Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Tao of Laughter and Forgetting

By Pauly

I had been playing a slew of online poker upon my return to NYC. The results have been tepid, at best with plenty of tremendous swings. I was on a heater for a bit until I had a horrendous session at the 15/30 tables on PokerStars. I managed to recoup those loses and for now I'm back on even ground.

Instead of sitting on the sidelines and resting for the upcoming WSOP, I spent the majority of the past week entertaining friends as they visited NYC. Aside from the WeHos Crackhouse game, that's been the only poker that I've played since Sunday. There's been zero sports betting action from yours truly. I made a pact with myself that I would not place any sports bets until the 2007 NFL season kicked off in September.

The only other gambling I've done is with the stock market. Just when I thought my Brasil Telecom stock pick was toastier than a Buddhist monk setting himself aflame to protest the Vietnam War, it rallied back. Big time. I bought it at 15, and it sunk as low as 10. Most people would have freaked out, but I knew that investing (much like poker) is all about performance over the long haul and weathering the rough moments. Right now, the stock is trading at its all time high and right where I expected it to be when I bought the fucker one year ago. My outlook is for the long term, much like poker. You maximize your profits today without losing sight of the bigger picture.

I've been playing 15/30 and 10/20 full ring games. I'd prefer to play those at Full Tilt, but there are never any full ring games running. Sometimes there are full 10/20 games and plenty of short-handed 15/30 games. Even an action junkie like myself knows that I don't have the testicular fortitude and the iron stomach to handle the swings at shorthanded 15/30.

So if I want a bigger limit game, I'm forced to play at with the sharks at Poker Stars. I've been hitting and running at the 15/30 tables with some success. The swings are huge. Pots are well over $400 a pop and those hands are limited to two or three players at the most. You figure that you're spending at least $115 per hand. If I'm going to play a pot in Limit, I'm coming in with a raise so that's $30 from me to see the flop. Add 2.5 more big bets and that's a $115 investment not including raising on any of the streets.

I took a big hit the other day when I had a 1K swing inside of twenty minutes. I was up a bit when I lost five pots. I started to go on mega-tilt and left before I could do any more damage to myself or my bankroll. Here's what happened.

I had scooped two big pots early on with Jh-7c in the big blind and with Ks-Qs from the CO. I flopped trips both times. Then I found Kh-Kc. Betting was capped preflop with three players. We went all the way to the river capping on the flop. When the Qc fell on the turn, I slowed down just in case one of them had a set. I only called on the river and ran into Ac-Ah. Ouch. That was a $477 pot.

I lost two other pots with my overaggressiveness. Even after checking the hand histories, I would have done the same plays again. Sometimes your opponents can't fold bottom pair or flat out think you are trying to steal and call you down with nothing only to pair up on the river. I can accept those beats.

I took a bad beat when Q-J beat my 9-9. My donkolicious opponent rivered a Jack and even though I raised pre-flop and on the flop, he couldn't let go of a hand where he was only drawing to six outs. I was wicked pissed after that beat and used up all of my patience to quell the steaming volcano within.

Then I found Kc-Kh and was in another capped pot preflop. It was only heads-up on that instance and there was no way I could be up against another player with Aces. I was check-raised on a flop of 7s-5c-2c and the Hammer looked awesome at that point. I had to put him on a set or Aces so I raised to see what he had. He capped it. I called the turn and river and wasn't surprised to see As-Ac. Ouch.

I lost with Kings against Aces twice inside of a twenty minute period. Add a bad beat and two suckouts and that's how you have a 1K swing. I took my buddy Singer's advice about online poker... "If you take a horrendous beat, turn off your computer right away."

I took his advice and didn't play for the rest of the day. Luckily, I had posted a winning session earlier in the day on 10/20 at Full Tilt so the overall day's loss wasn't as bad as it could have been. In the days following that rough session I managed to wipe out those loses.

Then everyone came into town, so I didn't have a chance to play much since then. I managed to play couple of tournaments on Sunday which included the PokerStars Ocean's 13 Darfur Charity event, AlCantHang's Riverchasers Bracelet Race, and FTOPS event #3.

I busted out early of the PokerStars Darfur event and was disappointed to see that less than 300 people participated. I hope more of you can play in the next charity event on May 27th. All proceeds go towards an amazing cause. If you're around, you should play. If you can't play, please help get the word out and blog about it.
What: Ocean's Thirteen Darfur Charity Tournament
Date: May 27th 2007, 15:30 ET
Buy-in: $10 plus rebuys.
Where: PokerStars
Prizes: Top 4 receive tickets to June 5th premiere in Los Angeles plus 2 nights hotel and $2k for travel/spending. Top 18 receive autographed copy of "Oceans 13" DVD. Total prize pool will go to charity. PokerStars will match the donation. The tournament is open to all players. Good luck!
I played in AlCantHang's bracelet race and I took 12th. I barely beat Ghost Gracie who's dead stack outlasted several players.

That event was running at the same time at the $300 NL FTOPS Event #3. I bought in directly and decided to play on a complete whim. I never play any big NL events and cannot explain to you why aside from the fact that I have an impulsive personality which often gets me into trouble.

There were a shade under 3,000 players and the prize pool was close to 900K. I doubled up early when my A-J beat out Ac-7c. There was an Ace and two clubs on the flop and that's when all the money went into the pot. My hand held up and a slew of railbirds commented in the chat including the Poker Geek, Miami Don, Weak Player, Change100, Filpac (from Portugal), and Derek. The chatbox filled up quickly and my railbirds started to tilt the table. I was in total control until I got moved to Berry Johnston's table.

Berry is a five time WSOP bracelet winner and last year he fought for the lead in overall WSOP cashes with Phil Hellmuth and Men the Master. For a 71 year old guy, he's still on the top of his game. He ended up busting me from the tournament.

I lost most of my stack when I doubled up a short stack with 9-9 against A-A. I always seem to run into Aces in the big blind. I slipped to around 1280th place out of 2000 remaining players.

I busted out in 1549th place with the squeeze play. Two players limped in the pot and I found 9-6o in the small blind. With the blinds starting to shoot up I decided to move all in and pick up the antes, big blind, and the two limpers' bets. I moved all in and everyone folded... except Berry Johnston. He had limped with 9-9 and called. My hand didn't improve and I was out.

Mike Matusow busted right after me.

That was the last time I played online poker. Over the last six days I've been hanging out with the likes of visitors... Boy Genius, Bobby Bracelet (and his new lady friend), Spaceman, Mrs. Spaceman, Maigrey, and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot.... who all hit up NYC over the past week.

I wanted to rest up and write and play online poker this week, but out-of-town friends are more important to me than padding the online bankroll. The last of the out-of-towners should leave by Friday which means I'll have a quiet weekend to myself where I can finally get some sleep, work out, read, write, and mentally prepare for seven weeks of WSOP insanity.

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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