Thursday, February 26, 2009

Looking for Solutions

One of these days, I'm a-gonna recapture my magic at the table. I thought I had turned the corner earlier this month, but an extended downswing in the last week has me right back to square one.

I'm also going to switch up the sites I play on, although its been rare of late when I've had the chance to play. Since I'm on this slide at Stars and Merge recently, and I'm saving my meager Tilt 'roll for some of those BBT4 thingies, I plan on sampling several poker tournaments at Bodog in the near future. As always, the overlays there are nice, and there's something to be said about factoring in overlay existence as part of proper game selection.

Friday, February 13, 2009

There Comes a Time

The poker world is quite volatile. I'm sipping a few beers this evening, playing a couple of SNGs out of boredom. Not really enjoying them. For the first time in my life, I really don't want much to do at the moment with poker. Dreaming of other things, because somewhere over the last however long, it just became the gig.

I had thought about moving out to Vegas. I've decided against that for now, in the midst of a lot of the economic hardships facing the world. It's not a good town for me anyway; I tend to walk around with a low-grade agitation usually exacerbated by the workers who treat their customers' money with a sense of entitlement. In five days in the Gold Coast, I walked out on two different would-be meals and a drink due to utterly non-existent service. It's their loss, I figure, because if I get even halfway decent service, I tip really well.

It's still one up on last year when my meal at Ping Pang Pong featured a side of Chicken Fried Hair.

This year's stay featured three days of intermittent internet due to a broken cable, but at least they were good enough to make a bill adjustment. Better than the fuckknobs at Budget Rent-A-Car. I'll share the best scam ever with y'all here. I ordered a special debit card for use with my rental car, and I received the card I was pleased to discover that it had rental collision insurance, allowing one to escape (without penalty) the $23-and-change Budget wants to pad the daily bill with.

So I try to decline, and I'm then handed a special $39 "downtime" daily charge that Budget has instituted in Vegas and four other cities, which allows them to bill for time a car is disabled and unable to be rented. This fee, of course, is waived if you buy the $23 insurance from Budget and not use your card waiver.

Can you say "scam"? I thought you could. Interesting that this special downtime charge is not mentioned anywhere on the Budget website.

I looked at a few apartments while there and was pretty disinterested with what I saw. The one-bedrooms within a couple miles of the Strip are crap and the better ones farther south are expensive. Yet another incentive to not move there.

I was disappointed at how few people I ran into that I knew. I met up with Schecky and Harold Check on Friday at the Bellagio, and I guess Michalski saw me playing at some point. I ran into Michalski two days later at the WSOP Academy when I bopped over to say hi to the folks I know there -- Brandon and Alex and Mark. Had a nice chat with Michalski but that was about it for the weekend.

The best angleshoot I saw on the weekend was from an Aussie guy named Graham in Thursday's event. He tried to run a bluff but ran into a rivered flush from a guy who wasn't going away. This Graham guy bet the river, was called, said "You win," mucked his hand, and convinced the newbie that he indeed had to show his hand (7-5 of the flush-making hearts) to claim the pot. LOL that. He called the clock on me in a different hand a little later, after about 60 seconds of pondering in a big hand, flashed his aces at me after I folded, then had the audacity to ask what I'd folded.

Nice try, sir. Try that somewhere else. I had a pure math question since I'd seen the flop with 7-7 and the flop came 8-6-5. It was a close decision but a correct fold, which I noodled out about the same time he clocked me. Doubly correct considering the weaker players at the table.

So I waited most of the minute anyway. He turned out to be a decent enough guy to talk to but I was secretly pleased when he went to the rail in a 50,000 pot the next day, when we ended up at the same table again. All in preflop, his aces were cracked by A-K. Karma that, baybee.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Slip Slidin' Away

Some days are rough. Yesterday was a real bad one and today's likely to be about the same. I've enjoyed playing in the DSE the past two days but it's an omen of greater things -- my luck is clearly nowhere at the moment.

The first day I had a table with at least five horrid players, and a couple of those were replaced as they departed with still other easy marks. Alas, my card distribution was just too poor to overcome. In nearly six hours of play, I saw exactly one pocket pair over eights -- kings, which got no action -- and found A-K exactly twice. I scrambled and stole and picked spots and played hard with no chips all day, and finally went out in Level 9 (40-minute levels) when, in the small blind with a measly 9,000 in chips, I correctly picked off a button steal from a woman with a suited 5-3. (She could play, but was in the minority here.) I had A-8 off so it was a likely call anyway, but I thought it was good all along. Of course, the big blind then wakes up with kings....

Yesterday, I had better cards but a much tougher table, filled with visiting internet pros and tough young locals. I hung around for two hours essentially at par, moved up to about 20,000 shortly after the first break, made an overaggressive play and got picked off for about 5,000, got short-stacked, doubled through, picked off an even shorter stack, then, on my third table of the day, got bad-beated to the door when some really fat slobby donkey tried to push me off my big blind with J-6 suited (clubs). I'm fat, and this guy had me by a good 150. He jammed, I had 10-10 and snap-called, and watched the board flop a jack, the turn bring a ten (clubs), and the river the stupid four of clubs to knock me out.

This was some kind of clown, in the sense it's hard to imagine anyone wanting to be married to him. He had a half-full water bottle and a used kleenex in my drink holder. He fetched his water bottle -- after I requested he move it -- but left the kleenex behind. So I banged the cup holder free from underneath the table, dumped his snotball catcher with a bit of a show and moved on; he's not tilting me if that's his intent, but I don't mind him thinking that if that's his plan.

It was about a lap later when he crapped out his flush. Still, I take one grain of solace. I'd peeked early that hand, as I'm wont to do about one hand per lap after listening to Joe Navarro's seminar about reading other opponents. No way Mr. Snotblubber makes a move on me if he gets a read I'm sitting on an auto-play hand.

As for the cards themselves, not much I can do. And it was again Level 9, by the way. I finished something like 95 or 100 out of 295.

But a real bad mood for me -- no more poker for sure this trip. It's just general life tilt. When I get real real down certain songs come to mind, and I'm reminded this morning of a passage from Paul Simon's "Slip Slidin' Away":

"I know a woman
Became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day
Ain't got no rain
She said a bad day's when I lie in bed and think of things that might have been"

One of the best songwriters of our time. Exuent stage left.