Thursday, May 13, 2004

Don't Look Down
"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." - Charles Bukowski
I've been afraid to write about my recent hot streak because I don't want to jinx myself, but to hell with all that. It's just a matter of time before this rush is over. When I got back from Vegas, I played horrible on Party Poker and needed a break. When I got back from a brief hiatus... I started kicking ass. You see, you cannot be afraid to play poker. You cannot be afraid to fail. It's a simple mantra in life, but it works when you apply it to poker. If you are afraid to lose, it's going to hurt your game.

When you play too timid, then you begin to second guess yourself when you see pots getting shoved to another player when you really should be stacking up those chips. No fear. Shit happens. Sometimes good cards get beat. You have to be able to stomach that if you want to play cards and piss in the tall weeds with the big dogs.

With that said, I tightened up my game. I eliminated a series of trouble hands and decided to put alot more confidence in high pairs. I used to be afraid of JJ and QQ, but now I'm playing them as strongly as KK and AA. By the numbers, they are some of the best starting hands in hold'em, so why be afraid to bet strongly with them in No Limit? I'm not afraid to see and ace or over card flop. I've been jamming pots preflop with those trouble pairs and most of the time everyone folds. Those small pots add up. And I'd rather win five small pots than lose one big one.

I've also limited my play online at Party Poker. No more eight to ten hour sessions. Those were brutal, especially when I'd play for ten hours and only be up $10. Those days sucked. I'm no longer waiting for that $500 day to come around. I'd rather be a "hit-n-run" kinda guy.... play for a little bit at a time, and as soon as I win a sizeable amount, I don't get greedy, I just walk away. $25 here. $105 there. $80 here. $45 there. That all adds up. It's amazing that playing less online actually increased my hourly win rate!! And plus, now I've had more time to write, hang out and watch Yankees games with my brother, live life, and see a shitload of films at the TriBeCa film festival with Haley... and when you're playing great cards, that confidence spills over into your regular life. People are attracted to you when you beam with confidence. It's just how life works.

I've only had two losing seesion since May 1 and like I said in a previous post, both negative sessions were followed up by big days. I am very close to wiping out all my Vegas losses!! I thougth it was going to take months to rebuild my bankroll. And I hope my new found confidence and new strategy can work. I understand that it's only 12 days into my rush, so we'll see how this game plan works during a bad run. Anyone can play well when you're getting cards. But how do you play in a middle of a rut? I haven't been fully tested, but I'm not afraid to find out.

I've been playing a decent amount of Omaha 8/b on Pacific Poker after I signed up for Iggy's new tourney (this Sunday at 9pm EST). I've had a few swings, but for the most part, I wanted to get used to playing on a different site. Too bad Pacific limits user names to eight characters. I wonder if anyone will guess who I am on Sunday?

Back to Party Poker, where I have stopped playing SNGs for a while. Maybe if I have a huge day in the future I'll play a couple, but for now, I'm sticking to the $25 and $50 NL ring games, a place where I think I've found my groove. I'm a much better NL player than limit. That's just the way it is.

This past week, I got to play two sessions with fellow blogger, Monte Christo. He's a good egg and it's been a blast playing with him. Monte Christo was hammer happy, playing, raising pots, and showing the hammer to the other players at the table, some of which had no clue what was going on. That was the same day I saw Monte Christo take down a huge pot with the Hilton Sisters. Nice.

Then yesterday, I witnessed the carnage. Monte Christo thought he had the nut flush with A-2, but alas, the dude who raised him had... the straight flush!! Ouch. It was just one of those days. Monte also witnessed my insane rush of pocket aces! I got AA three times in an eight hand span. It was ridiculous. Coach estimated that the odds were something like: 10.648 million to one. I dunno how to calculate that kind of stuff, maybe some of you poker playing math wizards can show me how to calculate formulas such as that. Anyway, I only won a few small pots with the AA, but shit, at least they weren't cracked. In one instance, I smooth called a preflop raise. The flop: A-Q-Q. He checked, I checked. The turn: rag. He bet, I rasied 2x his bet and he called. On the river: another rag. He checked, I bet and he folded. Maybe I should have just called on the turn, and perhaps he would have tried to steal the pot on the river. At any rate, it was good to see the big cards hold up for me.

In conclusion, I've adapted some new game plans when playing online. It's left me with more personal time and my game and attitude has vastly improved. I'm not afraid to log onto Party Poker anymore. In fact, I can't wait to play later today!

OK... so what else has been going on? Visit my normal blog for updates on my strange and twisted life. I'm working on the next issue of my blog-zine Truckin', in addition to starting the first few pages of my new screenplay... a modern day adaption of Shakespeare's King Lear, hoping to get a first draft done before I take some time off to follow the Dead this summer.

Hangin' with the Homeys

It looks like fellow poker bloggers have been busy. HDouble has morphed into Yoda, my new nickname for The Dude, after tutoring his pupils in the Ways of the Force. I couldn't think of anyone better to be a mentor. Although, I'm sure Shana Hiatt can teach me a few new things or two. Boy Genius and his brother built a poker table this past weekend. Very cool. I'll have to check that out some day, perhaps on my next trip to Michigan (my last trip was en route to see Phish last year in Wisconsin). Chris Halverson is attempting to throw together a home game. I wish him luck! I'm having a blast filling a seat at Ferrari's and the Blue Parrot over the past few months. Poker is an amazing hobby/sport/distraction. It's a social event when you play with a group of friends, so I wish him luck. Lord Geznikor has some interesting things to say about playing $5-10. Al Can't Hang always entertains me with his stories about his wild weekend benders!! Maudie is on a nice run, crushing the $2-4 games over at Pacific. And Iggy is hard at work putting the next WBT event together. Burt Fu makes me laugh. Good site he's got going. The Poker Penguin has been posting regularly, which is always a pleasure to read. Felicia has a great post on Razz, and I hope she gets back into the swing soon. The Poker Prof is posting some great write ups of the WSoP. Check out his site.

Welcome to Las Vegas?

And lastly, is Grubby moving to Vegas? Let me know, and I'll be your roomie, Grubster! How crazy would that be... me, Grubby, and two leggy blonde, scantly clad, UNLV coeds... sharing a house. A novel and screenplay would write itself under those circumstances. That could be a new sitcom... hey Grubby let's pitch a comedic/sitcom version of Rounders meets Men Behaving Badly to NBC and get Wil Wheaton to play your character. Wil as the Grubster. I love it. We'll get Elisha Cuthbert to play one of the roomies, a fish out of water from a small town in Canada. A man can dream, right?

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