Ask The Other Editor, 11/17/2004
Alex Nastetsky asks:
"Whatever happened to Team AWWAJALOOM?"
Old-time fans may remember Team AWWAJALOOM - otherwise known as "Team Adults With Women And Jobs And Lives Outside Of Magic." I formed the team after getting my ass handed to me in my third straight PTQ, when I noticed that all of the people who were beating me were much younger than I was.
Now, Eric "Dangerous Dinosaur" Taylor has a theory that old people are actually dumber than young people, which makes sense. Young people have fresher brain cells, quicker reflexes, and free cable if they live at their parents' house. But these kids who were pounding the snot out of me were younger, richer, they had better jobs, and frequently had really hot girlfriends. If they could legitimately beat me at Magic, what did I have left?
Therefore, I created a reason why I was superior to these walking embryos. The reason was that I had a wife. And a job! And a life outside of Magic! If it wasn't for those things holding me back, of course I'd be whipping the tar out of them! I'd win every PTQ!
And so Team AWAAJALOOM was born.
Team AWWAJALOOM allowed Magic players everywhere to believe that they were far superior to other people, without the slightest shred of evidence to prove it. When a Team AWWAJALOOM member went 1-3 for the seventh tourney in a row, he would shout the official team slogan: "I could have won if I had worked at this!" And then all of the team members would gather at a bar after their crushing loss and drink a beer, bitching about how they were so much better and it was terribly unfair how the all the other players had won.
In that sense, a Team AWWAJALOOM meeting was very much like a Democratic convention.
Alas, two things happened to cause Team AWWAJALOOM to fall apart:
1) I won a PTQ. The official tenets of Team AWWAJALOOM forbade any member to win a tournament, ever, at any time. If a member of the team could win something, that would prove that the rest of us were just talentless slackers.... And we couldn't have that. Thus, I had to resign my membership, though Gini talked me out of getting a divorce.
When I stepped down, nobody offered to take over.
2) I lost the bag that contained all of the free giveaway cards, and I was never able to replace them. Plus, the postage costs were killing me. I sent out over three hundred packages of Team AWWAJALOOM Official Loser Cards, and I just was tired of the work.
So alas, Alex, Team AWWAJALOOM lives on only in spirit. If you have a job and a women and a life outside of Magic, think of us the next time you bomb out at a tournament. As you inevitably will.
"Given that I'm just an ignorant kid from Israel (where gambling is outlawed), I haven't had a chance to acquire basic education, such as: How do I play Poker?
"(And that includes all sorts of basic stuff like how the game works, what's 'Texas Hold'em,' and even what beats what - like, two-of-a-card, three-of-a-card four-of-a-card, etc.)"
Really, Jaggo. So you'd like me to actually teach you the mechanics of a game that we don't sell, so you can go play it and never buy cards from us again?
In Poker, you draw five cards and play against a group of other people. At the beginning of each round, you must ante a set amount of money into the pot - usually, it's about $250 to start with, though some cheaper games start at $110. It's considered a good strategy to put a little extra money into the ante before you begin, just in case your hand is very good - as a rule, you generally want to "up the ante" by about thirty or forty percent. If you can completely outspend your opponents in the ante phase, you're halfway to winning!
Your five cards determine whether you win or not. The goal is to build a perfect hand - which is to say, five cards that have as little in common with each other as possible. The highest hand you can get in poker is called a "goober," and it involves five cards of different ranks (like, say, Ace, 9, 5, 2, Jack) and four different suits, with only one card's suit repeated.
This is trickier than it sounds, because odds are good that you'll be drawing hands composed entirely of the same suit (called a "flush," because you want to flush that crap away as soon as possible) or a "straight," cards of ascending rank (like, say, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). If you play the odds, you'll often find that the dealer gives you a full house, which is a hand with five cards of the same rank (five kings, for example). If you get that, you're automatically busted and have to leave the room.
Otherwise, you can throw two cards back and get replacements. When you get those cards, you should ante again, this time even bigger than the last. If your hand is "broken" enough - which is to say that it's fragmented and the cards have little in common with each other without any two-fers or three-fers in there - you will win the pot and get everyone's ante.
Texas Hold'em is actually a poker variant where rather than playing cards to determine who gets the money, all the players leap on each other and attempt to hold their opponents down while they make wild grabs for their wallet. If someone asks you to play Texas Hold'Em, the proper response is to kick them in the nads and run before they can take your hard-earned cash.
There, Jaggo! I hope that helps. And remember, if poker doesn't work out for you, there's always Magic. Right here. Where you can buy cards.
Mike Corley asks:
Any chance that SCG will be adding an RSS / XML / Atom / whateverstandardyouwant feed to the site?
Actually, there's a very good chance. I've been fooling around with an RSS feed to see how I can get it to work the way I want, and it'll be done when I get around to it.
As long as I'm on the topic:
- Yes, we know we need a better deck database.
- Yes, that deck database should indeed output decks in Apprentice, Workstation, and MODO format.
If you'd like to have anything else about the deck database changed when we eventually do get to it (there are some other major projects in the pipeline that need to get taken care of first), leave me a note in the forums. I'm open. But we have some major issues to work through it first.
The Ferrett asks:
Got another question? Go ahead; ask me.
The Here Edits This Here Site For This Here Week Guy