Pinball and poker

The other night I got the craving to play a little pinball. It’s probably related to the book I’m reading now, Lucky Wander Boy, but whatever the source, it compelled me to dig into an old binder of game CDs for Balls of Steel, a 1997 release that has got to be, hands-down, the best pinball game ever made for the PC. During univeristy many hours vanished into this swirling vortex of ramp combos and bonus multipliers. After a bit of a struggle to get it up an running under Windows XP – the game was released in 1997 after all – all systems were go. It was just as good as I remembered and the hours blurred together as I started racking up high scores on all the tables. Ah…sweet gaming bliss.

Of course, the only reason I was looking for something else to do was that I didn’t want to ruin my great hit and run at Intertops. I booted up three 25PL tables and in only 59 hands I was reminded of the joy that comes when the deck slams you upside the hit. Every pocket pair was hitting a set. Top pair lower kicker turned into 2-pair. JT turned into a nut flush, though in that case I had to split the pot with KJ who hit his T on the river. Sunday I kept pounding my head on the desk asking how A8 could call my pair of kings all the way to the river just to hit his ace. In this session I was begging people to stay in my hands because I kept hitting the stone nuts on the flop and turn. All in all I finished up $97 in 30 minutes. The session was short for other reasons, but when I returned to my computer later, I found that I didn’t want flush my good session down the toilet like I had on the last few occasions. Not often through any fault of my own, but whenever I was working on a big day, I didn’t seem to fare very well. Of course, my objective poker brain understands this is illogical, but that didn’t stop my poker gut from choosing to explore other pastures.

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