Sunday, November 26, 2006

Poker Siesta

Guess what came in the mail yesterday? A copy of Gigli on DVD. It cost me 88 cents and the postage was 2x as much. I'll be handing that out to the lucky player who busts out first in the WPBT Holiday Classic. Stop by April's blog for details about the upcoming WPBT tournament in Las Vegas. Here are some random details:
What: WPBT Holiday Classic III
When: Saturday Dec. 9th at 1:30pm
Where: Caesars Palace
Format: NL with one rebuy
Buy-in: $80 + $50 rebuy
By the way, Byron is hosting the last online WPBT event tonight. Here are the details:
What: WPBT Event #13
When: Sunday Nov. 26th at 9pm ET
Where: Full Tilt
Format: Horse
Buy-in: $24 + $2
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I cannot explain my recent immersion into poker. I guess after taking several steps away from all facets of the game for a few months allowed me to rediscover the passion for poker again.

Breaks are good.

I've been reading blogs, books, and even playing in tournaments. The weather has been crappy in NYC the past week. I've been fighting a head cold and my knee had been acting up again which meant that I have not been exercising or running in the mornings. That left a nice block of unstructured time for me to pursue other interests. I filled that slot with reading and poker.

I've been on a reading binge and knocked out six books in the last ten days. Three of those were poker books. I finally finished Divine Invasions, a biography on Philip K. Dick and two books on music; Chuck Klosterman's IV and Lester Bangs' Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste.

I reread Jay Greenspan's Hunting Fish and Russ Fox's Why You Lose at Poker. I also devoured Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book in less than 24 hours. I'll be writing book reviews later this week.

On the poker front, I've been playing well and making good quality decisions, however the results are not falling my way. Poker is an odd entity. A few months ago, my game was spotty and full of leaks, yet I rode a pleasant winning streak. Times have changed.

I'm not just playing Limit Hold'em cash games. I've been dabbling in a multitude of different games from PLO to Stud to TD to NL MTTs to Limit ring games. My game and my poker mind is as sharp as it's ever been over the last couple of weeks, yet I'm stuck in a bloody losing streak.

Vagaries and variance.

I took two wicked beats in the last few days. One was so bad that I stopped playing poker for a day. And the other happened last night at a 5/10 table.

At the CO, I raised with 10-10. The button was a donkfish who reraised a lot with big draws and marginal hands. He three-bet, the BB called, and I knew I had the best hand so I capped it.

The flop: J-J-10.

Firewroks ensue. I led out in betting after flopping a boat and got raised. The BB bailed out and we capped the flop. At that point, I gave the guy a little credit and put him on A-A, K-K, A-J, or even K-Q. If he had J-J or J-10, he would have slowplayed.

The turn: 2. Betting capped again.

The river: 2. I shouted, "Fuck me, you fucktart!"

I check-called the river because I knew he had A-J. He showed it and I lost a monster pot by boat over boat. I probably would have played my opponent's hand the same way he did, except I would not have three bet or called a 4th bet preflop with A-J, even with position. But post-flop, I got what I wanted... an aggressive opponent with a second best hand betting into me.

That hand set me on slight-tilt and I hid any sharp objects within arm's reach.

* * * * *

If you don't know, super blogger Tony Pierce from Busblog fame is the editor of LAist. He wrote me an email and told me about a rare poker post that appeared on LAist yesterday called Of All The Suits, Why Did Hip Hop Hold 'Em Choose The Spade? The organizers of Hip Hop Hold'em chose the one suit in the deck that is a known racial slur. Irony or did they simply forget?

Bill Rini mentioned this to me:
Michael Bolcerek, president of the PPA, set up a site as more than just the online poker industry is concerned about the anti-gaming law and this opens them up to a broader audience. They're encouraging people to write letters to their elected officials (2 Senators and 1 Rep) and they will deliver these to the new congress (doing anything with the lame ducks is pointless). What they haven't really publicized yet is that if you pick one of the options regarding poker they're offering free PPA membership. Obviously the PPA would prefer paid members but what they really need is to get membership up to around 500,000 to really be taken as seriously as they need to be.
By the way, Dan Michalski gets plenty of guff from me about favoring pink shirts and wearing women's sunglasses at the poker table. But at heart, he's a journalist and one of the best in poker. Stop by Pokerati to read up on his coverage of the recent poker busts in the Dallas area, specifically Instapoker (Dallas Swat Edition). No one knows more about poker in Texas than Michalski.

Lastly, go take a peek at Flipchip's Las Vegas photos.

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