Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Ego has Landed

Thursday night and yesterday, I finally got back to playing some poker. Unlike the traditional tale of the prodigal son, PokerStars didn’t exactly welcome me back with open arms on Thursday evening, where I proceeded to lose a bit of cash. Peculiar superstition dictated that I leave when, after only 3 orbits at my Limit table, I hit my set only to get nailed by runner runner flush both times. I joined a cheap SnG and proceeded to bubble out of that, as well, so I decided to call it a night. Besides, the dorks on The Apprenitice were busy making soap commercials that would embarrass even a public access show and I just couldn’t turn away from it.

As of yesterday, I finally wrapped up my taxes, which signals the official beginning of my year. I can’t seem to help viewing the period between the first of the year and the moment when the IRS is satiated as the chronological wastelands, kind of like that period following a couple of hits of ‘Timothy Leary’ when you’ve come down, but you’re definitely not back to normal yet. So after the trip to the accountant and the completion of other annoying but necessary tasks, what was I going to do with the remainder of the day?

Why, fire up some Party Poker, of course.

Naturally, due to my (mild to medium) OCD and my superstition, I was a bit reticent to play. The day had thus far indicated that we were in a full lunar Truman Show phase, since I had been stopped or slowed down by every single red light and/or handicapped senior in the entire city. What if I was also forced by the patron poker saints of Party to pay penance for my absence? (Is it me, or is that sentence strangely Peter Piper-ish?) My worry was for naught, however, as Party welcomed me back with open arms. I started out playing some Limit, but quickly decided that I craved a draught from the font of fishy action that is the PL25 game. After an early suckout that relieved me of half my stack, with some patience and some table hopping I drove my free money bankroll up to $138, nearly tripling my PL buy-in for the day. With some careful tread, I just may be able to build up a semi-respectable Party bankroll yet.

Later on, as afternoon turned into evening and my wife finished her schoolwork (remind me never to go for an MBA, just looking at her work makes my head hurt), we decided to humker down and watch some of the Dead Like Me episodes we recently received from NetFlix. Still riding my wave of good fortune (and being superstitious, as always), I figured it was high time I join in the PokerStars $3 + rebuys tourney to see if I could wrangle myself an entry into the weekly $200+15 tourney. It would give me a cheap something to do, since the jury is still out on this particular series. It’s not a bad show, but I can’t help but be lukewarm about it since I’m a big fan of Six Feet Under.

I haven’t played in the Stars rebuy satellite in many months, and as I registered I couldn’t help but wonder why I was playing now, but the poker gods were whispering sweet nothings into my ear so away I went.

Normally, I avoid rebuy tourneys like I avoid most of my family, which is to say, I don’t mind coming around as long as the investment is minimal. Like my family, rebuy tourneys have the innate ability to make insane at a rate that is nothing short of alarmingly fast. I know that conventional wisdom states that one should be prepared to rebuy several times if necessary, be prepared to take the add-on, and also be prepared to play looser than normal during the initial stages to try and build up a solid foundation of chips. I absolutely cannot do this, and I’m not sure exactly why, but I suspect a lot of it has to do once again with superstition, and the rest to do with pride/ego. Let me explain…

In the quagmire that is my brain, I figure why pay for extra chips? After all, there wil be PLENTY of chips for the taking due to all of the other folks trying to set a record for the number of rebuys purchased in the first half hour. If you have the patience coupled with the cards falling your way when you get a premium holding, it’s unnecessary to rebuy as you will win the chips you need. If, on the other hand, the cards are running horribly, multiple rebuys won’t help you in most situations, and you’ll end up wasting unnecessary amounts of cash. I know that in my case, chasing with rebuys only leads to disappointment, some tilt, and then more chasing, which is no good any way you look at it.

(OK, hang with me I’m almost done. I just want to get in a quick shameless brag)

Last night, I won my fifth $200+15 entry since PokerStars began these things, each one with no rebuys and no add-ons. Each time, I cash out and get the tournament dollars because they allow me to play in more expensive non-rebuy tourneys that I would not normally buy into. I always recoup my $3 spent and then some, plus just getting the win with no rebuys or add-ons is a big confidence and (I can’t lie) ego builder.

Worry not, though. I’m sure the poker gods, in their infinite wisdom and mocking, will take care of that sonuvabitch ego in pretty short order. When that happens (which will most likely be sooner rather than later) I will be relegated to Thinking Big, while my head remains Much Bigger.