Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 24: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Poker

Cost: $5
Difficulty: 3
Time: 2 hours

Day 24 was the least planned of my 28 days. I woke up with the vague idea that I'd go indoor rock climbing, something I hadn't done since college. I called a rock climbing place in Dedham, they said just come by and they'd show me how to self-belay and climb.

After hanging-up, I immediately thought, "That's not it. Find something else." So I went to and saw that there was a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament with a $5 entry free at PA's Lounge in Somerville. Obviously this was Fate speaking to me: I was to go to this and win.

I arrived a half-hour early to register under my deceptive nom de guerre, "Always Plays Scissors." In the pre-game socializing I met "Flaming Bag Head" who had previously achieved mild celebrity status by playing while wearing a paper bag that appeared to be on fire. The costume was impressively realistic: in low lighting, it actually appeared to be on fire.

You know the basic rules: rock crushes scissors, scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock. From an abstract game-theory perspective, it should be a game of chance. In real face-to-face play there's the opportunity to introduce elements of human psychology into the mix.

My goal of winning the tournament hit a snag when I was eliminated in the first round by the guy who later went on to win the tournament. I was like that first guy Daniel Larusso beat in the tournament in the Karate Kid.

Flaming Bag Head did much better than I. Here he is eliminating his wife from the competition:

Flaming Bag Head (actual name Owen) invited me to join him after in a home poker tournament in East Boston. I, mostly through dumb luck, managed to win the tournament and $220. So Fate had come through, making this the only day of the month in which I gained money.

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