I wanted to write a short page about a completely different subject for a change, and that’s what I do when I’m not out on the mountain bike. This is obviously just incase anyone’s bored enough to be bothered with something, as ol’ Lance would say, not all about the bikes.
Obviously, I’ve written a little about my new passion for Triathlons, taking me into the realm of the lycra-fetishists and masochistic training monkeys. Well, I don’t take it that seriously, have no fear, but that’s still about the bikes. Even if they do have skinny wheels.
So, what else gets my brain ticking over? Well, strangely enough, one of my other passions takes me right away from the training circuit and normally into dark, sweaty pubs with plenty of excercise killing beer around. You might be thinking it’s still sport related – possibly darts…. or pool? But then, who is Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor kidding – darts is in no way a sport. But not, it’s not even a sport. The dark, seedy pastime I speak of is…. Poker.
Yep, I’m a bit of a gambler at heart. I play in a local poker league, right in the centre of town, and we usually get around 40 people along each night. It’s great fun, the banter and the beer flowing, and there’s not too much money at stake, the entry fee only being about £4. Because of the numbers though, that means that the prize is pretty decent if you get in the top 3, and especally if you win it. I’ve managed that once in the past couple of years and, let me tell you, the buzz of facing off against the last guy, having beaten about 38 other guys to this stage, is almost as good as nailing a double on the downhill at Innerleithen.
I play a bit online too to sate the cravings inbetween league nights. Just low money stuff, maybe 2p/4p or low entrytournaments, but it’s good fun. I started off on Full Tilt poker, drawn in by the ads – that dude, in the cowboy hat, can never remember his name, is always pretty memorable after all. But these days I’m on Party Poker, mainly because there always seems to be a tournament on and I’m a fan of the low entry fee, massive possible winnings games. I never was patient enough for the cash game… Strangely, I can often get a game quicker on the German site… (http://de.partypoker.com/) who’da thunk it?
Anyway, it’s a good way to take the mind off the training sometimes – I quite often listen to poker podcasts when I’m out running, trying to learn new plays for my game, or listening to the news from the circuit. And on rest days it passes a few hours in the evening. Luckily enough the tournament games are on a Monday so that works out as a good rest day activity!