Saturday, January 22, 2005

Play, not results

Man, what a long night.

I played for probably six hours or so yesterday. I started out on Stars, and unlike the usual tighter play that seems to personify Stars, I actually had a maniac at my table and was pretty excited at the possibility of taking down a couple of big pots. When I got on the table, the maniac had about $15, and proceeded to go on a run in which he won 8 hands straight, running that $15 up to over $60. Why doesn’t a rush like that ever happen to me? After playing my for about an hour, seeing hardly a face card, and getting blinded and missing some flops, I finally pick up AJ UTG + 2 so I raise and only have 2 callers, one of them being the maniac. Flop brings 2s 3s Jd TPTK, I bet, maniac raises, third player drops, I reraise, maniac call. Turn is my third Jack. The maniac caps the turn with me. Sweet. River brings 5 of spades, I bet, another raise so I just call, and sure enough, he flips over 10-7s for the flush. Capped the turn with less than the nut flush draw? WTF?!!!! Needless to say, Zip Zoom TILT. Intellectually I know I want people at my table playing like that, but that doesn’t always help. I bled away another 5 BB before finally leaving with what little was left of my buy in. Losing almost 10BB’s on a hand like that was pretty goddamn disheartening.

I know that I’m steaming pretty bad, so I shut it down, do a few dishes, and hit the shower in an effort to wash away some tilt, and it helped somewhat. I played earlier in the day on Party for about an hour, ending the session up about 9 BB to bring my free money roll to $61. I thought, “Why the hell not?” I played a couple of hands, and then remembered, “Hey you’ve been observing the Stud tables for a couple of days now, and they seem damn fishy as well, you should go fleece those.” Great idea.

Now, for anyone who hasn’t noticed yet, or who may give a shit, the ante on Party is HIGH on the low limit stud. .25/hand at .50/1 and 1/2, which is 5x’s higher than Stars for the same level. I figure that’s a 30BB buy-in, which I know is short, but I’m not going to get anywhere being a punk, and I can play Stud well (it’s not very tough if you have even a little bit of intelligence and observation). Let’s make a run at these fish.

As I watched the chips fly around between the fish, the hardest thing was just waiting for the proper cards and not gamboling. 3…2…..1…Let the fishy suckouts begin. The worst being running two’s on 4th and 5th street to give some douchebag a full house 2’s over 3’s to my made nut flush. Four giant suckouts total, to knock me down to a paltry $9. I was pissed, but not tilted (yes, I think there is a difference) and just buckled down even harder to wait for what I figured would be my last hand. FINALLY, things turned. I got trip 10’s to double me up to $18. I had two more hands that actually didn’t get sucked out, one being quad 6’s which ran me all the way back up to $62. I played one more hand and got nailed again, so I just left with my $57 for a day’s profit on Party of five whole dollars. Not bad for four hours of play, lol.

Do I recommend the Party Stud game? You bet your ass I do. Just go into it knowing there is going to most likely be some freakin’ HUGE swings. There was only one other good player on my table, and he was able to run his $50 up to almost $200 in that 3 hour span. One of these days I’m going to actually have a substantial winning session on Party. I always seem to end up with a piddly profit after being forced to climb out of a giant suckout hole, or get knocked back down by suckouts after I make a nice score. I can’t seem to tell whether or not I’m doing something wrong, or that’s just the way it has been going. If it is something I’m doing wrong, I know it’s just that one tiny little thing I haven’t seen yet, and when I do, it will put me over the top.

Oh yeah, and Poker Gods, if you’re listening, I’m still waiting on that rush.

I played some more Stud on Stars this morning and made back the 18BB’s that I lost yesterday, so I feel much better now. Slowly but surely, focusing on play and not short term results is sinking in. VERY slowly. Hopefully today/tonight will be better as I plan on playing some more because I still have that damn bonus to clear. Boy, how slow am I?

Play, not results. Play, not results. I’m Thinking Big, while my head remains Much Bigger.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Completely Unnecessary

I’m either a genius or a complete idiot.

  • Your average Joe Bag ‘o Doughnuts definitely couldn’t do my job. Maybe my head is so crammed full of techie stuff, it has pushed out common sensibilities. Hence the (albeit lame) argument for genius.
  • I’m not rich. I haven’t won any Nobel Prizes. There’s the idiot argument.

Taking the above factors into account, I think I’m going to have to go with complete idiot. But let me tell you why…..

I arrived home last evening with a little bit of time before I had to go to my AITP meeting, so I thought it would be a good time to sneak in a little bit of poker while listening to the new Linkin’ Park/Jay-Z collaboration at an ungodly volume. (By the way, if you like either of these artists, this collection of songs kicks a whole lot of ass) Poker and loud music were obviously NOT in my immediate future, because for some reason EVERYONE ON THE ENTIRE PLANET decided it was time to give me a call. What a pain in the ass. I hate flurries of phone calls. If I could convince my wife to go along with it, the only way you would ever be able to get a hold of me would be through email, but I digress.

Being harried from the barrage of calls and other goings on, I head out for my meeting. This is to be my first, so I know where it is, but have never actually been in the building before. It’s in the Bank of America building downtown. I get parked and head over, only to find that I can’t get in! Is this another bout of THE IDIOCY (kind of like THE DIARRHEA , only in your head), or can I really not get in? Am I unintentionally at the completely wrong place? After wandering around the building like a vagrant, trying every single door, I make a few calls to track down the number of the guy who invited me in the first place. I actually get a hold of him and get inside the building with about one minute to spare before the presentation starts.

Where’s the idiocy, you ask? Soon, soon…

The presentation was on computer forensics and was actually (and I hesitate to use this term, but in my case I can’t help it) wildly interesting. I even got to hear about some of the tools that the NSA uses and some of their capabilities. Cool Stuff.

Anyway, the presentation is a bit over an hour and a half, after which I spend about 15-20 minutes talking with some folks, then head out to my car. While heading out to the car, I do what we all do, grab for my keys. Where the hell are they? Did they walk out of my pants in search of a better home? Oh crap, don’t tell me I locked them in the car. Yup. Not only did I lock them in the car, I locked them in with the frikkin’ car RUNNING.

My car, middle of downtown, running for two straight hours. I am King of the Morons.

Time to make some more phone calls. Turns out the police can’t help you into your car anymore, thank you legions of lawyers and sue happy Americanos! Due to the recent storm my car is still being repaired, leaving me with a rental which of course doesn’t have anything even resembling OnStar. The cops let me know that the only ones in the city willing to get me into my car are one of the cab companies. Weird. Back in my day (which really wasn’t long ago AT ALL) there were multiple solutions to this problem, and now my only savior is a creepy old cabby? Gimme a break.

And of course, they don’t take any sort of cards. In fact, I actually wasted (THE IDIOCY, again) about 15 mins on the phone with the cab company lady who answered, trying to explain that on my bank card, you can run a charge through as a credit OR a debit. She couldn’t seem to fathom this wacky idea, and treated me like a transient trying to pass off counterfeit food stamps in order to steal a car from some poor, hapless senior. Cash only, so I had to call my wife to bring me some cash, as I typically don’t carry much, if any.

I did finally make it home, thanks to the cabbie who wouldn’t respond to any inquiry or nicety that I made, I guess for fear I might find out he’s a wanted man or something.

I’m not sure quite why I just wasted your time like this. Maybe Friday is random story day, and I didn’t realize it until just now. I think I’ll just blame it on lingering effects of THE IDIOCY from last night. Needless to say, no poker happened last night.

I’ll leave you with Phil’s latest bit of published dog shit. Christ, I can’t believe CardPlayer still runs anything with his name on it.

Thanks for staying with me through all of the preceding unnecessary shit. I’ll try to start Thinking Big again tomorrow where, as always, my head will be Much Bigger.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Ready for another 4?

Break out the Fear Factor puke bucket…It’s Inauguration Day. Come one, come all!

WARNING: Side effects may include transference of the inability to speak correctly, an increase in blundering, arrogant foreign policy, and the loss of even more of the freedoms that you take for granted.

Dubya and friends always puts me in a dark mood, sorry about that. I need some John Stewart, that’ll cheer me up.

It’s been a while, but insomnia sank it’s sharp talons into my skull again last night. It wasn’t too bad though, since I got to catch up on some 2+2 reading and do a little playing on Party. Enjoy this thread on responses for table coaches if you haven’t already seen it. I tried to implement some strategery (<--in honor of Dubya) and find some good tables, but the player counts were dropping faster than Paris Hilton’s drawers, so I only played for an hour or so (what is that, about 100 hands?) before I quit with a whopping 4BB profit due to lack of table juiciness and general lack of alertness.

Inauguration Update: They are handing out blue fleece blankets to all of the VIP’s so they can keep warm. If you’re a brainwashed serf attending this auspicious occasion….(begin Soup Nazi voice) NO BLANKET FOR YOU! That’s OK, being in such close proximity to the Ministry of Love should warm you plenty.

For those of you who may not have lately, get over and read DoubleAs last few posts. He presents a couple of NLHE conundrums that are worth some serious thought. Some of you, I’m sure, already have your tools at the ready to deal with the situations presented, but I sat there for quite awhile giving them my attention. Regardless, it will give your brain a bit of exercise during an otherwise mind-numbing workday.

Dammit, the phone keeps ringing off the hook and I can’t get the words to unificate on the page, so I’m going to cut this short and see if I can get boned up on some of the JavaScript that I have to get done for my next class.

Remember everyone, try not to be right or left. Think for yourself, and always try to Think Big.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Scary Stuff....

I have seen the fourth horseman. It’s not a he, it’s a she.

Her name is Mary Roach….and there really aren’t words.

Who is this person? If you watched American Idol last night you know. My wife made me watch it. Shut up dude, I didn’t want to. Really.

We’ve all seen weird shit on TV documentaries and the like, but it’s something even creepier when you see a schizophrenic/personality disorder literally about to break loose the internal bonds on national TV in the middle of a huge crowd. My nightmares are going to have a new star for the next couple of nights, that’s for sure. How can people be so deluded, I wonder? Is it too much MTV? Everyone is told they are going to grow up and be rock stars, movie stars, what have you, and it looks like they still actually believe it. Dreams are great and all…but damn. If you suck, you suck—just move onto something else that you are actually good at.

At life’s poker table, it seems to me that a large portion of these people are the fish. Feeder goldfish for the piranhas. I was pretty shocked at the sheer amount of people that show up for these “auditions”, and just how many show up completely broke, wallet and talent-wise. Just like the fish that buy into a micro-NL table with $5 and immediately push with their 10 2 off suit hoping for some kind of seriously unlikely miracle.

Hmmm…I thought I had some kind of a point to make here, but if I did, I just lost it. I hate it when that happens. Oh well, let’s talk about commercials…

Have you seen the new Dial foamy hand soap commercial? If we take the commercial at it’s word, this new soap is 10x more effective than any previous soap, which got me to thinking. The last time Dial had a soap commercial, they said their antibacterial concoction killed 98% of germs. So now it kills 980% of germs? If I wash my hands once, I won’t have to wash them the next nine times I normally would have? Never let your guard down folks….Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

Don’t forget about me as I might be too be too busy to post for the next couple of days. I have school stuff tonight, and an AITP Meeting tomorrow night. Thank God though, or I would be forced to sit through at least one more two hour session where Ryan Seacrest shills for Coke, Ford, and Cingular Wireless, ugh. If I can squeeze in the time, or get annoyed enough by something, I’ll be sure to get one in, though.

Regardless, I’ll be Thinking Big, and my head will be Much Bigger.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Have a good weekend?

I have a dream……

But I can’t remember it when I wake up.

I decided to not write any posts for a couple of days because it was starting to feel like they were getting shittier, so I figured a few days off would refill the tanks. The tanks are now full again, but it remains to be seen if the posts will be good. They must be decent so far, as no one so far has said, “Geez dude, your posts are shit”. That, or everyone is too nice and doesn’t want to discriminate against the guy with an oversize noggin. That’s right buddy, I’ll sue. After all, I’m an American, and am thus entitled to large sums of money for perceived injustices.

It appears that this week on The Today Show is “Baby Week”. Great, just what we all need, more breeding propaganda. Quick, churn out more peasants to fight in unjust wars for a puppet with the vocabulary of a sixth grader. Can you tell I’m having issues this morning? I spent the weekend reading various political things that caused me to be particularly incensed, but this is not a political blog (for the most part, at least), so I’ll cut it short.

Hella Hold’em put up a good post about the struggle some of us have with being aggressive. As a fellow INTJ personality type, aggressiveness is one of my bigger struggles. In the last couple of months I have made some good strides towards being more aggressive, but I realize I still have a long way to go. I don’t have a problem standing up to the aggression of someone else, but taking an aggressive lead is not something that comes naturally to me. It is finally starting to come together a bit more, in that I was able to put a few moves together on some folks this weekend to take down pots that I previously would have let go, simply because I “didn’t have the cards”. While showing down the mortal nuts to take down a huge pot feels great, it feels equally good, if not better, to win a medium pot with nothing.

A new and pretty darn fun activity came about by accident this weekend. My wife and I sat on the couch together, each with our own laptop, and played $5 +.50 SnG’s together. We obviously couldn’t play in the same one, but it seems to make my wife amenable to playing poker more often. I haven’t narrowed down what exactly it is yet, but we both have moneyed, if not won, every single time we have done this. Try this on one of those many nights when there is nothing on TV. It’s great fun for a low, low price, and your spouse isn’t annoyed because your not doing anything together or paying him/her any attention. I gave my wife $50 from my PStars roll (which put me down to about $550), now she is on the way to building her own roll and mine is back over $600. Nice dude, nice.

I think I’m going to have to buckle down and buy PokerTracker, in order to accurately gauge whether I completely suck or not. OK, I know I don’t completely suck, but Party sure makes me feel like I do at times. I guess I’m still just having a problem adjusting to the much bigger swings there. You may remember previously that I tilted away nearly half of my free money roll on Party early last week. This weekend I tried to buckle down and make something of the $45 I had left. Over about 8 hours total, things went like this: Post blind, fold to multiple raises. Catch premium hand shortly thereafter, get sucked out on. Be patient, climb back up. Make a decent gain, get knocked back to even on an unlikely suckout. Table breaks, go find a new one and start over. I just couldn’t seem to hold on to any of the gains I made, and after all of that playing, end up at $47.75, yippee. 15-20 BB swings on a roll that short, in a word, sucks. The good news is, I didn’t tilt at all (not even subtly), and kept playing my good hands aggressively. If I had played in the super weak-tight style that is my natural tendency, I would still be down a bit because I would not have extracted all of the bets that I did. So chalk another one up to controlled aggression, lesson reinforced another small bit. Still, posts that state, “I deposited $50 into Party and now one month later I have over $1000” make me think I either totally suck or am doing something very wrong. Oh well, I’m confident that it will work itself out over time as long as I keep plugging away.

One thing that I think is worth mentioning is that I am much better at controlling tilt these days. In days past I would have tilted away my small portion of Party Poker money because of the sense of injustice that rears it’s ugly head when my KK gets sucked out on by a 10-6o on the river. I’ve actually internalized the fact that in poker there is no “justice”, and my premium hands are not entitled to win every time I hold them. They should win a large majority of the time, but there will be times (sometimes in a row) that they lose. Oh well, I’ll keep taking those bets everytime.

Geez, I’m starting to sound like a support group member…..maybe I should write a Serenity Prayer for poker players….

Poker Gods, grant me to serenity to accept the suckouts I cannot change….
Courage to be aggressive on the scary boards…
And the wisdom to know when I should get away from a hand that is obviously beat..

Post this on your PC monitor, my children, and be at peace.