Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Time After Time

“At times you’re at the mercy of the cards”

- Phil Hellmuth’s “Poker Tip” Calendar

I wish I was as disbanded from reality as Phil, I envy him for that.

I was going to whine about losing yet another coin flip late in a tourney (my only one up to that point 85th out of 1000+) last night, but what’s the use. Its stupid, childish, and sounds like a broken record.

Shit I can’t even think straight anymore, I’ve re-written/deleted this paragraph five times.

I can see why my readership has waned so much lately, no one likes hearing about the losing side of poker. Its not exciting to hear about losing 50/50 chances with the consistency of a woman’s Romanian gymnast on a balance beam. Its not fun to hear about the down swings, losing night after night because those 20+ outs don’t hit, or making tilty calls/raises throwing whatever profit you do scratch together out the basement window.

Pathetic is a good word, I’ll stick with that to describe my play.

“Good players don’t need cards to win”. That quote might be true but if you’re a low stakes grinder like me at the $100 and $200 levels of NL/PL games, for the most part you’re going to have to showdown your cards, thus having the best hand after the river or 7th street, or the 3rd draw is finished. Yes, the bluffing/knowing pot odds/playing the player are all still very important, but if you’re called to showdown the majority of the time then the quality of your cards are at a premium. Value betting becomes much more important then fold equity, simply bet when you have it, save it when you don’t.

What an easy game!

Of course that means you rely on the laws of probability to stay in your favor when you hold TPTK vs. a gutshot straight draw with one card to come or holding a set vs. top two pair (sorry again Gracie!). And when you rely on the probability of the best current hand winning, and the outcome does not favor you then tilt happens. Tilt happens a lot with me; I become emotional when the outcome of the cards hasn’t favored me since Citizen Kane was still being played at the Cineplex for a nickel. Four months into the year of 2006, and I’m in the hole badly. I figured it this point I’d be writing about my plans to play at the WSOP O8 event, reaching my five figure bankroll goal, and seeing everyone again thru drunken eyes and conversing in some sloshed Nordic garble about the size of the waitresses’ chest protruding from her medieval uniform.

Instead I’ve been reduced to duly noting my weekly losses and begging for the Chinese water drip torture to stop. $20 here, $35 there, the junk kicking are beginning to finally add up to some large losses (relatively of course). I’m either too stupid or too sadistic to stop walking into the wind, up a hill that’s covered with two feet of snow. But I love the game, and I love the challenge it is presenting me with:

“Do you have the patience to ride out the variance?”

I rode out the variance of life when I got hurt at work and my world seemed like it was going to hell. Seizures, inability to speak, limited movement, fighting with the wife, being a poison pill around friends.

But, my health slowly improved. I started going out more, not minding people staring at my inability to hold a fork normally at a restaurant. Or having to wear a hat and sunglasses to business meetings with vendors and not caring what my first impression to them was except for how they appreciated me taking care of their issues.

It took time. Four years to be exact.

Right around that time I met a group of people who didn’t point, didn’t stare, instead they accepted my metaphors, one-liners, bad advice, worse daily postings, and donations to their bankrolls from my bad poker play. With my family life stabilized, and new friends to share life’s ups and downs, my health has returned mostly. Granted I still get a twitch once in a while, and my eyes may never allow me to get behind the wheel of a car again, but I’m as normal as I was before the accident. Or would that be abnormal?

If my health can improve with perseverance, why can’t my bankroll do the same? It probably will, just gotta give it time and reduce the Schleprock “woe is me” attitude to nothing.

Thanks for dropping by, now I see my local politicians have jumped on the anti-internet gambling bandwagon. Letters to these people are not going to help; education about how regulation and taxation of these sites that WOULD PUT MONEY IN THE POCKETS OF THE GOVERNMENT MUCH LIKE THE BRICK AND MORTAR CASINOS DO may help sway their thoughts on the subject. That is if they can look past the god-fearing evils of poker in the first place. But, they have no problem receiving tax payments from Canterbury’s Card Club.
Excellent platform sirs.

And you wonder why the ordinary American doesn’t care about voting?

Having bad business sense is one thing. Being ignorant just breeds apathy towards other issues.

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