Friday, November 16, 2007

No Accidents

By Pauly
New York City

Unable to find a local card room to play in New York City, and too lazy to drive out to Atlantic City or Foxwoods, I have turned to the internet to get my gambling fix. And why not? The internet is a bastion for lonely souls who troll the intertubes seeking entertainment, love, bizarre porn sites, redemption, attention, and simplistic meanings to their complex, yet mundane lives.

Me? I'm looking for action. I'm on vacation, technically, but I'm trying my best to slow down and have a relaxing couple of weeks. I've been laying off the hard stuff and had not had a drop of alcohol since my return to NYC. I've also been jogging again and watching the foods that I eat in an attempt to shed fifteen pounds. I've been trying to be as organic as possible and have been avoiding any sort of pharmacopoeia that frequently passes through my bloodstream on a weekly basis. In short, it's been clean living.

And, I swore off big time sports betting.

"No more dropping two dimes on NBA games?" wondered Schecky.

Sigh. Unfortunately. No more bets until December and then it's only a few hundred on the NFL. And no more betting on basketball, unless I get a tip that a game is fixed. Then how could I not get in on that action?

I'm kinda itching for something. Anything. I had to stop betting on Swedish hockey. I quit while I was ahead. Sooner or later, I was going to fall under the shadow of a wicked batch of dark and dismal Swedish karma. I'd spin out of control after a vicious losing streak. The next thing I know, I'm dropping two dimes on Nykopings against IF Sundsvall just to break even. I knew absolutely nothing about Swedish hockey, yet I was betting on it. I couldn't even watch the games to sweat my bets. And why did I bet? Because I could.

As the saying goes... action is action.

I discovered that the more poker that I play, the less that I gamble otherwise. And vice versa, the less poker that I play, the more gambling I engage in. Like there's some specific quotient inside my body that I must be doing some sort of gambling at all times, otherwise I'll explode.

Perhaps deep down, way down inside the hallways of my mind, where those existentialist thoughts fester, that the reason I'm gambling is not to win or not to lose. But rather to give something meaningless.... meaning. For example, just a few months ago, I had no concept of the Swedish HockeyAllsvenskan League. Those games were utterly meaningless to me. But as soon as I wagered £100 on the game, it has meaning. It has a purpose. And more importantly, I have a purpose.

That's a punk-ass way of admitting that I'm frightened and cannot figure out why the hell I'm here, so I'm recklessly gambling in order to feel what it's like to be alive.

There's nothing quite like that moment of pure ecstasy when time slows down and your entire fate is determined by a single free throw...

or one pitch...

or one penalty kick...

or a field goal attempt...

or even from the turn of a card.

Addicts shoot junk into their veins to attain that rush. Nymphomaniacs fuck their brains out to hit that high. Yogis mediates for days straight to become one with the universe. And we can get that same exact feeling by gambling.

Or maybe I'm just addicted to the rush and I justify my entire degenerate behavior on a bullshit philosophical quest? Maybe it's both?

"In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen," said William S. Burroughs. He was a functioning addict and well-known junkie who lived into his 80s.

I need to gamble. If not sports betting, then online poker. I've plaed everyday since I've been back from Australia. I can't seem to turn a profit on PokerStars so I've been lingering in the shadows of Full Tilt. But there's not enough full ring limit hold'em tables running on FT and I end up on PokerStars playing 10/20 and 15/30.

Maybe the players are better? Or maybe they are worse?

Maybe I just suck at poker or my stars are not aligned this month? Maybe I need my charts read again by that hippie chick in Seattle that I used to buy mushrooms from?

Bottom line, I'm not as profitable on PokerStars. I found myself hitting and running at short-handed limit hold'em (which I don't like playing) on FT at odd hours because that's the only 8/16 or 10/20 games running. The variance is so tremendous and the swings are huge. After I log off of FT, I don't feel satisfied. I get that same feeling after I eat Chinese Food. Sure I ate... but I'm still hungry.



I have a relentless appetite for action. I'm such a fuckin' stone cold junkie that I quickly fire up PokerStars to try my luck again at the full ring tables. Sometimes limit is too boring and too slow and I drift over and play PLO to get some real action. I had a couple of blah sessions of PLO and not feeling great about my game. My big draws have not been hitting and I've been getting felted more often than I'd like.

Alas, I'm stuck at PokerStars this week as I'm sucked into a weird cycle of reluctance and indecision. I don't want to play there, but it's the only place where I can find a game I want, but I end up losing there, so maybe that's not my game. All of this circular logic makes me dizzy.

Maybe I should just bet on basketball? It's so much simpler.

Game selection is always important over the long run. That's what I've been told by pros. That's what I've read in books. That's even the advice I give to beginners. Even in the short run, game selection is key. Sometimes my game plan is called fish selection. That's when I log on and find my favorite fish playing at a table, I begin to salivate and quickly join the waiting list for that game. I chase the fish. I hunt them down. Shit, someone is going to felt those snot-nosed minstrels eventually. It might as well be me.

I've been running well since I returned from Australia. Nothing too exciting to report aside from playing a lot of 3/6 and 5/10 HORSE on both Stars and FT. I usually sit down during Razz and then I'll sit out during O8 or if I do play O8, I'm playing super super tight. It's my weakest game and there's no reason for me to bleed chips during that level.

Enjoyed playing Stud (the game I started playing in casinos back in 1994) and even Razz. I used to loathe Razz. Well, I still do. I dig it when I'm making my hands. But I'm driven insane when I'm catching brick after brick after brick. It's a love-hate relationship and at times is just as volatile as Sid Vicious & Nancy Spungen's star-crossed love affair including the knives and heroin.

I've discovered that I make my most money in HORSE cash games during Razz and Stud levels. The best thing about HORSE is that at any given time, you're playing against someone who is possibly playing their weakest game. Mistakes happen more frequently during mixed games and that's how you make money... by taking advantage of your opponents mistakes. Over the long run that's profitable, but over the short run, you're susceptible to a lot of bad beats.

By the way, I played in the Mookie on Wednesday. I finished in 40th place out of 112 or so. I won a pot early when I flopped a set of nines. Then I took some chips off of Waffles. I busted a player (sorry I forgot who and I'm too lazy to look at the hand history) to get most of my chips. He raised from the CO and I called from the big blind with Q-7. The flop was Q-7-x. I checked and so did he. The turn was an Ace. I bet the pot and he moved all in with Big Slick. I quickly called. My big blind special held up and I was in good shape.

By the end of the first break, I was in the Top 10 in chips. Then I lost a monsterpotten. It would have put me into the chiplead. JoeMav raised 3x BB UTG and I woke up with Aces in the small blind. Everyone folded to me and I jammed for almost 12x the BB. He called with 10-10. The flop was 9-7-6. I moved all in and he called. The turn was an Ace and I had a set. He still had outs to a gutshot and one of them spiked on the river. I thought I was out, but had like 30 chips left. I doubled up three times on weak hands but ended up finishing in 40th place.

Lastly, Miami Don is hosting a Big Game this Sunday. It's part of AlCantHang's BBT2 series where you can win a seat to the Aussie Millions. There's other weekly blogger events also involved including Mondays at the Hoy, The Mookie, and the Riverchasers. All of those events are hosted at Full Tilt.

Since I'm contractually obligated to cover the Aussie Millions, I'm not trying to win a seat. I'm pretty much donating to the cause. I will try to play as many events as I can, time permitting over the next several weeks. If you'd like to play in any of those tournaments listed and don't have a Full Tilt account, you can simply download Full Tilt.
Tournament: Blogger Big Game
When: Sunday, November 18th, 21:30 ET
Where: Full Tilt
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $69+6 or Tier II token
Password: donkey

Tournament: Mondays at the Hoy
When: Every Monday. 10pm ET
Where: Full Tilt
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $24+2
Password: hammer

Tournament: The Mookie
When: Every Wednesday. 10pm ET
Where: Full Tilt
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $10+1
Password: vegas1

Tournament: Riverchasers Online Poker Tour
When: Every Thursday. 21:00 ET
Where: Full Tilt
Game: NLHE Deepstack
Buyin: $10+1

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

No comments:

Post a Comment