Monday, March 26, 2012


I don't really have any poker content to report, since I have played a grand total of 5 hours in the last 8 days. The days I did play I played pretty badly (somehow failing to raise a turn donk with bottom set), not for any particular reason, just because sometimes you just don't play well. In the last 15 days I've had the flu for probably 10, my father has been visiting for 8, and Danielle's great grandmother has been in the hospital for 7. In short, there just hasn't been much poker.

I'm still committed to my plan to spend more of my available time studying instead of playing, but for the past two weeks really none of either has happened. I don't really know why I wrote this post, it just seemed like I sort of needed to say something.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Obligatory Doomswitch

Immediately after my last post detailing how awesome I am I was hit with the obligatory doom switch. I had two days last week where instead of calling it in up 2 or 3 racks after a reasonable session (5 hours or so...very respectable given that I basically had the flu) I stayed past traffic and lost something like 110 bets (6 racks the one day, then over 3 the next). I try not to torture myself with this stuff too much, but these days were particularly awful because I sort of wanted to quit and had a reasonable excuse to do so (the sickness) but powered through and was swiftly punished. It made me realize that a big problem I have with poker is that hard work focus and dedication often do not lead to success. I nailed that decision both times; the game was good and I was winning and playing with confidence (despite feeling like shit) so I stayed. And it not only didn't help me, but also left me just soul crushed. So that wasn't fun.

Poker is pretty much on hold now, as my dad is in town for a much postponed visit. I'll probably play 1 or 2 days, but nothing serious. I'll pick back up in a week and finish out March, and by then hopefully be well (I have some sort of residual bronchitis at this point) and able to resume living a normal life, whereby normal I actually mean nothing most people would ever confuse for normal but what for me passes. Now two quick hands from today:

Hand 1: I Play Good

A raised pot happens and somehow I have ATo in the big blind. The flop comes down T93r and I miss a c/r on the preflop raiser, but another villain bets so all is not lost. I raise, everyone else folds, he 3 bets and I 4 bet and he just calls and I can see on his face that he's upset his free card play didn't work. The turn however brings a king and I...check/fold. He is appalled and asks me how I knew before showing me the QJ.

Hand 2: I Play Bad

A fish limps the CO, I raise the button with AJ, the sb calls and the resident maniac 3 bets the big blind. The fish calls, I cap it (probably close but I am trying to error on the side of wider ranges in spots like this) and we take a flop of 632r. I bet, the SB folds (lol) and the bb and fish call. The turn pairs the 6 and is of the 4th suite. They check, I bet, and the maniac...raises. The fish folds and like an idiot I call and let the river 9 check through. He shows me AK, which is the hand he always has, and I lose. I realize this doesn't sound that bad right now, but trust me I was supposed to 3 bet because he always has a weak value hand and well I just needed to bluff him trust me. Adios.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Way Behind Here

You'd think that quitting my job would have led to an increase in blogging, right? I mean, that's what would happen for most people anyway. But nope, not me. I've been playing a ton, had a visit from my friend the traveler and his (now) fiance' (is that how you spell that? they're getting married) and now have come down with some sort of flu/cold hybrid that as usual can't make up it's mind about either leaving me alone or knocking me on my ass. I have a theory that my immune system is exactly like the rest of my physiology, built for sustained effort over long distances. Of the 25 or so guys on the MIT swim team I was literally the slowest one in the 50 yard freestyle. At YMCA Winter Nationals I filled in on a 4 by 50 freestyle relay (the guy they qualified with couldn't go) and I split the slowest time of any swimmer on the 100+ teams. And I swam the best time of my life (like a 24.6 or something) that day. The point is that I never did sprint well, but was able hold my own in the 200 yard events. My immune system is much the same way; it seems to do a horrible job of vanquishing anything in timely fashion, but also manages to keep me upright and just kind of hacking and wheezing for like a week every fucking time I get sick. It's pretty annoying honestly. Anyway, where were we? Nowhere...exactly nowhere. Time to say something I suppose.

Since I quit my job I have played 60 hours and won about 90 bets. My stress level has dropped substantially, and in general everything is just great. Like yeah I'm running pretty well, but I'm definitely playing way better (at least I was before the last two days, this cold has me questioning my focus) and things are just...easier. I've also actually had more time to study, although that again was going better before the cold and the weekend stay-cation (the last 3 nights I have spent a staggering 33 hours in bed). In short, it's everything I thought it would be. The Bike 40, however, is in pretty deep trouble. Of the 11 days I've now been unemployed I have played in it 8 times, and on three of those days it has broken at 7pm, 7pm, and 5pm basically when I refused to take my blind. I'm not really doing anything malicious, but I'm also not going out of my way to save the game like I used to when I was off shift. Today is a perfect example. A second game never got started (which was common before the promotion, but these days is very, very rare for a weekday), at least in part because several customers gave up on waiting to get seats. An environment has been created where players just expect to waltz in and get a seat almost immediately, and without active props (they're down to just a pair of 40/80 props, and one of them is part time) that's just not going to happen anymore. So today this fishy action guy literally got locked out for over 2 hours, and by the time he got a seat he was gone. The same thing happened with at least two other players, and has been occurring more and more lately as MikeL and I have been running wild in the game, with nothing to keep us in check. This crazy old man today had the following experience; show up around 2:30, be 4th on the list. Wait patiently until 4:15 and take the whale's seat. Play for 60 minutes, lose 2 racks. Watch the game break around you as Jesse and the other kid opt out of their blinds, making the game fall to 6 handed. How many times do you think that guy is going to come back? I mean, seriously....He's been showing up every day, but I simply cannot believe that will continue if anything resembling today happens again. So yeah, it's not good. They're still paying $15/hour and at 6:30pm tonight the 40/80 score was Commerce 4 games, Bike zero. Obviously I want the promotion to keep running because quitting my job was sort of predicated on it continuing for at least a few months, but I'm also not going to go out of my way. In the past when I was employed I would have played one more orbit, texted my boss and the other props (lol couldn't do that today they all quit) and tried to leave the game in some reasonable state before walking out. Today? Meh, I just left. And the game...broke.

So yeah I guess that's about that. I have a post I want to write about the 4 basic top 40 genres (the "fuck you break up" song, the "look how much money I have" song, etc) but every time I've tried it just hasn't been that funny. Maybe I'll give it another go again soon, but for now I think it could be time for some more orange juice a soak in the hot tub.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Hand of Note

I'm marooned in the bike 20 because the 40 is full. 15 minutes in I get a 40 seat and rack up, but pick up AThh UTG. I raise, 2 calls behind blinds call (hand dealt 6-7 handed max) and we flop:


Two checks I bet a fold button calls. SB tanks and then raises, BB folds I turbo 3-bet. Button tanks, then pushes his cards forward. SB snap calls button pulls his cards back. I say "wow this game is a joke" and button looks confused and calls.

6c putting a flush draw

SB checks I bet they call


SB Donks I snap call and say "I guess the joke's on me". Button folds SB has T9cc.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A New Chapter

I quit my job at The Bike. I tried to write about everything that went into the decision here, but after two attempts realized I didn't have anything that I should go spraying all over the internet. What I will say is that I did enjoy my time there, which is the main reason I continued to work there despite an obvious financial disconnect between what I was getting paid and what I could make if I quit the job. So that, as they say, is that. I still plan to show up there to play quite a bit, probably even more than I did before since now I qualify for the player's card promotion (which is a large part of the financial disconnect I mentioned), and because I will be free just to sit in games and poker. Which was kind of the whole point, right?