Thursday, June 29, 2006

Shifting Gears

Yes Vince Van Patton, I tried to put in a serious session of poker.

I really did.

Too late to sign up for the Mookie tourney I had the pleasure of watching Facty tilt her table for a bit and root on CJ in his quest for an O8 tourney cash (YOU PLAYED IT CORRECTLY!!!) before finally getting up to play a little on my own. Sadly I couldn’t justify jumping in with the sharks I saw at the $200 PLO8 tables since a little more then nut-peddling is necessary to make any money there.

So I settled with my second favorite game, a $100 NLHE table. And for awhile it had my complete interest. I even turned off the Drew Carey at the World Cup show (on the Travel Channel, just watch for the many soccer babe shots they filter in while Carey and that dude with the wacky hair from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” go to different German points of interest). Making steals in position with any two cards, throwing bluffs and dangerous boards, and value betting passive playing idiots (I’ll point at myself on this when I finally get the time to move in limits). I was really into the game and not just pushing buttons.

Then after an hour I decided I had enough notes to catch up on my blog reading from vacation. I viewed this video (NSFW!!) found by the Wicked Chops guys who can tie in any supermodel/porn star with a poker article (keep up the great work guys!), and I ended up racking up my four nickels (that’s twenty cents, not twenty dollars) of profit to um, take care of things.

When we had the second child, I thought it would be a reason to stay up for long sessions of poker. The interest is still there, especially while reading Otis and Pauly’s adventures on the green felt at the Rio. But, the three and four hours of sleep per night (even without playing) leaves me wanting my king sized bed for dreams of a naked pregnant Britney Spears *shudder* (I’ve had my fill of naked pregnant chicks thankyouverymuch and would like my regular sized wife back soon) more then potting a nut-nut draw or throwing some coin and sarcastic wit at the various blogger tourneys that can be found almost nightly now-a-days.

So it’s left me with a want without the means. Kind of like sex after marriage.

How I am supposed to make a serious run at moving up limits if I can only manage an hour or two of solid play before some distraction (kids, wife with baseball bat in hand, UFOs, thoughts of that fried chicken from the deli last night) leaves me wanting to just pluck at buttons rather then actually pay attention to the game and learn a thing or two.

Because of the rubber necking, poker and I are at a crossroads. Not in the “can we be friends” and parting ways sense. No, I love the game too much to not try to call her even though she’s married with two kids. But rather if I reduce the intensity at which I progress this self-punishing relationship. Instead of multi-tabling games and trying to build a bankroll as quickly as possible, take a more leisurely approach and play one or two tables a night.

Instead of burning through poker book after poker book, slow down to really soak up the lessons of the Q and the M. Take the time to see why every author’s perception on correct play can be argued and not become so rigid to Sklansky/Miller/Carson/Harrington/Ciaffone’s style of play that I make my own decisions while using their suggestions.

My dreams of playing in the WSOP this year were dashed early as I had no time to participate in several satellites and really make an effort to qualify like I wanted to. Sure, the birth of Kyra had a little to do with that, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about playing with too many distractions over the course of this year. That lesson cost me nearly 1/3rd of my bankroll and took decent part of my ego towards my perception of being an above average player with it.

I came out of it last month with a profitable month of play and a refreshed view of the game, mostly due to play changes and several whiny IMs for help to my friends in the poker blogging community. Sure poker can be a skanky $25 crack whore with enough teeth to rival a 15 year NHL veteran’s smile. But over time I hope to learn that we can co-exist despite those nasty “beats” and her straying tendencies like when I decide to become a World Class Player and pull off an awesome check-raise river bluff on a tough board against someone who has refused to fold even a pair of twos for the past two hours.

I am still confident that by the end of the year you’ll read in this space about my moving up to the $5/$10 and $10/$20 limit O8 games, or even to the $400 NLHE games (or at least that I haven’t gone busto).

But that progress will hinge on real life as I know I am not the only one bound by matrimonial and parental duties, this part of my life is taking up a very large chunk of time at the moment. Those duties cause my time to make value bets on the river in spurts rather then the regular two or three hours I was able to get in prior to the arrival of my daughter (who is finally sleeping mostly thru the night).

In the meanwhile I’ll live vicariously through the many successes that our little community has enjoyed over the past year, and will be basically a railbird with a bankroll waiting to be played.

Thanks for dropping by, now what is your favorite line to use when a stranger commits a vile act of stupidity?

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