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.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What can you say?

What is it about a little virus that it has the ability to make a person so introspective? Not that I actually thought I was going to die or anything, but maybe it’s that the temporary breakdown of our bodily systems remind us (at least subconsciously) of our own mortality. Hell, maybe it’s simply because you don’t have the energy to take part activities which would otherwise distract.

I spent most of the last few days thinking about Iggy’s friend, Huggy Bear. It affected me a lot more than I thought it did when I first read about it. Thoughts of my friend’s wife, murdered in a totally random fashion, came flooding back into my mind as I read, driving me into a melancholy I haven’t experienced for quite some time. It pretty much comes down to this: I wouldn’t wish a tragedy like that on my worst enemy, no one should have to endure the loss of a spouse, and yet someone does every day. I didn’t have the words then, and I don’t really have them now. I suppose no one really does.

I guess the real reason I am prattling on about this is to remind everyone to take extra time to think about and appreciate those you love and hold dear. Let them know it, because we don’t have the luxury of knowing exactly how much more time any of us have as the moments pass us by.

While reading Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, I can across something I thought would be worth sharing:

“The world, [Govinda], is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a long path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment; every sin already carries grace within it, all small children are potential old men, all sucklings have death within them, all dying people—eternal life. It is not possible for one person to see how far another is on the way; the Buddha exists in the robber and dice player; the robber exists in the Brahmin. During deep meditation it is possible to dispel time, to see simultaneously all the past, present and future, and then everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, it seems to me that everything that exists is good—death as well as life, sin as well as holiness, wisdom as well as folly. Everything is necessary, everything needs only my agreement, my assent, my loving understanding; then all is well with me and nothing can harm me.”

This was for Huggy Bear, I wish him well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

New evidence.

As if I needed any more evidence illustrating the largesse of my head, I received some more today in a place where I never saw it coming….….

…the place (see: Torture Chamber) where one voluntarily goes to have their dirty little oral secrets laid bare…

The Dentist. (Cue scary music)

Without going into excruciatingly boring detail, due my neglect in flossing the teeth that are furthest back in my head, I ended up with one cavity on top and one on the bottom. So today I drag my still-ebola-ridden ass into the dentist to get it taken care of and be good for another 6 months. After having my face pretty much completely paralyzed on the left side, the dentist takes care of the first tooth and then tells me that I need to make an appointment for next week to take care of the bottom tooth.

“Why can’t we just get it over with now?” I ask.

“I’ve already given you over double the normal dose to properly numb the top row, since you’re so big. I just wouldn’t feel right if I dosed you with any more and then let you drive. Did you ever play football?”

Translation: Given the size of your ginormous head, and the fact that you’ve had enough Novocain to paralyze a rhino, I’m scared I might get sued or beat up if I give you any more. Please come back next week so I can torture you again with my miniature instruments of death.

I haven’t played a lick of poker due to the fact that I have to be at work while I'm sick, which means I go directly home and crash.. Being part-time means I don’t get any sick leave like the fancier full-time folks. Not that I’m horridly jealous, mind you. After all, my hourly rate is quite generous and, well, it’s PART-TIME. I’ll gladly trade a bit of sick leave for 15 less hours per week..

So, to sum up…

Still sick. Haven’t played any poker for three days. Blogged a dental visit.

Welcome to Sick, Large-Headed Blogger Hell. (I’ll do my damndest to have something better in a day or two, thanks for hangin’ around).

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I just couldn't escape....

The household ebola monkey got me after all, so I don't think I'm going to be posting for the next few days. Geez, I never thought typing would be this exhausting....

Sunday, February 06, 2005

My lame Super Bowl post.

Well, I actually watched most of the Super Bowl, even though I wasn’t planning on it. I had the idea to blog my thoughts on the commercials as it went along, but I only made it to halftime before I found myself intolerably bored. The end of the game was pretty good, but I just can’t help but be bored since I’m not football fan and know pretty much nothing about the game.

“How much nothing?” you ask. I couldn’t even point out the difference between a halfback and a fullback. Yeah, I’m lame.

So, without further ado, here are some observations before I got bored and quit:

Did anyone notice that the kid that flipped the coin didn’t really flip it? He just sorta tossed it up, I don’t even think it completed one revolution. I would have made him redo it, but it was nice of them not to. That kid was probably nervous as hell.

Here are my ratings for some of the commercials (Out of 10). Man, I sure do miss years gone by when the were better…..

  • Bud Light skydiving commercial—Humorous, but you could see the pilot jump coming a mile away..—7.0
  • PDiddy & Diet Pepsi – only mildly humorous—5.5
  • FedEx/Kinkos w/ Burt Reynolds and top ten things needed to have the best commercial. Pretty damn Funny—9.0
  • Bud Light w/ Cedric—Dumb, nuff said.—4.0
  • Diet Pepsi w/ Cindy Crawford, that Queer eye dude and the Bee Gee’s song—6.0
  •—The girl with big breastesses busting out of her shirt before a Senate Subcommittee. Best commercial so far—9.0
  • Bud Light commercial with the cell cams—sadly formulaic—5.0
  • Visa Check Card w/ superheroes—dumb—3.0
  • Ameriquest where the guy on the cell gets his ass whipped for saying to the person on the phone “You got robbed”—Pretty funny—8.5
  • Bud Light with the cockatoo—good one—7.5

And the winner is….it’s a TIE! My two favorites were the Fed Ex/Kinko’s and There may have been better commercials during the second half, but like I said, I didn’t really watch.

Things went fairly well at the tables, however. After watching my wife weather some BRUTAL suckouts in two different SnG’s, I decided to hit the $.50/1 ring game on Stars since Party wasn’t treating me very well (I ended +4BB’s after 3 hours). For the first time in quite a while, we had a real live maniac at the table. I haven’t seen anyone burn through 50 BB’s like that since, well, the last time I was at Party. Thankfully, I was on the receiving end of some good cards, and one big thing that helped was the fact there was no ‘schooling effect’. Everyone knew enough to get out of each others way and isolate the maniac, leading him to lose most of his $50 stack in about 45 minutes. Hooray, I got my grubs on 24 of those dollars.

I think I need to get in some live play to get my game reenergized. It finally dawned on me, the fact that I only play one table at a time means I don’t get in very many hands per week AT ALL. After doing some quick and very unscientific math, I figure I’m getting maybe 500 hands per week on average as of late, not counting tourneys, of course. The bankroll continues to grow, but at a real snails pace.

What kind of things do you all do to get juiced up about the game during an unmotivated slump? I’m really at a loss and having a hard time finding the motivation to put in more serious time. Shouldn’t the money be enough? Probably, but it doesn’t seem to be at the moment.

My apologies if this post was completely lame, but I’m currently resisting that which the ebola monkey (my wife) is spreading throughout the house. It prevents me from Thinking Big like I should. Why can’t it keep my head from being Much Bigger? I guess we’ll never know….