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Author Topic: There and Back Again: A Punter's Tale by Matthew Harris  (Read 96279 times)
Rexas
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« Reply #570 on: September 25, 2014, 07:58:47 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBWuDhIv9B0
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« Reply #571 on: September 25, 2014, 07:59:41 PM »

#Invalid YouTube Link#

Sums this diary up nicely.
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Rexas
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« Reply #572 on: September 25, 2014, 08:00:19 PM »

#Invalid YouTube Link#

Sums this diary up nicely.

I tried.
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humour is very much encouraged, however theres humour and theres not.
I disrepectfully agree with Matt Smiley
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« Reply #573 on: September 25, 2014, 08:53:15 PM »



Because you're a massive diary punter.
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« Reply #574 on: September 25, 2014, 09:07:38 PM »

"They stole it from us.  Filthy punterses!!!!"

this really made me laugh. vwp
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Rexas
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« Reply #575 on: September 29, 2014, 08:03:17 PM »

So, I was planning to update this a few days ago, but virgin decided that I didn't deserve an internet connection for like a day. On to it now anyway Smiley

In poker terms, I took a fairly extended break over the summer period and focused a lot more on studying over playing. I had a brief, successful foray into 18man sngs that I may continue one day, but I'm fairly settled on cash as my preferred form of the game to grind. Cash seems to me to be a little less stressful, certainly a bit less frustrating, and I'm a big fan of being able to drop in and out of a session when something crops up irl. I moved up to 50nl a while ago now, and I put together a bit of a grind plan which went into action a few weeks ago. So far, things are going ok! As it stands, I'm looking to play five days a week and enforce Monday and Tuesday as days off from playing. Monday will be almost completely poker free (unless something crops up that will be purely for fun, like a local pub game or whatever), and Tuesday will include a few little study sessions in preparation for the week ahead. Don't wanna get burned out with too much poker etc, and I feel like those two days off the grind will not only be good for irl stuff but also help me focus more on the days I do play.

I have also been playing a few liveaments, with mixed results. I had a few decent runs, finishing top 30 or so in the last grand prix and finishing in the top 200 or so in the Goliath, plus a 4th in a wpt 125 and a few other weekend cashes. Unfortunately, none of these have translated into a significant bink as yet, and a totally disastrous last few months or so since the sky 6max has set me pretty much back to where I started. Pretty standard stuff anyway.

Taking a proper look into game theory etc has been quite an experience. Rewind a few years to the start of this diary, and having just had a pretty fantastic few months of winning the absolute lot in live cash and tournaments, I was pretty sure I basically had the game solved. Fuck all the advice people were offering me, if I had a losing week I was just "on a downswing". Took a good 6 months of doing pretty much the whole lot to get humble enough to start learning and listening. The great thing about GTO is that, when you look start getting into how insanely complicated this game is, pretty much everyone is completely terrible. All you can do is try and be a bit less terrible than the people you're playing with. Realizing this has given me a real drive to improve and turned me into a massive maths nerd, and right now I'm definitely enjoying studying more than actually playing. It's very satisfying to look back at some of the decisions I've made and know that I would have been shitting away money in the same spot a month ago.

I've moved into a new place in Loughborough which, aside from me, is completely poker free. Right now this is a pretty cool breath of fresh air, whereas before I was doing something poker related all the time. I'm going to get back into bowling after a welcome summer break and aim for the GB uni team this year, which I would like to think I'm a lock for right now. I'm also going to try and get back to writing my novel, which now has a title, a few expanding plot lines and a bunch of named characters. This will be alongside my uni dissertation, which will revolve around the validity of video games as a genre of literature. Now, I'm not a big gamer. I don't sit and grind fifa or league of legends or world of Warcraft or whatever else is the current big thing, but I do enjoy a lot of the story driven RPG sandbox type things which are all the rage right now, especially with a new generation of consoles just being released and developers exploring their new limits. It struck me how detailed a lot of these games are in terms of lore and story and how, by being interactive, they provide a more immersive story telling experience to a modern audience. From cult classics like Baldur's gate and Final Fantasy VII, to modern creations like the soon to be released Shadow of Mordor, industries are clearly focusing heavily on the story telling element of gameplay, and provided players with ways to tailor their own story in increasingly less limited environments. I would certainly not be surprised if, by the time the current generation are the parents and the teachers, some of these video games start being examined on a literary level as a more relevant object of study than the constant fucking Shakespeare.
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humour is very much encouraged, however theres humour and theres not.
I disrepectfully agree with Matt Smiley
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« Reply #576 on: September 29, 2014, 08:31:40 PM »

This seems like a diary I want to subscribe to. Will read the preceding 31 pages in due course.

Care to elaborate on the last three words of your post? Or is it covered previously?

More of a Jonson fan? Liking it even more if so.
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« Reply #577 on: September 30, 2014, 12:32:52 AM »

This seems like a diary I want to subscribe to. Will read the preceding 31 pages in due course.

Care to elaborate on the last three words of your post? Or is it covered previously?

More of a Jonson fan? Liking it even more if so.

Last 31 pages basically detail how I've (hopefully) grown up a bit :p Probably not worth reading tbh!

As for Shakespeare, I guess I've got a fairly weird opinion on him, especially for an English student. There's a lot wrong with how it's taught, for one thing. Few teachers seem to understand what made Shakespeare so revolutionary. When you look at him contextually, his plays are fantastic. He effectively wrote every great action film, every good love story, every good comedy at the time he was writing. Pretty much everything else seemed to be nowhere near as exciting as what Shakespeare was producing. I mean, even today, his story lines form the basis for a lot of modern stuff. Personally, though, I'm certain he would think what we've done to his work is a total travesty. Making kids sit in classrooms and analyze every line for hours at a time is just ludicrous. You've gotta be getting towards A-Level standard before you can actually read a Shakespeare play without the language barrier detracting from it to a point where its basically unreadable. Shakespeare wrote his plays for the theatre, which used to be a place where everyone could go and socialize. Sorta like modern day football matches, people would go there, get drunk, hang out with friends, hurl abuse at the actors, throw tomatoes and stuff at them, and just generally have a good time. Actors were taught to improvise a huge amount of the stuff they did, because they had to react to their audience. The play itself was just a framework with a couple of cues to move on to the next scene. I really don't enjoy reading Shakespeare, and I know lots of people don't, because of how badly it is ruined by the way it is taught. If they really have to teach 12 year olds "Twelfth Night", take them to the theatre. At least then they have a chance of following it and appreciating it. Even then, it's outdated, and the educational fascination with the guy just doesn't make sense anymore.

Tl:dr, don't bother with the books, go and see Shakespeare plays how he meant us to see them - at a theatre, with lots of beer, whilst we should be at work.
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humour is very much encouraged, however theres humour and theres not.
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« Reply #578 on: September 30, 2014, 06:46:05 AM »

I once saw an Australian version of Romeo and Juliet. One the particular line from the balcony scene has stayed with me ever since.

Duggie, Duggie, where the Devil are you Duggie?
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Tal
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« Reply #579 on: September 30, 2014, 07:49:14 AM »

This seems like a diary I want to subscribe to. Will read the preceding 31 pages in due course.

Care to elaborate on the last three words of your post? Or is it covered previously?

More of a Jonson fan? Liking it even more if so.

Last 31 pages basically detail how I've (hopefully) grown up a bit :p Probably not worth reading tbh!

As for Shakespeare, I guess I've got a fairly weird opinion on him, especially for an English student. There's a lot wrong with how it's taught, for one thing. Few teachers seem to understand what made Shakespeare so revolutionary. When you look at him contextually, his plays are fantastic. He effectively wrote every great action film, every good love story, every good comedy at the time he was writing. Pretty much everything else seemed to be nowhere near as exciting as what Shakespeare was producing. I mean, even today, his story lines form the basis for a lot of modern stuff. Personally, though, I'm certain he would think what we've done to his work is a total travesty. Making kids sit in classrooms and analyze every line for hours at a time is just ludicrous. You've gotta be getting towards A-Level standard before you can actually read a Shakespeare play without the language barrier detracting from it to a point where its basically unreadable. Shakespeare wrote his plays for the theatre, which used to be a place where everyone could go and socialize. Sorta like modern day football matches, people would go there, get drunk, hang out with friends, hurl abuse at the actors, throw tomatoes and stuff at them, and just generally have a good time. Actors were taught to improvise a huge amount of the stuff they did, because they had to react to their audience. The play itself was just a framework with a couple of cues to move on to the next scene. I really don't enjoy reading Shakespeare, and I know lots of people don't, because of how badly it is ruined by the way it is taught. If they really have to teach 12 year olds "Twelfth Night", take them to the theatre. At least then they have a chance of following it and appreciating it. Even then, it's outdated, and the educational fascination with the guy just doesn't make sense anymore.

Tl:dr, don't bother with the books, go and see Shakespeare plays how he meant us to see them - at a theatre, with lots of beer, whilst we should be at work.

I was that angry about Shakespeare when I was at uni, too Smiley

It's easy to forget that you're reading a script, rather than a book, and that the plays are meant to be performed for an audience. Literary devices like metre, imagery and references to the Classics are far less accessible to an audience than boys dressed as women, antisemitism and a man whose name is Bottom.

But there's such a glorious majesty about those scripts. You have to be prepared to work at it and it's sometimes like having to translate it from a foreign language, but the depth is mind blowing.

You're right that he is credited with more than he deserves, that King Lear was a well known story retold and some of his work (Richard III, for example) was purely an exercise in pleasing the Queen and thrashing out a bit of propaganda.

But let me take the most famous of pieces, Hamlet's soliloquy:

To be or not to be: that is the question.

We know that the play has been written in iambic pentameter throughout, so we want to read this with the emphasis to BE or NOT to BE: that IS the QUES(tion) but we are left with a syllable at the end.

But we know that the text is written in a metre, so what are we to do about that?

Imagine you're acting it. The emphasis shouldn't go on those words, once it gets past the colon, but the others:

to BE or NOT to BE (pause) THAT is the question.

All the emphasis goes on THAT; everything about this play books down to that, most crucial question, as Hamlet philosophises about the fundamental question of our purpose of existence.

Shakespeare wrote a stage direction into the text!

You know all this already, I'm sure, but the point I'm making is there's lots to be gained from studying the text.

As for watching the plays, I think the first time I really watched Shakespeare performed was the Lion King. How tremendous a film was that?

Not everyone gets Shakespeare. Not everyone gets only fools and horses or The Smiths, which are also credited with having incredible depth. It's a question of taste.

The danger is allowing bad teachers to ruin your perception of great English. Please keep that desire , though.

And remember that Volpone is the greatest comedy of all time.

#TeamJonson
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« Reply #580 on: September 30, 2014, 07:56:50 AM »

You both must go and see Shakespeare in Love, on at the Noël Coward at the moment - it's really, really great.
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« Reply #581 on: September 30, 2014, 02:34:31 PM »

I completely detested everything about literature pre like 1850 right up until A level. A few things changed it for me. For one, stage managed a few Shakespeare productions which were directed by a teacher who had a genuine love of the stuff, and his excitement about it was a little infectious. What really made a difference though was coming into contact with an absolutely beautiful poem called Paradise Lost. This was the first time I read something which had a bit of a language barrier to it that just didn't matter. The whole thing is so fantastically written, and the control Milton seems to have over how your imagination reacts to the words on the page is quite astounding. After reading through this, I went back to a lot of the Shakespeare I had previously despised and came to understand it. Moreover, I came to see evidence of his writing in basically everything I was watching and reading. I guess my point is that I had to discover this stuff for myself, and it was made difficult by how relentlessly it was forced upon me when I had very little chance of getting it. Same sort of thing with poetry, it's a real shame how many people miss out on it because of these bad pre-conceptions school creates.

@ Tal, I studied Volpone for the first time last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was a little overshadowed by a few others I came across for the first time. "The Beggar's Opera" I'm sure would have been fantastic to see in a theatre, but is largely unreadable (in my opinion) as a script and without a significant amount of contextual information to properly follow the satire. The two I really got into however were "Uncle Tom's Cabin", a book credited with being a significant reason for the outbreak of the American Civil War, and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde". Uncle Tom, for those who don't know, is a novel about slavery, and painted a very grim picture of how far American society had pushed itself from the values laid out in the Deceleration of Independence. Christianity was, as it has been throughout history, completely fucked up, and when you consider that a lot of the events depicted in the novel were commonplace at the time of writing, and even acceptable within society, you come to realise how similarly fucked up people really are. Jekyll and Hyde are never really separate characters and the book is basically a diary of the struggle between dark and a bit less dark, and how (if given the choice, and the taste) we basically all give in to the Hyde within us.

Jekyll and Hyde was the big one for me, though. I had to write an essay about it and another book, something about Victorian society and the notion of respectability, and I ended up having to edit out a few thousand words of a massive tangent about what the book is actually getting at. It's completely fascinating. You would expect that, given Hyde was the embodiment of all the evil within Jekyll's heart, that Jekyll himself would be good and virtuous. He is quite the opposite, in fact. When compared to the other characters in the book, he is pretty similar in his speech and his values, so it's not a stretch to see how Stevenson was making a pretty aggressive comment on how shit our psyche is.
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Rexas
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« Reply #582 on: September 30, 2014, 02:41:19 PM »

On the topic of satire, here's a bit of music by comedian Tim Minchin, a great example of properly aggressive modern satire in action and certainly completely lost on most of his audience (as all great satire is)



I would post this as a youtube link, but for some reason every time I try to it just comes out as "invalid youtube link" :p
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 02:43:24 PM by TightEnd » Logged

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« Reply #583 on: September 30, 2014, 02:44:07 PM »

remove the s after http in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcdtVD8X1-A

and then put it in the you tube brackets from the menu above the posts


Tim Minchin is seriously over-rated. Carry on!
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By the way,I made it through the day
I watch the world outside
By the way, I'm leaving out today
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« Reply #584 on: September 30, 2014, 02:55:12 PM »

remove the s after http in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcdtVD8X1-A

and then put it in the you tube brackets from the menu above the posts


Tim Minchin is seriously over-rated. Carry on!

Ahh I get it Smiley Cheers Tighty! I'm afraid I've got a lot of love for Tim :p
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humour is very much encouraged, however theres humour and theres not.
I disrepectfully agree with Matt Smiley
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