Once upon a time.....
Sunday, April 29, 2007
........... there was an older guy that liked to play on-line poker. He began playing on the free money side of Ultimate Bet and fancied himself a pretty good player. He had watched the endless replays of the final table of the WSOP circa 2003 and had adopted the style of one "Action" Dan Harrington.
Harrington, known by those who actually know, is a fairly loose, aggressive player, however, during this particular tournament, his play was highlighted by "the company who shall remain nameless" as a tight, rockish player. This viewer was already enthralled by poker and watching Harrington basically fold to 3rd place, had an impact on him as a player. He immediately adopted this "rock" style and doggedly set out to prove its' worth.
After a couple of unsuccessful real money deposits, he finally made a deposit stick and started winning a bit. He had worked his $50 stake up to around $250 when, one night out of the blue, he entered a $10 + 1 MTT with 800 or so runners. Long story short, he won the thing and was now sitting on more bankroll (around $1100) than he thought could ever be possible simply by playing poker on-line.
He also had a new found confidence is his self-described "rockish" strategy, patterned almost exclusively off of "Action" Dan Harrington. In the meantime, poker exploded everywhere and there were more televised poker events going on all the time. Watching everything on TV with great zeal, this particular player soon learned that the "Action" part of Dan's nickname came because he was not really a rockish player at all, but more of a loose aggressive player, much like some of the so-called "ass-hats" this player bumped into on a regular basis playing on-line.
About this time, this player, who had entirely too much time on his hands at work, discovered a few "poker blogs." By complete accident one day, he came across Chris Halverson, Professional Poker Player's site and was off and running. He clicked on links endlessly, all day long and read everything on everybody's site. It opened his eyes to a ton of differenet things, but mainly it was the community that interested him the most. He somehow thought that through his writing, he might be able to convey strategy and through a blog of his own, he could become a part of this seemingly tight-knit community.
Things went off without a hitch and through bloggers like Jordan at HighOnPoker, Maudie and DuggleBogey, this "blogger" quickly became an accepted member of this little community. He played live with Maudie and Duggle one time and quickly realized what type of people he was dealing with here. Normal folks, just like you or I, was the way he would describe it to his wife.
Many, many friendships were made, too many in fact to list here, over the next few months that have turned into the last few years now. He made a trip to Vegas this past December, with the help of another invisible internet friend, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions he had ever made. He met and slung chips with people that he had been reading for nearly three years and, though he was a bit in awe of the entire experience, he certainly made the most of that three day bender and made more good friends than he could have ever imagined.
Through all this time, he continued to slave away at playing poker on-line on an almost nightly basis. He had fancied himself a winning player up to this point and basically, with all the PSO bonuses and the whoring opportunities out there that he took advantage of, he was certainly ahead of the game.
Then came the slump of 2006. He went through a three month stretch of playing losing poker and it was eating him up inside. Finally, after the longest three month of his life, constant whining and harping on his blog and numerous "breaks" from the game, he turned it around. He went on a SNG-only diet and played 100 SNG's and finally turned his game around. He thought he had it all figured out...........until now.
Now, he sits at his computer at night and scratches his head on a consistent basis. WTF could he have done differently in THAT hand? His answers are mostly "not a god-damn thing," with the occasinal "I'm such a donkey" thrown in for good measure. His play is sub-standard, his luck is just plain poor and his overall outlook is mostly cloudy all.the.freaking.time. He's in a funk and he knows it, but he has no clue how to get out of it.
Overall, his life is good. He has a great family and just about anything in the world that he could want for, he has. He has great friends, real-life and invisible internet included, and he couldn't be happier with that situation. He has enough money on-line to continue to play poker, his passion, on an almost nightly basis, but, at least for now, his desire to play is being sapped out of him on a continual basis. It feels as if the life is literally being sucked out of him every single time he sits down to play.
You know when you are running good and flop a set and your opponent is betting into you? Those situations, again when you are running good, that just scream "Get all your chips in the middle." And, you do, and, your opponent calls, and, your hand holds up. Right now, IF he flops a set, there is always a flush draw and his immediate thought is "How do I not lose all my chips when this fawker's flush fills on the river?" And, you bet, and, he raises all-in, and, you HAVE to call, and, you do, and, the flush fills on the river and your soul is crushed again. That is how it is running for him right now, just plain bad.
This man has heart though, more heart, he figures, than most out there playing this game, with the exception of his invisible internet buddies and bloggers. He doesn't think about quitting, because quitting has never been an option for this guy. He still has a passion for poker and he still has a passion for his blog and he doesn't feel like giving either of those things up any time soon.
The poker games are really starting to get good again, in his mind, and now is no time to run away and hide. Now is the time to step up and get back into the fray and teach these donkeys a lesson or ten. It's just that, after yet another horrid suck-out, he usually logs off and goes to bed, rather than firing up another game and continuing to run bad.
He is in a very bad place right now, but he thinks that just maybe, the tide is starting to turn. Oh, he did bubble out of a two-table SNG last night with another of his good friends, Katitude, but, for the most part, his play was good and really, he didn't even get sucked out on in that one, he just ran out of time. Rather than experimenting with new strategies and different ideas about how to play this game, he has retreated into his old, comfortable shell and, if anything, he is playing even tighter now than he did before. It might be good and it might be bad, especially in blogger tournaments, but it is what he knows and no matter how much he discusses loosening up, it is NOT his game and he knows that. His Daddy used to tell him "stick with what got you here" when he would talk about trying something different and, you know what? His Daddy was right more times than this particular guy would like to admit.
So, bad places be damned. Suckouts be damned. Breaks be damned. This guy is sucking it up, getting back in the game and is going to continue to play the game the way he has always played it, so be forewarned. You can steal his blinds for an entire tournament, except for that ONE HAND.
I wish the guy luck, cause lord knows he could use some right now.
Until next time, he folds.
posted by GaryC @ 5:53 PM, ,
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
This term, a term of affection from us, was used for that chick at the bar that was always alone. She wasn't quite dating material, if you know what I mean, but was always there and almost always "available." I'll reference an old country song here, just because I know you love it when I do:
"The girls all get prettier at closing time."
When we were struggling a bit in the "love life" department, we went off to the bar in search of someone to break that slump and get us back in a groove. It didn't always work, but on occasion, it worked like a charm.
I am searching for my own personal slumpbuster right now. I'm in a bit of a slump at the poker tables, on this here blog and just pretty much in life, as well. I'm struggling inside with a number of personal issues and, at least at this point, there doesn't seem to be any clear, definitive answers to any of my questions.
My poker play has been poor for a couple of months now, with no signs of significant improvement on the horizon. Oh, I have those moments of clarity every now and then, but the next night those are gone and replaced by doubts and more questions.
This blog has been languishing as well. My writing continues to get done every day, it just sounds like the exact same re-hashed crap when I get home and ends up getting deleted. I am trying to "write" myself out of this slump, but obviously, that isn't going as well as I would like either. I don't plan on giving it up, but it is certainly a struggle lately.
For some reason, 41 is kicking my ass, personally. I thought that once I got past the 40th birthday, it was all downhill from there, but it has gotten even worse as I entered my 41st year. At first, I thought it was a bit of a mid-life crisis, but I have since ruled that out. I think it is a combination of things really, but I cannot put my finger on it exactly and it is bugging the hell out of me. I don't want to get a divorce or go out and buy a sports car, but there is something there, deep down and under the surface that is just gnawing at me every day.
I have started to see an increased loss of patience at work, as well. I have never been known as a patient man, but lately, I have had a very short fuse when dealing with dumb asses.......and I am surrounded by dumb asses all.freaking.day and every.freaking.day! My day would not be complete if some numb-nut didn't walk back to my office, trying their best to push some of their work into my space.
It sounds more and more like a whine-fest here, so I am cutting it short today. I'm not in the best of spots, but I've been in worse and I will get through it, one way or another. Come on out to the Mookie tonight if you're game, but be warned, bring your A game or don't waste your time. This crowd has no patience for poor play and somebody will be waiting to bust your ass.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:30 PM, ,
No Traction And No Action
Thursday, April 19, 2007
After playing the Mookie last night with 68 of my closest invisible internet friends, a thought happened upon my drunken ass:
"How am I supposed to get action in these things if I am playing 4% of the hands dealt?"
Hmm, I have long known that my basic poker strategy is entirely too tight to do any good in these blogger events, hell, I have called them -EV before for that very reason. Still, I have had a fair share of good finishes in these events and it is really hard to teach an old dog new tricks, you know?
To that vain, I will be considering myself a work in progress for the time being. Loosening up is something that I have dealt with time and time again since I started playing poker and it is something that I frankly am not very good at. However, after a monstrous cold deck during the first hour that saw me pick up exactly 4 hands worthy of a pre-flop raise, and then continuing to gain no traction during the second hour, I have come to the conclusion that I have to get involved in a few pots early on if I am going to have any chance of going deeper into these things.
Like I said above, I had four decent hands in the first hour. I dutifully raised them up each time, either a pot-sized raise or 4X the big blind depending on my position and each time, every single person folded and I was rewarded with the blinds only. There is no way to gain any traction in a tournament by folding until you get a solid starting hand, raising and watching everybody fold because they know what you are doing. Enough of that, starting tonight, it might not resemble "new" and "improved" but it is certainly going to be "different" and hopefully "better."
I think my problems lie in the fact that I have had some success in tournament play with people that I don't know because I get no credit for a hand even though I have folded three straight orbits. The people I generally play against don't pay enough attention to their opponents to know any better. They are playing their hand and their hand only. It has become increasingly more apparent that the bloggers that we face on an almost nightly basis ARE paying attention. Even the new ones that don't know me from Adam are getting away from their hands when I come in for a raise.
Truth be told, I've tried to loosen up before to mostly disastrous results, but something has to change, it might as well be me pushing a flush draw instead of being called by the flush draw when I'm holding top set. Lord knows that hasn't worked out lately for me either.
If you are around and have a mind to, I will be joining the Riverchasers tournament tonight, hosted by our Soco loving hippy. I still have a slight lead in their POY standings and I plan to try and hold the top spot for the rest of the year. I know that would be a monumentous task for this Low Limit Donkey, but a guy can dream, no? Who would have thought that after 10 events I would even be in the top 50? Certainly not the originators of the BBT.
I am deeply saddened that I will not be joining in the hijinx in Austin this weekend. As usual, my "best laid" plans went into the shitter and I am not headed south righ tnow to join some invisible internet friends for poker and golf. Damn the man.
I hope (and actually, I already know) that you all have a great time down there. Go ahead and check-raise some douchebag off their hand for me. If you have any doubt about which one is the douchebag, ask Mr. Dreamy before the check-raise.
Question for both of you that still stop by here on occasion:
Can anybody do a money swap with me? I need $$$ on Tilt and have money on Absolute. Let me know.
Until next time, I fold.......or hell, maybe I'll check raise.
This post is brought to you in part by this casino. Like bingo? Give it a try.
posted by GaryC @ 3:53 PM, ,
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Uber outages at Full Tilt last night?
Did anybody else experience the outages that I experienced last night? I was home from work early and had my sights set on winning a token for the MATH tourney and all of the sudden, the software went haywire. So, I left that tourney and promptly registered for another and blam, same thing. Of course, I log back on later and see that the tourney did go off as expected and I don't get to play. Bummer, probably for the best, but I did want to play last night.
Bowling league is officially over and my team limped home to a 9th place finish out of 16 teams. That was a two team swing in the last three or four weeks, so we turned it on and made ourselves at least another $5 apiece by moving up in the standings. I have to head out there tonight to pick up an distribute the money and I will be done with the bowling alley until next fall.
The summer months are approaching quickly and with all we have going on between karaoke, vacation and the lake place, I am very excited for it to finally arrive. My softball vacation is just three short weeks away and the boys and I are already starting to get ready for that. I will start my packing process some time in the next two weeks and will be ready to roll out of here and head north as soon as the opportunity arrives.
The next few weekends are going to be filled with actual work down at the lake place. We have to prepare the old trailer and have it ready to be moved out and then get ready to have the new one moved in, hopefully all in the same weekend. I doubt that we can make that work out as perfectly as it will have to be, but we are all excited about getting the new trailer in down there and actually having some room to move around.
My jet-ski's are still at the House of Kawasaki and I am dreading the phone call from their service department. I know it is their busiest time of the year and they probably haven't gotten to them yet anyway, but if they have, the news can't be good. I'd like to get that handled as soon as possible, as well, so I can get them back down to the lake before we leave on vacation.
Poker will probably be slight for the next several months, although, when I am working and staying at home during the week, I should still be able to play in the weekly tournaments on a regular basis. The little break that I have tried to enforce upon myself these last few days has been more of a temporary road block than anything else. I haven't completely done without my fix, but I have certainly changed things up and slowed down quite a bit as well. I think it will do my game good and I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things in the regular tourneys.
That's all I have for today, until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:05 PM, ,
Saturday, April 14, 2007
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posted by GaryC @ 8:25 AM, ,
Break? Um, Not So Much...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Well, so much for my "self-inposed exile." He, he.
I've never been very good at sticking to forced breaks and I knew going into this one that Wednesday night it would be very difficult to stay away from the Mookie. And indeed it was.
I played in the MATH on Monday night with brilliantly unspectacular results. Basically, the same exact, not-even-middle-of-the-road results that I have been experiencing on a regular basis for the last two or three weeks. I bombed out in the upper half of the pack, not even sniffing making the points for the challenge. My play has become so predictable and so poor as of late that I can almost tell you what is going to happen as soon as I see my hand and decide my course of action.
Last night, I got home from work and did a little messing around with the karaoke machine, loading my two newest discs in and finishing up inputting all the new songs into our book. It is massive and we still have a lot of editing to do before they are ready, but the hard part is certainly over now. With the addition of nearly 10,000 songs, our books have swelled to almost 200 pages, but once we delete all the duplicate song titles, it should be much more manageable.
I took a break around 7:00, right when my Rangers game started and I logged on to Full Tilt to check out the lobby. Of course, they were on their way to another great turnout of 75+ people and I think there were around 55 or so when I checked. AWFUKIT! I registered for the tournament, convincing myself that as long as I didn't play any other cash games or SNG's, my so called break would still be in tact, minus the time and money spent on the Mookie.
Of course, at 11:30, when the wife was ready for bed and I was still playing at the final table, my break doesn't really resemble much of a break any more.
That's right, I made a final table in the Mookie for a change of pace. I can't even remember the last time I made it that far, but suffice it to say, it has been a looooooooong time. So, what, pray tell, made all the difference???
I can tell you, I played my ass off last night. Rewind, I can tell you, I got luckier than shit the entire evening. Rewind, really it was more of a combination of the two things above, as I really didn't play alot differently than I normally play, but, for a change, I did win my coin flips and I did get luckier than shit at least once with A-K.
Big slick was bery, bery good to me last night.
I won two classic coin flips against under pairs and then, on the luckiest hand of the night for me, got it all in just short of the final table with A-K against.........ugh......K-K. a miracle three-outer on the turn showed up and I was at least an average stack headed toward the final table and into the money. The Fat Guy was simply kicking everybody's ass right and left and thankfully, I was to his right, so it made my decisions pretty straightforward at the final table.
I don't really remember any hands in particular, other than going out with K-10, an uber-short stack and a prayer from the button. TFG found Presto in the small blind and they held up and I was out in 5th.
Very pleased with the outcome, even though I really didn't do anything any differently. I am also happy to finally be "on the board" in the blogger challenge. That was a big-ass monkey on my back. Sorry for the slow start, J, I will try to pick up the pace.
The "break" will probably continue through Sunday due to some happenings around here. We have to sing on Friday night and then we are heading down to the lake place for some spring cleaning and preparation for moving our new trailer in down there.
That's right. The GCoxes done been to Wal-Marts y'all. Actually, we've done been to Trailer World down on the south side of Oklahoma City and have bought up in the mobile home world. Our little 2 bedroom, 1 bath trailer will soon be replaced by a 4 bedroom, 2 bath double wide on our lot. Oh, it will still have tires and wheels under it, but it should give us the opportunity to have multiple sets of friends come down to spend the weekend with us, rather than just one set of friends, like in the past. I am hoping we get it moved in before Okie-Vegas, as well, that way anybody that is in town can stay the night at the trailer, rather than the motel.
Speaking of Okie-Vegas, I have not heard a peep from anybody and it is certainly time to start making those plans and booking those cheap flights to OKC.
23Skiddoo is the only person that I have seen that has mentioned already purchasing tickets and I think he arrives on Wednesday, the 18th. I know that Kat and her husband will be arriving some time early in the week after a cross-country motorcycle adventure from Canada down to the great midwest. Anyone else that is interested or intending on being here, please let me know in the comments.
The dates are July 18th - 22nd if you are interested and if you would like to arrive earlier in the week, let me know that too, because I can arrange to have the entire week off, if anyone is interested.
That's all I got today and to steal a line from a world famous bacon lover extraordinairre:
Hiatus: I'm on one.
Til next week, I sit out.
posted by GaryC @ 3:59 PM, ,
Monday, April 09, 2007
I tried to begin this break last night, but of course, I couldn't fight the pull to play the MATH. So, with basically the same results of the past three or four weeks, I am on break.
With the current state of my game, I am taking a week off from all things poker. I have tried to continue and "play through" this so-called slump, but the results have just gotten worse, so I am taking a break and concentrating on other things for a little while.
That does not mean that I won't be posting this week, quite the opposite actually. I will be trying to post this week at least as much as I have been posting the past few months, which is really only two or three times a week anyway, so that shouldn't be that big a job. How's that? I just started this paragraph with the longest run-on sentence in my short history. See, I already feel refreshed and challenged.
Seriously, though, I just feel like I need to step back, maybe try a little re-reading of some books that I have and get my mind cleared before jumping back into the fray. I am nowhere near finished as a player, I love the game too damn much and I enjoy being a part of this community too damn much, as well. So, quitting is certainly not an option, at least for me.
My play has been poor of late and there are a number of things that I need to change personally in order to get to a place where I feel comfortable again. Obviously, if I knew what those things were, I would change them immediately and get on with the business, but at this point, I am dumbfounded. I hope to discover a few things about myself and about my game and perhaps I will be watching some of the blogger tourneys this week, but for the time being (probably just a week) I plan on NOT playing any poker at all.
I've said this in the past and never been true to my word, but with a few side projects that I am working on, plus some things around the house I need to work on, I plan on sticking to this break. It will be at least next Monday's MATH before I plan on playing again, so, in the meantime, I hope everybody else stays profitable and has a great week.
Until next time, I sit out.
posted by GaryC @ 3:10 PM, ,
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Poker is going bad.
I'm running bad.
Even more disturbing, I am playing bad. Poor choices pre-flop, combined with poor choices post-flop leads to extremely poor showings in everything I have decided to play lately.
After making a "great" read last night, I pushed three Queens into a full house and was ousted early from the Mookie. I led out on a Queen high flop and was re-raised, telling me all I needed to know to get away from the hand......but, no, I am not that smart. For some reason, I had A-Q stuck in my head (with me holding K-Q) and I just couldn't see him limping into the pot with A-Q. Of course, he had 9-9 for the flopped set and the turned full house and IGHN. Well played to TroubleCat and a piss-poor example of my play recently.
I mentioned yesterday that I was going to make a change in my own attitude and see if I couldn't effect some real changes in my life and my mind-set solely from more positive thinking. Apparently, I meant to wait until today to start those changes, because any changes I made certainly did not affect my play last night.
It is difficult when you are being cold-decked, running bad and playing bad all at the same time. It sucks the will to play right out of me when I sit back, wait for a premium hand and then completely fuck up and either A) don't get paid off or B) allow somebody to stay around and beat your ass in the end. My "luck" has certainly not been good of late, however, the reasons for that are as much my fault as they are any Poker Gods or Mistress Variance.
Changes are coming, I can feel them in my bones. The fact that I had been on a good run for a few months weighs heavy on me as I ponder how in the world I am continuing to go out of the blogger tournaments before the points are awarded. I made the points in a ton of tournaments, something like 12 or more in a row, but lately, as in the past 10 days or so, I have not even sniffed the points, let alone a final table. I think I am going to fire up a $1 SNG tonight when I get home and just go completely ape-shit on the table. This will probably lead to either a fast exit or a huge chip lead, but I need to change something up because whatever I have been doing lately ain't working.
I do plan on playing in the RIverchasers event tonight also. My tenure at the top of that leaderboard is certainly coming to an end if I continue to play the same way, so hopefully I can discover something about myself tonight and put it to good use at the tables.
I have a new sponsor on this here blog as well. Please click on the link or not, it's up to you.
"Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and our Community is the place for it."
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:48 PM, ,
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I've talked quite a bit about how my attitude effects my play when I sit down at the poker table, whether it be virtual or real world tables. Today, I am taking a step forward in my Real-Life attitude and putting a bunch of shit behind me.
I have decided that today is the day that I am not going to let a laundry-list of life-effecting bullshit get me down any more. I am moving on and getting over myself all at the same time.
We've recently had a number of experiences that have had me in a pretty sorry frame of mind of late and I am tired of being bitter and in a bad mood all the time, so I am going to do something about it, starting today.
-My wife's grandmother died a little over a month ago.
-Our vehicles were both broken into sitting in my own driveway a week ago.
-The air conditioner went out at our lake place.
-Work has been whipping my ass for a solid couple of months lately.
But, I'm through with feeling sorry for myself and through with bitching and moaning about how tough things are right now. Fuck it, the only way I am going to start feeling good again is to just start feeling good again, so the hell with all that shit.
My attitude has been poor for quite some time, due to a number of circumstances that are completely out of my control. The only way I see to change things is to handle the things that are within my control and to not sweat the crap that I cannot control. So, starting today and this evening, I am going to be getting back to feeling good about myself and feeling good about my life, because the worries and the hassles are simply not worth it. Fuck it, I feel good and I plan to continue to feel good, so if you have a problem with that, I suggest you step the hell out of my way.
Whooo, that's much better. I want everybody to know that I appreciate your support and your kind words. Thanks for hanging in there with me through a tough stretch.
Full Tilt has decided to reward me for all those "In The Points" finishes with a nice little bonus sitting in my bonus account. Unfortunately, they also have rewarded me with a string of cold decks, flushes that don't get there and 2nd best hands during the bonus-clearing time that I have put in lately. I just cannot seem to win a freaking hand.
I also gagged up a buy-in at $25NL on Absolute last night when I ran K-K into the ever popular A-A. I can't remember how many times this has happened to me lately, but it has been a bunch. I honestly don't see myself playing it any differently ever in this situation. I have just come to grips with the fact that when it happens, I am going broke, save a miracle two-outer.
I did manage to stack a shorty last night when he limped in with Aces and did not re-raise my pre-flop raise with the Hilton Sisters. Lucky for me their triplet showed up on the turn and allowed Mr. Slow Play to gift me a half a stack back.
The play that I have run into lately has been just short of atrocious. Playing a $25 Cap table at Full Tilt last night, I moved all in with A-K s00ted after four people had limped into my Big Blind. I got three callers with..........are you ready for this?????
Q-8 s00ted (my s00t by the way)
I guess they were all runnning the math and figured their implied odds were astronomical in this situation. I didn't mind quadrupling up right there though.
The shove here isn't a typical play for me, but I had been at this table for a while and these guys were really bad players. I expected one call here, but certainly not three and when all three of them called, I didn't think there was any way in hell I would win the hand.
Q-8 guy shows two pair, Aces and Eights.(Dead Man's Hand)
J-10 guy shows one pair, Aces.
K-Q guy shows one pair, Aces.
Hero shows three of a kind, Aces and drags the pot.
Pretty lucky play, but it wasn't for alot of money and I "just felt" like I was ahead of all of them. It is certainly something I am going to have to look at incorporating into my game, when the time is right and I have a good read on the other donkeys, er, I mean players.
I will be hanging out at the Mook tonight, so come bust the super-donkey. I won't be offering up any bounties, but if you bust me, you busted the tightest blogger on the planet.
Have a good week and until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 3:37 PM, ,
Monday, April 02, 2007
Thanks to everybody for the kind words and actions. You know who you are and I really appreciate it.
I will probably be playing a bit this week, but work is busy, we shall see. The family is out of town this weekend and I will be home alone all weekend, Welcome home Mistress Pokah!
Have a good week, I might have an update on how the insurance company is already trying to fuck us.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 6:23 PM, ,