Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Return of Ron Davis

Jessie Crain is currently trying to emulate one of my favorite Twins from the past… Ron Davis!

R.D.!! R.D.!! R.D.!! R.D.!!

No one left the Metrodome early when R.D. came to the mound. This bespeckled, curly haired master of disaster was beloved by fans not for his ability to shut down the opposition in a Sutter/Fingers/Rivera manner. No, his idea of a “save” was to load up the bases in the ninth with a one run lead and get the next batter to a 3-0 count, and either give up the winning runs or get the batter to bounce into a game ending double play. I remember grabbing an extra malt cup if the score was close in the ninth because R.D. was coming in to keep the game interesting. I mean who wants a closer with an E.R.A. that matches AlCantHang’s B.A.C. after a bender at the boathouse?


Enter Jesse Crain. Although he’s not the big time closer (Joe Nathan gets the nod to protect a Twinkie win in the ninth), Crain knows it’s his duty to go out and stir up some excitement for those mid-game innings when people are on their third Dome Dog or second gallon sized watered down beer. What better way to get people to watch the game then to come in after two masterful pitching expeditions and give up a run in the 12th inning to set up a future everyday player’s (Kubel) heroics in the bottom half of the inning against a very tough Red Sox’s team.

As those suave black and white cut out cartoons from the Guinness commercials may say… “BRILLIANT!” (by the way… Google “brilliant” and look at the 8th link).

In defense of Crain’s exciting outing, I DID see some improvement in his pitching. More movement on the ball, more breaking balls, but the end result when he went back to his straight as a pussy-whipped frat boy fastball, was more of the same. In fact after Crain gave up the run, I turned off the game and went to sleep assuming a loss, especially due to the Red Sox’s solid bullpen. But, Sportscenter showed the middle of the order deciding to wake up again last night and set up Kubel’s grand slam.

Think you can stop dangling those plane tickets back to the minors in front of his face Gardy? I’m sure the kid has a couple more hits like that in his pocket if given a chance without the scare of being reassigned.


Sorry for all the baseball talk as my poker playing has been regulated to being an IRC chat groupie and professional railbird lately. Places to go, people to see, racks to stare at, leaves little time to sit down and play on the virtual felt.

Plus tonight I got box seats to the Saints game with my co-workers plus some tailgating to do before the game. Maybe this extended, un-intentional “break” from playing will do some good. After doing more observing and “guessing the hands”, it has given me more insight as to why I was losing for those five months. Other then the “I was cold-decked” or “I have bad luck” cop-outs, I can see significant holes in my game. Not stealing enough blinds, only playing “premium” hands even in loose games where odds are there to lower a starting hand requirement, shoving my stack in on bad draws.

All things a profitable player avoids in their sleep while playing, yet I left it out because I was too busy playing ABC poker and counting on those dominate hands to full out my bankroll. Of course when those hands get cracked, or you don’t get paid off for your monster hands, you get a bunch of whinny “boo-hoo I lost again, the world hates me” crap that every player has said at some point.

I did play a $100 NLHE cash game on Sunday night because I was itching to play since I haven't touched a cash game in almost two weeks and the first hand I get dealt in the BB was… AA. My mental fortitude was tested by the dude with a Jerry Garcia pic as he promptly cracked them with KTo after the money went in on a K 6 2 flop. Granted he was shortstacked, but I felt the check-raise play was correct, but the result wasn’t in my favor. Did I tilt? Nope, I said to myself “good hand, bad result” and plunged on to ending the session up a half a buy-in.

My most profitable hands?

K7s and T6s.

Both played with position after a raise and had the odds to call. Two hands I would normally muck without a second thought while 3-4 tabling. After hiding under that safe ABC poker rock for so long, I’m beginning to actually play the game, rather then wait for results. This is not to advocate a loose-aggressive game, or to “play any two or four cards” but rather take a look beyond the cards if you want to improve yourself. I look back at my play and see a lot of waiting to be dealt a pat hand and not enough actual “poker play”. Bluffing, slow-playing, check-raising, farting, these are commonplace things that happen at a poker table, but not at mine, except maybe the farting (but those chicken soft taco at Qdoba's were sooooooooo gooooood). My weak-tight game is going into the trash, and hopefully with a little created luck I’ll come out a better player because of it.

Thanks for dropping by, now everyone in the poker (and hopefully beyond our little niche) blog-o-sphere has pimped Pauly’s Born to Gamble series, but if you still haven’t seen some of his best introspection posts, do yourself a favor and check them out.


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