Friday, December 5, 2014

534 954 34665

Anybody care to guess what those numbers are? In order they are the number of hours I have played, the number of bets I have won, and the number of dollars I have won (obviously not a super great Run Good Ratio, since the lowest I ever play is 20/40) in the calendar year 2014.  Some other things have not gone very well (every person I stake just torches my money with impunity) so the year actually hasn't been that awesome, but I mean really.....are you kidding me?

Obviously I'm running super hot (that win rate cannot be sustainable), but at the same time I know for a fact that I am playing better in better games a much higher percentage of the time.  Back when I was a full-time pro I was routinely in situations where I felt I had to grind out a few more hours either because I hadn't played enough or was waiting out traffic or whatever.  I don't do that shit anymore.  If the game is bad or full of douche bags or I'm just not in the mood to play I simply quit.  And at the other end, I NEVER have to quit an amazing game to go spend time with Danielle.  The best game tend to break out Friday/Saturday/Sunday from 4pm to midnight (for obvious reasons) and those were times I almost NEVER got to play before.  Now?  I've had some 30 hour commerce weekends where I was just in unreal games the whole time.

There are some other factors at play.  I'm pretty much always sharp and always WANT to be there when I go play.  I am completely fearless now in every single game I play (which for some people would probably be bad but was definitely a detriment to my success previously).  And from a technical point of view I've spent a lot of hours in a half kill game, so the true bets/hour number is slightly skewed, and I am generally playing small games (very little merce 40+) which are  So I mean...yes I'm running super hot, but there are also a lot of valid reasons that my win-rate could and probably should be more than the .6 bets per hour or whatever I averaged over the course of my professional career.  Obviously it's not even close to 1.8, but is it 1.0?  1.3?  I don't know, but I'm guessing somewhere in there.  Johnny Baseball said something to me that was actually shared by I think Mitchman a while ago, and I think he was right.  When the game is good it's WAY better than you think, and when the game is bad it's WAY worse than you think.  If on average you're a 1 bet per hour winner, you're not 1.3 bets in good games and .7 bets in bad games.  It's more like 2.5 bets good games and break even in bad ones.  I think that's something everyone should really keep in mind.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


People are fucking losing their shit.  It's been raining for CLOSE TO THREE DAYS.  The Bank of America in Laguna Beach has wooden barricades up around their doors and ATMs for flood prevention (with a sign asking the homeless please to not take them presumably because you could build a fucking amazing lean to out of them....and if you're homeless in Laguna Beach 65 and raining gently is about as bad as it gets and would be when you started stealing shit for shelter instead of just napping casually on the beach under a blanket).  People are not going into work because of the weather.  And what I have to stress here above all else is that it's not really even raining remotely close to hard.  At all.  It's pretty much misting, occasionally sprinkling.  I wore sandals and shorts to work today and somebody looked at me like I was insane.  No, I'm not insane....however, I was rather cold when I stopped at Whole Foods to buy my stevia flavored ginger ale, cage free eggs, and thrice washed organic hearts of romaine lettuce.

Don't you judge, I needed supplies!  You likely haven't been in a storm like this since last Thursday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

White People Problems

So for lunch we have this truck that comes by called Lori's Kitchen.  Basically it's a dude with a cooler in a van with overpriced and not big enough sandwiches and some salads that really just cannot be consumed.  Usually I voyage out but today I was in the zone and just decided to get a brisket sandwich on a roll.  It was delicious but like 300 calories too little which I knew I'd pay for later.  I was enough food for lunch, but usually my lunch is split in half and second lunch happens at 3 or 4 and then I don't really eat dinner because I'm lazy and weigh 180 pounds someone I can stand to miss a few meals so what's wrong with yogurt for dinner!

Fast forward to ten minutes ago and I'm hungry and gonna be here like 2 more hours at least, so I decided to go foraging.  The fruit shipment just came yesterday so I walk to the secret baskets bananas already!  Gasp!  How do these people eat all the bananas so quickly!!  I settle for a pear, but really wanted to put peanut butter on something AND much to my delight there are some peanut M&Ms left (usually gone by noon but I suspect that not only is nobody here but people are trying to be good before the gorging) so I get a handful of those.  Then I walk over to the other kitchen (also no bananas as I suspected they always go first) but get myself a handful of saltine crackers in the little two cracker packs (maybe 8 crackers?) and scoop some peanut butter into a bowl (partially hydrogenated peanut butter though!).  At this point I have peanut butter and crackers, a pear and M&Ms.  That can't be consumed without coffee, right?  So I walk back to my desk, drop off my food and return with my mug and make myself a half caff with two keurig cups.  Yup, I'm THAT guy.

These are my problems.  These are the things that interrupt my existence.  in my defense Danielle brought a keurig machine to work and sat it next to her desk because the $6000 espresso machine Google installed was too far away.  And now their new building has a barista.  Like.  For real.  A fucking barista.  When I was going through my "quitting poker am I going back into software" crisis 15 months ago I jokingly said I could be the new Google barista and she looked me dead in the eye without missing a beat not realizing it was even supposed to be a joke (or not caring) and said "No way, you're not qualified for that job" and I was like "...."

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Somebody on 2p2 asked about the possible effects of a casino opening near Boston on the games at Mohegan and Foxwoods, and then specifically asked if some of the California people could pontificate on player pool mixing and the like since we are the only place really on Earth where you can actually choose WHICH casino you want to play 20/40 at on a given evening.  So here is kind of how it works here:

First of all there are a couple of outliers that I won't really include in the discussion.  Oceans down in Oceanside has 20/40 and 8/16 (so I hear) and a 40 game on Friday nights.  But it's 100 miles from the other LA County Casinos and really shouldn't be counted.  There are the Indian Casinos like Morongo and Pechanga, but again I have no clue what happens there.  There is Crystal Casino in LA which I have never set foot inside, and there is Hollywood Park which apparently has a 40/80 Omaha 8 or better game on the daily but no LHE above like 4/8 on a regular basis.  And there is Normandie which is down the street from the Hustler and apparently stole their 25/50 game for a little while at one point.  I don't think I'm missing anything but I could that leaves us with:

The Bike
The Gardens (formerly Hawaiian Gardens)

I doubt there are many people who have a higher min hours played among these four casinos than I do (I'm pretty sure I've played 1000+ at all four).  Now that I think about it I don't really know what I'm going to say here.  The player pools mix in various ways, based on a bunch of factors like what stakes are offered where, what times of day the games go, physical location, and who is barred/running good/bad or broke or whatever.  Generally speaking, however, I believe that more games is better for every casino.  Around here we have rampant price (read: rake) fixing, to the point that all the casinos implemented a rake increase on the same day a few months ago (they take a SEVENTH dollar if you see a river), with the exception of Hustler.  Apparently they didn't get the memo but increased the rake the next day.  The jackpots are mostly a joke (Hustler and The Bike don't rob you blind, The Gardens and Commerce do) and only Hustler does anything in the way of rakeback ($5/hour).  I guess my point is that more games and more options for players in general will force some of the idiots running these places (and they really are just stone cold idiots) to maybe not do something intelligent, but at a minimum DO SOMETHING, and as we all know (unless we live in Kansas and in that case GBUEO) mutations are the basis of natural selection.  At a fundamental level we need casinos just trying shit to try and make things better.

But on player pools....I think every case is different.  Hustler was very strong like a year ago, but now I hear they can't get even a third game down most nights (25/50) and that their game which used to break once a month now breaks in the middle of most nights (this could be because they bar players could be because I have actually overheard floor men telling other players that "he (Jesse) is bad for the game", not realizing that the reason they are about to spread a third game is that I have been sitting in the same seat for 7 hours and have single handedly buried EVERYONE and not nit-quit and therefore nobody has gotten up from my game since lunch time lol).  They seem to have lost their players to The Gardens, which is weird since those two places are pretty far about but sort makes sense because they are very similar (just one mid stakes game to play, all daisy chained must moves, etc).  The thing that you'll see in common with those two player pools is that most of the members have admitted that they simply cannot stand the toxicity at Commerce.

The Bike over the last few years has really just been kind of an oasis away from Commerce.  We had a nice 40/80 game there for a while, but it never got very strong.  Now they have a 20/40 half kill game that seems to just have its own little ecosystem, run from 10am to 2am everyday, and genreally just be a happy little game.  Again though, most of the players that go there do not play at commerce because....

Commerce is just a fucking circus.  You can play 20/40, 40/80, 1/2, 2/4, just about anything you want and there can literally be a dozen or more games running at once and everyone is a jerk (ok not everyone but really it's ugly).  But there are some people who just accept it....everytime I play there in the 20 game (or even the 40) it just occurs to me that everyone is so....freaking...miserable.  Like, I just don't get it.  At the bike people are gambling and having fun and drinking and in general a good time is had by all.  Less so at Hustler and The Gardens but for pure pound for pound misery commerce simply cannot be beat.

I have no idea what I just said but there is my two cents;  if you build another casino who knows what's going to happen to specific other games, but in general more options for players means more total games which is good.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Goodness Gracious

I never really intended for my blog to die.  It just sort of did....I always promised myself I would never write if it felt like work, and for the last few months simply everything has really felt like work.  At least that's the best way to describe it.  Lots of hilarious stuff has happened that has made me say to myself "self, you should blog about that" but I've just never gotten around to it.  Here then is a long winded and rambling and maybe entertaining update on my life, starting at...the end.

Friday night I somehow ended up playing 1/2 at commerce for 4.5 hours.  I got beat up pretty good (I lost about 40 bets), which was pretty disheartening but I mean whatever....I was in a great game (not a good texture for me but still a great game) in the best seat (I just kind of stole it once Kimbo Slice left and as an aside I think I'm going to Vegas to watch the final table cause I mean NEWWWWWWHOOOOOOUSSSSEEEEEEE is gonna get it done) and whatever.  Then my night started to get bad.  The whale went to the 2/4 game (yes there was a 2/4 going as well) and I tried to hold the game together for a bit, even playing 4 handed with juice, barry greinstein and a pretty big fish, but when the fish busted and a few 2/4 players came down I just left.  So it's almost 1am and I walk outside and it's pouring down rain.  For those of you who live in the regular world you don't understand that here in the zero-th world that is the SoCal bubble this is literally a 1/1000 event.  OK, fine, 40 mile drive at 1am in the rain.  Fine, I can handle this.  Shit, I need gas.  OK, I got this, arco is right over there fine....what the fuck the pump doesn't work?  I entered the wrong number OK fine I drive over to the other one and as I'm putting in the gas I cannot ignore the hissing sound coming from my tire.  Yes I ran over a nail/screw of some sort.  So at 1:30 in the morning with 5k in my car (in fairness it could have been 20) I'm changing a tire at an Arco pump (for the first time in my life...seriously I've never done it before).  I figured it out, drove home without incident on the donut, but what the fuck....stay hot kid.

Moving back slightly...I've played a good bit of poker this year (the LHE stats say 473 hours) and won pretty handily (667 bets, about 17k).  Obviously there are a few commerce 1/2 sessions I wish I could have back, but generally speaking I've just been running like god in the yellow chip games (put in a lot of hours at the Bike, Hustler, and even HG since I finally realized it is 20 minutes closer and if I'm only playing for 3 or 4 hours it really does make sense).  It's weird...on the one hand the money really no longer matters, but for a while I found that losses were hurting me even more.  I think I have that fixed tho, since the commerce 1/2 session didn't bother me at all.  The advantages of playing part time are simply amazing, and combining them with my generally ruthless mentality of trying to get all the money (for example I still seat change...I know lots of part time hobbyists who simply won't bother) has turned me into a fantastic yellow chip bully.  I quit when the game isn't worth it (I don't push for hours), I quit when I'm not having fun, and since I'm single now I can stay for long sessions when the game is amazing and I'm enjoying myself.  My focus is better since I play like 1/4th as much, and in general it's just...better.  Plus I haven't really been bothering to sit in the commerce 40, which is always good for your mental health.  Admittedly of late I've had a hard time sitting in games without a good friend, but that has been an issue for me since day 1 at Bay 101 when I'd intentionally table change to Pete's table. even though I knew it was costing me $10/hour.

What else?  I've closed on a duplex in PA and my dad and I are doing some cosmetic work on one unit and renting it out.  The big potato and I have formed an LLC and are going to buy 2 or 3 more small properties next summer I should have a nice little rental income stream going (most of which will go back into buying more rentals).  Having a job has made this possible, since nobody would ever loan me money as a professional poker player.  So that's good.

I still miss Danielle, like a lot, but that is what it is.  No sane person has told me it would be possible to get over an 11 year relationship in less than 1, so really have another 6 months before I should start being concerned.  It is getting easier, that's for sure.  There are things I really miss, and things that I realize were just preposterous.  What I really miss is the safety and comfort of a relationship, the sense of belonging.  I've always felt like an alien here in SoCal, and living alone at the beach hasn't really gone very far to ameliorate that.  But I press onward.

The gym has gone fantastically.  I have attempted lifting weights before in my life (several times), but never this seriously.  I've gained (get this) 27 pounds since the bottom of the weight loss bet I foolishly entered and weighed in for sometime in July.  Twenty.  Seven.  154 to to 181.  Some of that is water weight (ok actually a lot) but even with rounding error I've put on 15 pounds in 3 months or so, and I think I'm carrying it pretty well.  I've changed my diet a ton, avoiding carbs like the plague, and I am actually taking creatine (the science behind that stuff is actually pretty donates phosphate groups back to your depleted adp (adenozine (sp?) di-phosphate) to turn them back into atp (tri-phosphate) which is what your cells use for, you know, energy) and have protein powder that I use regularly.  I've added 30 pounds to my bench press sets (three sets of eight at 125 when I started has turned into three sets of eight at 155 now) and have made similar gains across the board.  I have a crazy cross fit friend who has advised me to switch away from all machines and use exclusively free weights (or cable machines), which I'm starting today.  I also have been swimming a few times a week, right a stationary bike, and have actually run on the beach about once a week the last three weeks.  So yeah, fitness is definitely a win.

In closing...

I'm playing 40/80 and blah blah blah a huge hand happens with POS Andy driving the action. 5 ways capped on the preflop, 4 or 5 ways three bets on the flop, he fires the turn gets some calls and the river happens and the board is something like

J9347 or something I don't actually know.  The river is a pretty straightening card is the point.  He bets and this guy on my left just raises him in rhythm and it gets back to him and he goes into the tank for a long time like he always does here and eventually the guy starts chirping and shows him...a nine.  That's right, just a card for one pair it's like "hmmm that's weird" and eventually andy folds two queens face up and the guy shows....98 for one pair stone cold bluff in a $2000 40/80 pot.  It was fucking beautiful..