Saturday, December 04, 2004

I fell asleep!

Well, I FINALLY fell asleep last night at around 11 PM, I haven't been awake for over 40 hours for several years, intentionally or otherwise and Dear Sweet Jesus, what a blissful sleep it was. My first thought upon waking was, "Did I just try to start blogging?" Yep. At this point the voice of self doubt steps in, "Better go reread what you wrote and hope no one else read it yet, dumbass.." So I ran downstairs to reread my inaugural posting as my memory of it was somewhat hazy, and suprise of all suprises, I didn't hate it nearly as much as I figured I would. Could have had a bit less IGGY hero worship though, oh well (can't help it, I love to read that blog).

Now I am doing something I REALLY didn't think I would be: 2nd post on the 2nd day. I wonder how long I'll be able to spout drivel before I have the desire to stop. I hope not for quite a while as this is pretty enjoyable even when sober and running on a full night of sleep, which brings to mind the idea I had yesterday in my sleep deprived haze: To do all posts in the most exhousted state possible. Bad idea (for the most part), and I'm afraid I'm gonna have to shoot that one down for now. Fear not though, I'm sure that through the natural course of things that some posts will inevitably be exhousted ones. Note here the misspelling of "exhausted". This is because in my world there is either "tired" or the jump straight over to "exHOUSted" (Definition: Beyond Exhausted).

Even though I have played very little actual poker I still continue to scour the 2+2 forums every day, and all of my favorite blogs for poker knowledge and goodness. Today I had the pleasure for reading HDouble's post about Playing the Players. The things he points out aren't new to me by any means, it was simply enjoyable to see it laid out so well and in such plain language again. One of those things you know, but need to be reminded you know sometimes. IGGY had another great posting, but sadly it did not destroy any productivity this being a Saturday and all.

Now, here is where I will place the self examination portion of todays posting, in which I will attempt to relate what has been banging around in my head hot and heavy for the past couple of days concerning poker. As stated yesterday, I have spent the past year farting around (i.e. only playing perhaps 5-10 hours/week), experimenting with my game (read: flip flop between Limit, NL, and 7-Stud) and trying to decide what I would like to apply myself towards. I also stated that I'm going through SSHE for a second time, because about two months ago I decided I wanted to see about improving on my limit game, and although it has improved and continues to do so, I find myself not putting in the "playing time effort" that I know I should be. I spend my time reading on 2+2 and my SSHE, realize (as I do on a daily basis) just how "young" a player I really am, and it seems to be affecting me in a very strange way: I want to study and read all of the time, but have trouble wanting to actually play, hence the self examination, as I realize that this cannot continue indefinitely if I am to make any kind of real progress again on my bankroll.

GOOD SPOT FOR A SIDE NOTE: After spending some more money on toys a few months back, my B/R is sitting at about $600 (give or take $20 up or down on any given day) where it has hovered for the past couple of months (more like 90 days). It's somewhat embarrassing to say in public, but it needs to be said, as it is cathartic, and hopefully by expressing it publicly it will motivate me more to get on the stick.

So, I know I have plenty of money and skill for the $1/2 tables, but does/did anyone else find thise level to be very strange? I seem to always take the worst of it when I play this level. I don't start out LAG or anything (I don't think I have EVER played LAG), I just always seem to catch several beats early on such as my KK running up against AA or my AQ getting nailed by AJ when that second pair comes on the river for the AJ. Not a big deal, but EVERY session seems to start this way for me,followed by the rest of the session spent climbing back up to even or up/down just a little at which time I've been playing long enough that I'm ready to be done fo a while. So in the last couple weeks I have been finding myself much more often at the .50/1 tables where this sort of thing just doesn't seem to happen with the alarming frequency that it does at the next level. This in turn leads me to a new problem, which is that even if I post a winning session, I don't feel like it was really worth the time $$-wise or I feel anoyed if I post a loss. So, to sum up the last approximately 6 weeks, what little I've been playing has been spent mostly playing .50/1 or even sometimes .25/.50 if I want to take it REALLY slow and work on some SSHE concept i"m trying to internalize.

Couple all of this with the fact that during my recent insomnia bout I played a couple of cheap Sit-n-Gos in the wee hours, which is something I have not done in literally the last five months. BTW, as an aside, when I do play Sit-n-Gos I seem to have a penchant for the 2-table ones, not sure exactly why. I think it may be because I like the opportunity to work on my short game more, but hell, even that reason is still grasping at straws as to the why of it. Anyway, I expected to go into these being so rusty that I would be made short work of, but out of 2 2-table tourneys I ended up in 5th for both. Disappointing yes, but all in all not that awful compared with what I was expecting. I was playing shorthanded weak/passive/tight on both tourneys, and I even knew I was WHILE I was doing it! I just couldn't seem to stop myself, which I will conveniently blame on the insomnia. These reasons for bubbling out of both were easily identifiable and correctable, which kind of makes me want to get back to smashing the Sit-n-Gos as I did once upon a time.

As you can now readily see, the inside of my head is a mess of things that I really wouldn't wish on most folks, so if you have made it this far through my rambling you are to be heartily congratulated. And since you are here, I will pose this question that popped into my head while ruminating. How different is it between 1/2 and 2/4, as I have read in several different places that the differences are few. Am I an idiot for even considering a small foray into that land given I really don't have much of a bankroll for it? One thought that I had was perhaps I should get back to grinding Sit-nGos and cheap MTT's (with some limit in there too of course) until I am up to $1000 or so before making such a foray. Am I an idiot for even having such a thought? Perhaps one day this will actually be read by someone other than my wife--who is convinced that I should sit down and write a book (who knows? perhaps one day)--who can give me some advice on this.

Well, I have rambled enough for today, so keep on the lookout where I will be endeavoring to Think Big, but as always, my head will be Much Bigger.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Aaaah Beginnings..........

I love beginnings, when everything seems so open and new, so full of possibility (cue sunshine and rainbows). Meh, who am I kidding? Like any typical Gemini, I will probably fixate on this for a while, then it will slowly trail off into wherever land these things end up. However, I am giving myself the following hard and fast guidelines: I will keep this up regularly for a minimum of 6 weeks, with at least 2 posts per week. Following this I will conduct an internal examination, and if I find that my motivation is still high and I think that I am perhaps even posting things that others might want to read, then I will humbly come before IGGY and ask that he peruse my humble beginner blog and perhaps mention it to others so that they may read it. Upon successful completion of this task I will then start to improve the blog with linking and other such things. Let us hope that the stars and poker gods align so that all goes well.

Perhaps I am motivated to do this because I am currently running on 1 hr. of sleep in the last 36. I certainly hope not as that would be a true shame. Perhaps it would be a good idea to try and post only when I am as exhausted as possible, as I seem to be frequently hit with nasty bouts of insomnia. NOTE TO SELF: EXAMINE THIS IDEA AFTER SOME SLEEP.
OK, so now a bit of background, stay with me I will do my best to be brief (who am I kidding? It will not be). I began playing poker in late September of '03, so that would make what, 14/15 months now? There were a couple of month long periods in there where I played no poker, so let's just call that thing under my belt a solid year of experience. My very first playing experience (and I mean FIRST at 27, how sad) I played for about 3 weeks in early September with simply play money and grabbed ahold quick, playing every chance I got and doing pretty well. So before I decided to start playing with real money, I figured I needed to get a book and better learn some basic strategy. WARNING: Before I continue I have to give fair warning lest you fall from your chair groaning or piss yourself laughing at my beginner naiveté, STEEL YOURSELF.

I purchased Play Poker Like the Pros by Phil Helmuth Jr. YET ANOTHER NOTE: This is where I would love to say "Oh, the humanity." However it belongs to the great IGGY so I shall have to think of something clever for me to say at the appropriate points later on down the line.

So, continuing onward, I read the book and then proceed to take Mr. Helmuths advice (STEEL YOURSELF AGAIN) to start out with $100 on the $1/2 limits and follow his book and you should be just fine. Now, while this was not the worst advice in the world (although it MUST be ranking in the lower third as far as advice rankings might go) it was certainly not good advice, as risk of ruin for a rank beginner such as myself is pretty high. Luckily, I was smart enough to do a bit of bonus whoring at InterPoker, caught some nice cards along with super tight play, and have not looked back. During this time, I also discovered PokerStars (a wonderful site, especially for tourneys), and ground out some nice money on Sit-n-Gos and cheap MTT's. Now, let me briefly touch on time spent playing. Of course, it was hot and heavy at first, utilizing every spare second to play poker, but then tapered/surged/tapered/surged. My actual play has tapered BIGTIME in the last couple of months due to a new job (sysadmin), a lot of schoolwork (approximately 7 mos. away from my B.S., better late than never right?), and what I feel is the need to spend more time diligently studying the game (I'm currently working through SSHE for the second time).

I am going to stop here lest this turn into an uber-posting, which I never so brazenly try to do on my first time out, so let me wind up with this:

I love the game of poker because it is a pursuit of something in which perfection can never be achieved, and that alone makes it a worthy pursuit. It is similar to the reason that I love the IT field, because there is always something new to learn, regardless of your level. Remember, if we stop learning new things, we risk becoming VERY lame as people (crap, I think I just described the public at large, especially those who support G.W., but that is for another post I guess). Poker has enabled me to support many other habits, namely video games and the never-ending pursuit of building the perfect powerful PC, and while it is modest, I will tell you that over the last year farting around, experimenting with my game, and generally wallowing in my own initial inexperience, I show a profit of $1500. Yes, I know that others have done more and done it faster, but it makes me no less proud, and I will continue to talk about the who, what, why of it all future posts.

Look out for the next one, where as always, I will be Thinking Big, but my head will be Much Bigger. (I may have forgotten to mention earlier that I have a HUGE melon. I'm not kidding, ginormous. Not the biggest mind you, but definitely up there)