Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Lesson Unlearned

The bruised palm of my hand this morning is a reminder of what a terrible infielder I am. Something about catching a line drive on the pitcher’s rubber with the heel of your glove and your wrist doesn’t smack of Ozzie Smith’s wizard-like play with the mitt. Nor does overthrowing the 3rd baseman…

…from two feet away

I was forced to take up pitching duties last night as we played a couple of “serious” softball teams. You can tell the difference between the teams that show up to drink a few Grain Belts in the parking lot after the game, and those teams that have matching bags and uniforms, along with the latest super-ultra titanium missile launching technology bats, then go to the parking lot for some Grain Belts.

Good players can hit a softball between 90-100mph when it leaves their bat… guess where the easiest place to get a hit is, here's a hint, he’s about 6’4” and only standing 30 feet away.

Luckily there was only a half dozen shots up the middle last night that made me clinch up my ass so tight you’d think I was spending my first night in Sing-Sing. I must have made three or four errors last night as I am the anti-gold glover in the infield, Ozzie would mock me and tell me to take up Curling or Badminton.

Despite putting up 15 runs in the first game and 21 runs in the second, we only managed one tie. The errors added up despite looking harmless at first, in fact my retarded throw to the third baseman confused the runners so badly they just stood there and we ended up making a double play. Despite the 1-5-4-1-9-1-2-1 double play they chipped a couple of runs that inning, then another, and another until we gave up enough runs to double the offensive output of the Kansas City Royals for the past month (normally I’d mock the Twins here but they’re hitting the ball again… for now).

Little errors add up on the felt as well. Those limp-folds to a maniac who make a small raise in NLHE with a small pocket pair, wasted money. Re-raising with Aces on the river in LHE on a board of 7 8 9 T Q with five people still in the hand, probably not intelligent. Re-raising with just a nut-low, no counterfeit protection, and no shot at the high into four players in PLO8, you don’t like money do you? Opening up that last $5 Turbo SnG right before Gil Grissom and Katherine Willows pop on the screen to describe tonight’s grizzly murder case, five dollars better spent on a finger licking good Chicken Bowl at KFC (gotta get a biscuit too).

While not paying attention to the details, costly errors erode your bankroll more then “bad beats” or OMFG FOLD ALREADY-type aggressive play against calling stations. That $11 double shootout you thought you’d squeeze in before the wife comes home? Don’t. Plan it for another time when you have 1-2 hours to sit down and not worry about putting away the groceries.

I’m extremely guilty of making these type of bankroll errors, and its yet another thing that added to my tales of poker woes. Gone is “fitting in” that last orbit in a cash game before Little Drizz gets home from my parent’s house, because I know he’ll want to play outside (and who wouldn’t in Minnesota right now, damn its gorgeous out!).

If you’re pissing away money due to bad decisions, those can be changed. Not AA vs KK and claiming you have Miss Cleo on the line telling you to fold pre-flop; sometimes you’re just going to lose. It’s the decision to make plays at the table or with your bankroll that you KNOW (or at least should) are wrong yet you still do that out of habit. If you’re serious about maintaining that bankroll, be serious about how you invest/spend it. There’s nothing wrong with setting aside bankroll money for vacation/playing –EV casino games/hookers and blow but realize that you now have less poker money to invest while moving up in limits.

Making that withdrawl is only a small error since you earmarked those funds for a different activity/investment/fun (whether the activity/inventment/fun is worth depleting the bankroll is a different argument). Making bets in a poker game should always have a meaning since you are using those funds for a specific purpose (to bluff, to value bet, to tilt the other player). If that tournament entry fee or that river bet was wagered “just because”, then don’t bemoan the fact that the cards are not going your way because you could have saved money at a different time by not making a small error.

Thanks for dropping by, now go check out 9-2 offsuit recently added to the blogroll. It’s a collaboration of players with tales of bankroll building and destroying. Excellent read due to its many different view points and voices.

And I need to ask Basketball fans… what do you think Mark Cuban would have done if the Mavericks wouldn’t have pulled off the OT victory despite trying to the lose the game in the 4th quarter.

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