Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Film of Our Breakdancing Training in Manchester

Some film students came into the studio and recorded us during our training session and made a video of it! I'm the Chinese dude with the cap and grey t-shirt.

We're all friends and pretty much practice most weekdays (I don't practice enough). Its a cool scene, and Zion Arts Centre is a youth centre with many rooms for lots of other activities such as music, art, other dance, meetings and events.

I really do think that a lot of these youth centres are invaluable to our communities and help keep kids off the street. Its an old cliche to say that, but all these youngsters look for role models, and if the come from gangs or from places like this, is going to influence them and lead them on a path in certain direction.

There are a bunch of kids that dance with us, and its great that they explore their creativity with it. The cool thing about bboying is that there is a foundational element to it, but once you have that you can branch off into your own style and be biased towards liking doing certain moves.

I will be leaving Manchester in 2 weeks time, and I will really miss our bboying scene here for sure!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Never Give Up!

Here's a crazy 9 man Sit and Go where it was so crazy on the bubble (4 handed, 3 get paid).

Glitlr coaches me on the hand history and talks about some cool stuff about offense and defense, as well as the interesting overcall at the end! Check it out!

He's a great coach, whatever your level. If your interested he can review one hand history for as low as $10, or a full package for more. Please check out http://www.sngprotege.com/store.php for more details.

This coaching was streamed live at our twitch channel, please check it out if you have time.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Adjusting to the GAME!

Pokerstars just released this vid of Acoibra, who is a sponsored online poker pro who started out as an professional Magic of Gathering player.

What I find really interesting is the fact that our species, that is, "humans" if you didn't already know, is obsessed with games! From a completely logical and evolutionary standpoint, there is actually no real reason for us to need to invest so much time to play games, but we do!

There have been a number of Starcraft 2 players who have switched to playing poker, and vice versa. In fact, any professional sportsman is essentially a gamer as well, so its no surprise that they would be interested in other sports, or even other games.

What I really like about games is actually about the way we go about solving a certain problem, and then coming up with a strategy to solve this problem. Then maybe something will happen to the game, such as a rule change or something added/removed, and then another adjustment would have to be made in order to counter this new rule.

Such examples;

Tennis - In 1999, the Tennis federation decided to introduce slightly bigger, heavier balls into their game. The game was very much about serve and volley at the time, which is where a big server would smash the serve as hard as they could and then quickly hit the return on a volley to finish the point off early. This changed the game dramatically as we see today. Serve and volley is almost non existant anymore because the balls are heavier and therefore slower, the effectiveness of this strategy was lowered considerably. So the game has now evolved into favouring big powerful rallys from the back of the court.

Snooker - In 1994, a new miss rule was introduced to the game of Snooker in order to stop players from deliberately making a foul which would put them in an advantageous position. There are some situations where producing a foul would give no advantage to your opponent, and there was no way of knowing whether the player was deliberately trying to do this, so the miss rule was introduced to stop this. This meant that at the referee's discretion, he can judge the attempt of the player and then decide whether it was a good enough attempt at getting out the of the disadvantaged situation otherwise the shot would be replaced back to the same postion before. This is a bit of a backwards example since the adjustment was made due to a flaw in the game.

So for a game such a Starcraft 2 - (yes, I'm harping on about this again =D), the game would every now and then have patches that are introduced from the developers to improve the game. Whether this be making a unit stronger, or having an upgrade cheaper or be done faster, its always interesting on how it will effect the game overall, and the various strategies that will be effected if any at all.

And what about Poker? There have been some interesting things like zoom/rush poker which can effect the strategy. I'd love to try out some poker tournaments where funky stuff goes on. What about skipping a betting round, so that turn and river comes at the same time? What about if for some illogical reason 8th place gets the same as 1st place? It would be funny to see 8 handed every player trying to deliberately lose! How about adding 2 more cards to your hand? Oh wait... that's Omaha! LOL

In all these games, they all last as interesting games because there is the fact that players are constantly adjusting to players. This means that all games are different and therefore has its own kinda reality tv style story to tell, which is why watching sport is so interesting. When the game gets to a stage when everyone is doing the same thing, then there is a problem with the game. It becomes uninteresting. It becomes 2 robots playing against each other perfectly.

I've had some complaints about some calls I made in some games recently. And the reason they are angry with me is because the reg knows that my call is mathematically bad to do in terms of the situation that SNG Wizard calculates for us in this one moment. However, he did not account for the fact that I am willing to readjust to this knowledge, so therefore I made his play bad. However, we can keep going back and forth many times over in that I know that he knows that I know etc continuously if we constantly adjust to each other's play. The fact that I am not willing to lie down and take his "mathematically" sound play according to a computer program means that I am adjusting to his play, which he doesn't like. Using that program as a yes/no answerbook instead of a tool to help you is a dangerous thing indeed.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Gamers Raise $420k For Charity!

In my last post I talked about the Awesome Games Done Quick Marathon that happened 6-12th Jan. This was a charity event done by speed runners to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation, which was streamed live on twitch.tv. People could donate via the website.

I literally couldn't stop watching this stream! To see the games that you played as a kid being completed in the fastest times ever was amazing. The speedrunners did a great job and surpassed the previous year's donations of $150k in 3 days, and finished with an incredible total of $420k in donations! The stream averaged around 30k people watching at one time, hitting around 50k at its highest point.

What was really great about the stream was that it was really interactive letting donator choose categories that they could donate towards, and then the speed runners would complete the challenges. The games were really awesome, and really interesting to hear the speed runners commentary during the run. It was cool to see glitches and short cuts being taken, and different strategies used to find the fastest ways, including some really innovated ways of trying to avoid time wasting cut scenes.

Being able to do a glitch is one thing, but understanding why it happens is another thing. Its all in the detail as these runners keep trying to improve their times vs other runners. Its great to see these old games been brought back out from the back of the cupboard, dust blown, and now back in action, but this time to be played in a different way!

My personal favourites;

Breakdown777's 106% Complete Speedrun (Go to 8hr 7mins) on Super Meat Boy. This included a Skype call with the designers of the game who watched him play live!

Oasiz___ Grand Theft Auto 3 Speedrun (Go to 15hr 5mins).

Miles Super Monkey Ball 1 and 2 Speedrun (Go to 6hr 40mins).

Znernicus Portal 2 Run

Werster's Crazy totally glitched the hell outta Pokemon Gold Run! (Go to 10hr)

Cosmo's 22 min Speedrun of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for N64 (Go to 5hr)

And finally... Die Hard for NES! Haha, funny glitch to the game, and its so shit its good! Was a reoccurring game that appeared, he's a race between 2 speedrunners who only learned the game when it was introduced to the marathon!

There should be a highlight reel coming out soon, so I'll put that up when its done. Its a really awesome event and great that they can raise so much money for charity. Streaming games is something that has really exploded in the last 2 years and its so great that we can play games and share it!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Retro Gamers Speedrunning for Charity

"Awesome Games Done Fast" group is doing a charity marathon 24/7 stream for a week to raise money for The Prevent Cancer Foundation.

There's nothing cooler then watching the old retro games you used to play as a kid, and watch these guys destroy them by completing them in the fastest time. If you feel like supporting their cause please donate on the twitch channel. They've already raised over $40,000 and is set for their target for $100k+.

Its great that they embrace the not so stellar programming from the old games and use glitches to save time, and try to skip cutscenes!

My personal favourites last year was Super Meat Boy, Super Mario Bro's, Super Monkey Ball, Tony Hawks 2 and Pokemon Green! I'm gonna be watching this all week... dunno how much sleep I'm gonna get! =D

Press play to watch live!

Watch live video from SDA Charity Marathon - SGDQ 2012 on www.twitch.tv

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Why Hello There, Two Thousand and Thirteen!

Sup fellow readers! If there are any out there?? :D

I hope everyone had a great xmas holiday and new years celebration! I went out to Manchester Town Square where they had fireworks and music, chilling with my friends. Was great! :)

Had some time to totally overuse the panoramic option on my iPhone 5 LOL

So as far as poker goes I've decided that I'm gonna stop playing the 180m for a while. They are pretty profitable, but I don't feel like I enjoy them as much. They take a lot of commitment timewise and I'm not a fan of that. So I've decided that I like rakeback money and bonuses which means I'm going back to STTs (Single Table Tournaments).

I think one of the things that kinda messed me up last year was playing STTs and 180ms, when they kinda have contrasting strategies. Meaning that with 180m its very chip eV, meaning that you should be shoving wider in most cases and not be scared to go after that big stack. However with STTs, the bubble situation before you make the money means that you should be a lot tighter and sometimes go for the money first, before the win. I might have been guilty of having the 180m mentality when playing my STTs, meaning that I would have been shoving way too wide in some spots.

Anyways I think its a good idea to keep things simple, and focus on one game for now. Don't wanna be a "Man of all Trades, Master of None", as the phrase goes.

Another reason I like this switch is the idea that I have a VPP goal every month. Which means that I have to play a certain number of games in order to reap the benefits of Pokerstar's VIP Status. This is great because it gives you a target to achieve, and with some planning I wanna get 200k VPPs in 2013, a "Double Supernova" if you will. I got Supernova before but that was 2 years ago so I wanna challenge myself fully. This means I have to get about 16500 VPPs per month, which is around 3000 $1 raked games. So 100 games a day!

On top of that I will be getting regular coaching to keep me in check, and I will plan my days into 2 sessions playing continuous style rather then sets, since traffic is a lot lower these days.

Starcraft wise I think I'm pretty close to getting promoted again to Platinum League! I'm top 10 Gold in EU and top 5 Gold in NA at the moment. You really do have to commit and play a lot to improve at this game, but I love the challenge and love streaming too. I still think that there is a lot of things to improve on, like using camera hotkeys more, hotkeying army and spellcasters (I never really use ghosts), and of course, try to get faster and improve my APM!

As far as the future is concerned I'm actually not sure what is going to happen. Right now I'm living in Manchester in this studio apartment until February, and well if I cant find another place by then, I'll move back home. There is a big part of me that feels sad that I am giving away my money for rent, essentially giving it to some landlord guy when its my own hard earned cash. One day it'll be nice to be that landlord guy! I've also had thoughts about moving to another country... I am pretty fucking sick of the bloody shitty weather over here! So I'm thinking possibilities of Hong Kong or Australia... although USA could have been a viable option if Online Poker wasn't banned there =(. I still wanna do some travelling, but saving up is hard to do atm, and I have to improve my game more! Anyways, right now nothing is set in stone and I'll have a good think about what I'm going to do closer towards February.

Anyways hope everyone has had good holidays and happy pokerings and many GOOD LUCKS for 2013!!!