couldn't just lie there and give-in. Phil. I said. You can't just give in. You are the Diamond. And you can't let the people down. Especially at this important time of the year.

And so it is that the Diamond Man has bravely risen from his sick bed to bring you his New Year message.

But. What shall I write about? I wondered, in between bouts of high fever and delirium. I've done nothing for days. But. Then. I thought. What could be more appropriate than a list of my latest New Year Resolutions. I've had plenty of time to think about them - lying as I was - so close to death. It focusses the mind. You know? On the really important things in life.

So. Here they are. In no particular order...

Phil Diamond's New Year’s Resolutions

I will give up making big pre-flop raises with small pocket pairs
I will give up making big pre-flop raises with medium pocket pairs
I will give up making big pre-flop raises with A-K, A-Q A-J, A-10…
I will give up…

… making continuation bets when there’s an ace on the board and I haven’t got one.

… over-betting top-pair - when top-pair is 6-6 or lower.

… representing the ace (I haven’t got) with a raise, after the other guy has already made that move.

… going all-in with an up-and-down straight draw.
… going all-in with the wrong end of a straight draw.
… going all-in on a flush draw.
… going all-in with jacks.
… going all-in with queens.
… going all-in with kings.
… going all-in with aces.
… in fact, going all-in with anything less than quads.

… calling an all-in with top pair – especially when there is a 2 on the board, or when there are three, black suited-cards on the board and mine are both red.

… offering free advice to the guy next to me on how he might have played that last hand better and saved himself several thousand chips – especially if I was the one who won the hand in question. Even though such advice is given freely and with the sole intention of helping my fellow players improve their understanding of the game, I have generally found that ‘tapping the side of the aquarium’ (as they say) is rarely greeted with gratitude by the minnows inside. And, come to think of it, we serious players need all the krill we can get to swell the prize pool with their dead money.

... reading Card Player magazine during the early stages of a tournament. I can’t see the problem, but I have overheard, well, shall we say, some unflattering comments on the subject.

… trying to get my chips back from the guy who has just taken most them from me with a terrible bad-beat on the river, by re-raising his latest raise with 8-2 suited.

… bearing personal and lasting grudges against anyone who decimates my stack by catching his one and only out on the river.

… swearing out loud during a live game - under any circumstances.

… saying ‘yes’ when asked if I will agree to show my cards, if the other guy agrees to fold, only to find that he has now taken that to be a sign of weakness and has decided instead to call my all-in when I had really rather hoped that he didn’t - and facing the consequential humiliation of having to lay my modest cards on their backs for all the world to see.

… jumping out of my chair, whooping, dancing and proclaiming that ‘I AM THE GREATEST’, after coming from a mile behind, hitting a miracle full-house on the river, taking down a massive pot and knocking-out the very nice lady out of the tourney.

… mucking my cards with such disgust and vigour that one is exposed before leaving the table completely, while the other flies up and hits the dealer in the face

… jumping suddenly up from my seat and simultaneously knocking-over three drinks tables and seventeen fully charged glasses – replacement cost the best part of forty quid – and being told to ‘sit down and shut up you a-hole.’

… eating two whole packs of custard creams at 4.30 in the morning

… saying ‘sorry’ in a cash game to the guy I’ve just rivered to take down a £700 pot. It has been my experience that such apologies are rarely accepted with good grace.

Give up smoking?
Cut down on the drinking?

Leave it out!

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