December 3rd, 2017


2018 SMOF Series of Poker

SMOFCon 35 (unlike the previous Boston SMOFCon), provided space for the by-now-traditional Probability & Statistics Seminar (i.e. Texas Hold-Em poker tournament). 25 members participated. There were some very exciting hands and bad beats, including what I called "television hands" that would have made the broadcast of a televised tournament, such as the hand where a player was all-in with only one card to go an only two outs (the two remaining 9s in the deck) and the last card was a 9 to save him from elimination.

The winner of the 2018 SMOFCon tournament: Mike Beneviste. Congratulations!

Now I have to figure out how to fit 30 pounds of poker chips into my 50 pound luggage allowance. I think I'll be wearing home onto the plane a couple of pieces of cold-weather gear that were in my checked luggage coming out, and that I'll have to carry-on my CPAP machine instead of putting it my checked bag.

SMOFCon Is Great -- I'm Glad It Only Happens Once a Year

Getting only four hours sleep last night was not very good for me, but I managed somehow. But I did end up missing all of the morning programming I'd intended to attend. I did however attend a session designed to jump-start a discussion of the "Fannish Inquisition" of bidders and seated conventions at SMOFCon. Despite the Inquisition on Saturday night lasting 2 1/2 hours, there apparently was at least one person complaining that it wasn't long enough, and that the Probability & Statistics Seminar was being used to hurt the Inquisition or something like that. Presumably that person thinks we should have stayed in that overheated ballroom until 2 AM or something. And Ghod Forbid that people might want to leave the Inquisition to start eating the ice cream provided by one of the bids; that's has nothing to do with convention running either.

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After closing, I went out to dinner with a group of SMOFS (of course) to The Salty Pig restaurant near Copley Place, not too far from the hotel. They had excellent smoked meats and cheese (sort of like Barcelona) and Italian food. I enjoyed it, but I was still hungry, so as we walked back through the mall to the hotel I bought some nice sugar-free chocolates. I'm glad I did not buy more than I did, because I probably would have made myself sick if I'd tried to eat more than that when we got back to the con suite.

I hung around for several hours talking with people before deciding that I did need to pack and get ready to get some sleep. My flight tomorrow (which alas appears to be packed to the rafters) is at about 10:30 AM, so it's not quite as dire as the trip out. However, unless I can figure out a way to repackage the case of poker chips in such a way that I can treat it as a second piece of checked luggage (rather than as part of my first checked bag), it's going to cost me an extra $100 (rather than $35) to get it home because even after taking out my CPAP and other items, my first checked bag is going to end up weighing between 50 and 70 pounds.

SMOFCon is a fairly intense experience. I enjoy it a great deal. Many of my friends and colleagues in SF/F convention running attend, and I get to socialize far more than I can at Worldcon, because most of us are so busy with working on the convention itself. However, I seem to get more exhausted with SMOFCon's three days than Worldcon's five sometimes. Santa Rosa next year might be a little easier because it won't be such a long way to travel.
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