December 4th, 2006

Manga Kevin

Worldcon Poker

I was having dinner with cherylmorgan and discussing some of the stranger poker hands that had happened over the weekend when she had a brainstorm and proceeded to invent a new poker variant, which I detail here.


Seven-card stud. All hole cards are wild, although they have to keep their natural suits. This is because if a con committee tries to keep anything secret, vast numbers of rumors will surface regarding what they are actually doing. (Only the hole cards are wild, not the like-denomination face-up cards.)

Because anything that happens at two consecutive Worldcons becomes traditional, any two consecutive cards in your hands rank your hand as a straight. (You must keep your cards in the order they were dealt. Of course, since everyone has two hole cards to start the hand, everyone starts with an ace-high straight!)

Any hand that does not include a full house has to match the pot as an attrition clause, because it failed to make its room block. (You can use a different set of five cards to make the full house than the hand you use to try to win the hand; however, your wild cards can only have one value in the end, so you can't use them as one value to fill the full house and another to make a straight flush. If multiple players have to match the pot, they all put in the amount that was in the pot before anyone else had to match it.)

Since somebody has to actually run the convention, players are not allowed to fold. And since no matter how good a job you do, people will moan and complain about it, nobody can win. After the hand is over, redeal and play another round. (You can't win; you can't break even; you can't get out of the game.)


The horrible thing is that, except for the last rule, this game appears to be at least theoretically playable. You'd have to be crazy to try it, which makes it ideal for conrunners.
Kevin Standlee

More Poker Variations

We'll be heading to Kansas City Airport in a couple of hours, so I need to get cracking on packing, but I wanted to write this journal entry before I forgot about it. While showering this morning, my mind continued to turn over poker variations with fannish connections. Here's another one that is somewhat more playable than Worldcon.


Seven card stud. The first 7 and 3 in your hand are dead. All the others are wild.

(Minneapolis bid for the 1973 Worldcon and lost. They had so much fun bidding that they continued to bid thereafter. Minneapolis in '73 continues to this day.)
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    amused amused
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Conrunner Kevin

MCI Airport: Hooray for Wi-Fi

Kansas City Airport has free wi-fi, like Portland. Hooray for them! It makes up for the fact that there is practically nothing airside. (Think San Jose Terminal C -- the gate areas in MCI are like Alaska Airlines at SJC.

Our flight to Denver is showing on time, and the weather in Denver is above freezing and partly sunny. Fingers crossed that this augers for an uneventful connection on to San Jose.

The last dregs of SMOFCon continue here in the departure lounges, as those of us making our various ways home pass and talk in the lounge.

cherylmorgan and I were able to get breakfast this morning in the food court of the office building across the street from the hotel. Alas, it wasn't open over the weekend. The downtown business district had few places within easy walking distance over the weekend, and Sunday was even worse than Saturday. I'm not really fond of sites that require a taxi ride to anything worthwhile, not because I'm cheap -- Cheryl will attest to how I've been scattering $2 bills about as tips while I've been here -- but because I begrudge the extra travel time away from the convention. (You could call it "Fear of Missing Something.")

I think it unlikely that we'll be at BASFA tonight, although we're scheduled to get back to SFO early enough that we could attend. Sleep, we need sleep!
Manga Kevin

Home Without Incident

The trip home was totally uneventful. The nice United desk agent moved me up to Economy Plus and blocked the seat between cherylmorgan and me, so we got the row of three to ourselves -- maybe the only such set on full plane. There were other fans on board: Denvention Three chair Kent Bloom, Mary Morman, and marykaykare were in the row ahead of me.

Cheryl and I had to change from terminal A to B at Denver, but it was no big deal. The fact that we were ten minutes late arriving on Terminal A was offset by our connecting equipment in Terminal B being ten minutes late, too. The weather in Denver looked quite nice, and other than a bit of turbulence, it was a nice trip home. In fact, it was so nice and clear, the pilot (after clearing with ATC -- I was listening on ch. 9) did an S-turn over Yosemite so we could get a nice look at Half Dome, etc.

Traffic wasn't even too bad driving back home to Fremont from SFO.

I wish more of my travel went that easily.

My sympathies to all of the SMOFCon attendees who had rotten travel or even had to cancel entirely due to canceled flights and the like.
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    Second Ashes Test, Day 5
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Wig Wag

Dumbarton Rail Opponents Have Brains of Coal

Among the things that were in my in-box when I got home was this comment by a false-front LJ account on my advocacy of Dumbarton Rail. Go have a look. While there are a few legitimate objections sprinkled into the argument, I have difficulty taking anyone seriously who claims that the trains will be powered by coal. And they say I'm a train-brain!