Have I ever mentioned how much I hate coming up with clever titles for my column? I'd leave it blank, but Jibble's code is so fragile that doing so would sodomize the whole site.
The last time I had a column, it had the same title every issue. Man, that was living. I suppose I could do that again, but the title issue is related to a much deeper flaw in my personality: I have poor impulse control. I see that empty space and feel compelled to fill it. Kind of like this empty space.
On a related note, I picked up World Championship Poker last week. A month ago, I had no interest in poker and thought televised poker was a stupid idea. But, still better than King of Queens, Will & Grace or CSI: Anchorage.
So after watching third-tier celebrities swapping chips and awkward banter in the highly suggestible period between midnight and sleep, it was almost inevitable that I would pick up the GBA version when I saw it. I have no idea if it's a good game, or even what other versions are available. Like I said, poor impulse control.
By way of a review, I can tell you right off what is wrong with the game. First, there is no save feature. You have to write down passcodes like it's 19-fucking-92. Actually, you have to draw the code because they thought they'd be clever and use playing cards as the passcode characters. This simian design decision makes me feel better about not "saving" after I lose.
Second, you can't cheat. No dealing off the bottom, no marked decks, no aces up your sleeve. Those are the sorts of things I'd like to know if I were ever going to play for real. As a sub-point, you can't accuse other players of cheating, shoot them in the face, and take all their money. Maybe because Nintendo makes kiddie games.
Other than those nagging flaws, the game is pretty solid. You can play a variety of different versions of poker, but since those haven't been seared into my brain by the talking picture box, I haven't tried them. One game is called Omaha Hold 'Em, which I assume is a cheap Chinese knock-off of real poker.
Your computer opponents have tells, which you can exploit in lieu of kidnapping their wife and child to give you an edge in the game. For example, there is a Mike Tyson caricature who flexes his muscles when he has a good hand and sobs like an emotionally abused little girl when he doesn't. I gather those are the sorts of subtle cues professional players have trained themselves to notice.
If the game somehow manages to hold my attention (which I really don't see happening, but let's pretend), I'll probably try my luck online. From what I understand, you can take people's money without having to see or hear them. That sounds like a winning combination. Although I'm sure there's some sort of text chat where you can be called a "flush whore" and accused of using the poker equivalent of an aim-bot. It is the internet, after all.
For those of you who haven't already seen it, this is one of the greatest uses of Flash the internet has ever seen. It's worksafe so long as you use headphones. DO NOT, under any circumstances, play it over your speakers. It's too xtreeeeeeeeeme!
Feel free to omit this warning when you forward it to your coworkers.