Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stakes on a plane

My flights to D.C. this time were on AirTran. It's the first time I've used them. I had heard that they had wifi on their planes (mainly through Andy Bloch's Twitter posts about how he now uses AirTran whenever he can for this reason). But my selection of AirTran had nothing to do with this feature; it was simply the best mix of low price and convenient travel time that was available when I went to buy a ticket. I had not given a thought to the wifi thing until shortly before I left home.

But it was true. For most of the 3 1/2 hours from Las Vegas to Atlanta, and most of the 1 1/4 hours from Atlanta to D.C., we had free wifi service. I understand that its being free will not continue much longer; it might even be gone by the time I fly home. But it was pretty cool. I didn't want to enter a tournament--even a short-duration turbo SNG--for fear that the connection would be unreliable. So instead I two-tabled $0.25-$0.50 razz on PokerStars while listening to streaming Christmas carols (it was December 25th, after all) through an online music service, all using my noise-reduction earphones and my new laptop. The combination made me feel like a Thoroughly Modern Millie. The connection was nowhere near at peppy as I'm used to with my cable service, but it worked acceptably well. Only once did I get a warning that I was using up my time to take my turn.

One down side is that it appears that you have to sign on again every 45 minutes, and my first time allotment ended without warning. I just suddenly wasn't connected to anything anymore, with no idea why. It was only when I started the log-on process over again that I figured out that my disconnection was due to 45 minutes having transpired. That was an ugly glitch.

But other than that, it was a beautiful thing. After I got bored with razz, I did some of the review/editing work on my end-of-year review post. I admit that I also sent a couple of emails to friends just saying, "I'm sending you an email--from a plane!" It was reminiscent of when they first installed telephones in the seatbacks, and you got to listen in on neighbors making calls only for the purpose of saying, "Guess where I'm calling from?!"

I wondered at first whether anybody around me would be either curious about or offended by my playing poker. If they were, they stayed quiet about it. It might have helped that I had a whole row to myself for the long leg of the journey (a rare luxury in itself).

The title of this post, in case you didn't figure it out, is a little wordplay on the title of the 2006 film, "Snakes on a Plane." I saw it via Netflix a couple of years ago, and it was every bit as stupid as you'd expect. It had about five good seconds, consisting entirely of Samuel L. Jackson profanely spitting out what became the movie's only famous line of dialogue.

I thought of that line while playing my little poker games. It occurred to me that if somebody logged onto a casino site--one that features all of the traditional casino games--instead of a poker site, he could play some craps, and thus perhaps be given reason to curse, "M-f'in snake eyes on a m-f'in plane!"


Josie said...

Yep, got the "snakes/stakes" word play immediately. I saw the movie too. Can you believe Samuel Effing Jackson was in such a piece of crap?

Jumble said...

Now that you are in DC, any plans to visit Charles Town?

Anonymous said...

I have found that USAirways has the best wifi service, but it's only on their newer Airbuses.

It works incredibly well- I was able to multi-table effectively in both SNG's and ring games, and even watch Youtube.

JP from Philly

David Woolley said...

Speaking of Snakes on a Plane, I did enjoy the part where the obnoxious chubby guy was being swallowed by the giant anaconda. And a while later when they punched a hole in the side of the plane to suck out all the snakes and we got a brief glimpse of the anaconda with a chubby guy-shaped bulge flying out through the hole.

That made me laugh.