Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 2

I swam pretty much the same workout today.  The notable deltas:

Lungs:  Way better already
Chest Pain:  Went away completely as I expected
Wrist:  A bit worse but probably won't become a problem
Elbow:  Far worse, could become a problem
Shoulder:  Far better, most important thing

Now it's time for a 12 hour poker session and a midnight LAX pickup.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Two More Fun Hands

Hand 1

The nittiest of all nits opens UTG, Mr. 40 month winner calls, a mega-fish calls, I call on the button with a wired pair of eights in the pocket, the blinds call because they are in the blinds and we see a flop 6 ways.


All five of them check.  So I bet.  Why am I betting?  Nitty McNitterson will probably fold the best hand, and he's the only one who should have me beat, and everyone else will call with worse and it will be awesome.  One of the blinds calls with JThh (there was a heart out there), the big blind folds, and the nit tanks, hems, haws, and folds.  Mr. 40 months calls with probably like QTdd, and the fish calls.


The spade flush comes in, and all three of them check.  I'm not bluffing anymore, now I'm value betting!  The small blind missed the eliminator so he is eliminated, Mr. 40 months finds a fold and the mega fish calls.


OK so we have the only draw...check.  And bottom card paired...check.  So the fish checks and I....check. He has 98o send papa the money.  Nitty McNitterson?  He folded queens and declares "Well done!"

Hand 2

Some people limp and I raise in late position with KK.  We see a flop about 6 ways, maybe 7, I don't really know.


The woman on my immediate right donks into me and I raise.  THREE PEOPLE CALL ME, then she calls, and I start counting to see if there are enough spades in the deck for me to still have the best hand.  Doesn't matter....


They all check, I bet, and now only the mega fish from the previous hand and the woman call.  Yahtzee, I have this thing pretty much already won they should be drawing dead practically when.


Mega fish checks, lady donks, I snap fold, mega fish calls.  Lady tables AQ, megafish tables AJ and fully expects to chop.

Day 1

I went to the pool and swam what could perhaps be considered a workout today.  Not by anyone with any sort of swimming ability whatsoever, but it was the most I've done in years and afterwards I felt both good (that tired sore feeling I actually sort of like) and bad (all of the joints in my right arm have some serious problems).  If the shoulder soreness goes away I should be fine;  if it doesn't, however, it could be a deal breaker.  The workout was simply:

300 warmup mixed
10x100 on 2 minutes (I swam them in around 1:25)
400 cooldown mixed

Yeah, that's all I did, but like I said my shoulder was hurting pretty badly by the end and it seemed like I shouldn't hurt myself on day one.  I'll try again tomorrow.  I'm a bit worse off than I expected, but definitely still a big favorite.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jesse Swims a Marathon

On Saturday night Danielle and I went to a spaghetti dinner fund raiser to support her friend Elizabeth's effort to raise $5000 for the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride to end AIDS.  It got me to thinking about how I used to swim in the Abilities United Aquathon every year but had to skip it in 2012 for a wedding, and how good it usually makes me feel to do something difficult or good (or both).  So I decided I'm going to do something about it and try to help her out.  The event is a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and while there is a zero percent chance I could make it halfway through such an endeavor, I am well qualified for a different type of endurance task.  So as Elizabeth is biking down the coast from June 2nd-8th of this year, I'm going to be in the pool, attempting to cover 26.2 miles (a standard marathon) in those same 7 days.

No, I haven't been in the pool training for years now, and yes it's going to be pretty tough for me to pull this off.   I'll post training updates here, and when the rubber hits the road so to speak I'll update you on my progress day by day (maybe even session by session...this could require 2 a days) as well. There is a chance I will fail.  If there wasn't, it wouldn't be hard and I wouldn't .be as excited to try.  And here comes the pitch....

If you've enjoyed my blog, or even if you hate it but can't bring yourself to look away, sort of like watching a train wreck, and agree that this is a good cause, please consider making a donation on Elizabeth's personal page.  Donations of any size will be graciously accepted.  And if this isn't your cup of tea, that's fine too.  I promise we'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming of me misreading the board in preposterous ways just as soon as possible.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

For Great Justice

My game has fallen to crap, but for some reason (convenience, mostly) I've decided to wait it out.  It'll get better before it gets worse (it can't get worse), and besides honestly it's just bad by local standards.  Objectively it's still just fine.  To wit....

UTG limps, and card runners man raises his HJ post.  40 month winning streak elects to cold call in the cutoff (for awful is that?  We're talking about card runner's man raising a post.  And on top of that his range is very easy to figure out), the button and small blind fold and I 3 bet the AJss.  They all call and we flop


I fire, UTG peels, card runners calls, 40 month's now raises, I 3-bet, UTG folds, card runners calls two cold (he's never seen two bets he didn't want to call cold on the flop) and Mr. 40 month's puts the lid on it.  I call and start thinking about what he has and how it's probably some sort of draw or combo hand but then realize there is no flush draw, exactly two open enders, 87 and QT, and (I think) zero pair + straight draw hands.  So basically I'm putting him on exact 8 combos of 87s and QTs and trying to decide if my read is strong enough to "donk" the turn because I mean...what else can he have?  He's probably not even raising the flop once with less than a jack, and he's certainly not capping without a monster, so unless he has something just bizarre (AA, 66) that should be ruled out from preflop (and that he'd likely wait to raise the turn with), he pretty much has one of those hands, right?  But the turn doesn't help my cause.


Well half his reasonable range just made the nuts, so I check.  Card runner's checks and of course he checks it back.  So now it occurs to me that he could have been doing the old "where am I at" raise with a weaker jack, then upon learning the answer was "way the fuck behind" trying the old "cap for a cheap showdown" play.  This irritates me because I knew he had bullshit and I'm upset I got a turn card that I had to let his bullshit take a free river with.  So we see the river 3 ways.


On the surface that looks like a very scary card, but who's supposed to have fucking anything here?  Card runners didn't have a pair on the flop (he'd have raised it) so unless he somehow has exactly 75 I should be OK.  I mean sure there is stuff he can have I guess, but J8 98, 86, A8...none of them make any sense.  Even he'd fold the A8 for two more bets.  He's supposed to just have something sorta straightening, like the KT, KQ, etc.....And Mr. 40 months?  He checked back the turn, so he can't have the 87, and he four bet the flop so he really can't have the 98 (just raising the flop makes that unlikely) and of course 88 is absurd and well at this point it's pretty much a weaker jack or the QT.   So what do I do?

Value bet lol

Card runner's snap folds (so yeah he had a million outs with like some overs and a gutterball or some such) and Mr. 40 months...RAISES!  Seriously, he raises.  All that analysis (which I hadn't really done completely at the time...all I had so far was "jeeze he doesn't have anything" running through my brain) and he just raises it up in a huge pot on the river and I have the naked one pair stone cold bottom of my range hand and well I stand up and look at it and just can't see how he can have the 8 other than just a full scale abortion of the J8s so I call and he shows me...QTs.  And I feel like a champion.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Card Runners Man

So there is this basically mute Asian man who plays all over LA.  He's a self taught lag, who I'm pretty sure has been running hotter than the sun basically forever, which has reinforced to him that he is in fact the best player in the city.  But recently he's stepped down, probably because raise bet bet bet bet every single hand wasn't working for a few days (or a week or whatever) and I got to play with him Monday and well...he was still trying it out.  I mean seriously, full ring limit hold 'em this guy was probably playing something like 50/30, just any possible excuse to get every possible chip into the pot, c bet every single flop no matter what cards come or how many players are out there, just barrel barrel barrel every single time.  OK, so that was fun, I beat the crap out of him, neat.  The next day he's back (I think he think's he's a pro or something) and I see him on his phone emailing...DUN DUN DAH!!!!!  Cardrunners support.  I mean maybe I shouldn't be looking at his email but whatever, that's just the most awful thing every I'm allowed a little moral lapse in light of something so awful.

He played a little better than day (still god awful), and he's back today and seems to have toned it down another notch.  Pretty soon he probably will be break even, then he'll become a small winner, then he'll go on a huge downer and give up, but until then it'll be fun to watch.  Except when this happens.

Five players limp in (including mr 40 month win streak) and the dealer starts dragging my chips into the pot from the big blind and I behold the monster that is the ten and the eight, all hearts.  ALL HEARTS!  I have been firing these pots up from the big blind for half a decade, since Shannon the Cannon was teaching lessons in the Garden City 20 (may it rest in peace).  There is no way I'm stopping now.  So I raise it up and everyone chastises me for doing so.  "You think your aces are gonna beat 7 people?" and "We'll teach you a lesson!" and the like.  So the flop comes down 7 ways and it is...and I'm not kidding....

9d 7h 6h

That is the flop.  I have the stone nut straight and four to a straight flush to boot.  Of course I bet, 40 months raises, card runners calls, mega lag calls two cold, the small blind folds, I 3 bet, we see the turn 4 ways.


I bet, 40 months calls, card runners now raises.  This is obviously terrible, but as I'm contemplating what to do the mega lag calls two more bets cold and I realize I pretty much have to 3 bet.  I do, 40 months finally gets the picture that whatever shit box he over limped with is drawing dead, card runners calls and the lag calls.


Terrible card obviously.  I bet card runner's calls lag mucks.  I show my hand, he looks super confused and shows the 96 double suited for next to bottom boat.  The small blind declares "I folded a 6!" which always makes you feel great in this spot (he starts with 4 outs, the 9h just lets him lose infinite bets, and the 6 is in the muck, so that's just 2 now) when you've just lost a 25 bet pot to a guy who has a card runner's membership thinks he's a pro but likes to limp along with the 96o.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Win!

I actually came home today carrying more money than I had when I left in the morning.  If I have touched the low water mark (which is obviously far from a guarantee) the depth of the swong was 290 bets.  I don't actually keep that stat, but I don't think I've ever taken one much worse than that (although I can think of two that were in the ballpark).  This one was particularly painful since close to a 1/3rd of it was in pretty large games (1/2 and 60), which someone makes it feel worse than if the whole thing had just happened in the same game.  The dollar figure looks to be a shade under $30k, but like I said, there is no guarantee it's over.  I could simply do the exact same thing again, starting from here, and after that I really would just give up I suppose.  I made a tilty comment to J-dub as Hasan was binking a two outter on me for the 15th time in 3 days (in my last three sessions with him, his Q8 has cracked my 22 on Q72, his 44 has cracked my 22 on 632, and his KK has cracked my AQ on A63) that I shouldn't have made, something like "That's how you lose $30k straight" and he actually responded "hey don't talk to me I am the king of the 1500 bet down swing."  Like, he said that.  Really. He thinks he lost 1500 bets playing in games where he had an edge.  That's just phenomenal to me, really, but doesn't even take the cake for the most amazing thing I heard in the last week.  I was talking to "long time grinder pro from the great state of Montana" and he confided in me that he has posted, and I am not making this up, "over 40 straight winning months".  I cannot even imagine the chicanery he has been pulling in order to do that.  He is the nittiest game selector I have ever seen, but three and a half years without a losing month?  Are you fucking kidding me?  I have already had one this year (and am staring number two right in the face I have like a 3% chance of pulling out of it), and I had three last year and two in 2011, so that's going to be 7 out of 27 vs 0 out of 40.  Talk about a life time heater.....

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fine. Poker.

I think it was DougL who pointed out that you can really tell how I've been running simply by having a good look at my post rate on my blog.  Originally I ranted and raved on here quite a bit;  I still do that now, but the older, gentler, maybe even wiser(?) Jesse has tended to just let that sort of shit slide more and more these days.  Writing a big long post just gets me all riled up and I'm having enough trouble sleeping as it is these days, but I'll share some of the stuff that allowed me to turn a large winner (how large?  I don't know, but the zoo was fully stocked) into a medium loss today in one of the more glorious 40/80 games you'll ever find.  And you know some of it will be from yesterday also.

I open A9cc in the cutoff, casino employee 207 3 bets her own big blind with an extremely unbalanced range.  The flop is Q99ss and I cannot defeat her AJhh.

Same villain opens the J7s in the HJ, I 3 bet the QQ and obviously lose the max for getting it in so badly.

I raise a limper with QJ, the small blind calls and peels the KKTr flop with Q7o, I check back the blank turn, and he fires the river dark which is of course a 7.  He then asks if I think I'm playing with kids and encourages me to keep three betting and burn those chips I swear he has an IQ of 50.

Same guy obviously have 54o in the small blind.  I open 97cc in the HJ we see the flop 5 ways, the board runs out 557c-Jc-4c.  For serious.

He has AKhh, I have AQcc, the flop is Q73hhh.  Managed to fold that one on the turn.

He has K2hh I have AhJs the flop is QhJh3h.  Managed to only spend 3.5 bets on that one.

I open KJ, he cold calls with KQ, the flop is K55.

6 way raised pot I have QJdd OTB, flop is QQ3 I have 3 outs and of course miss.

I open AT, he has A9, KQ3 we chop.

BvB, he flops a flush I flop top pair.

I have JT, big blind has QT, flop is T87-3-6.  I check back river yay for me.

It's just absurd, it truly, really is absurd.  And I know (I am sure) that I'm playing awful because of it and I really am not sure how to proceed.

Bigotry, Ignorance, and Evil

Sometimes it becomes very difficult to tell the difference between these three characteristics.  They result in many of the same outward manifestations, and to be honest a lot of times trying to figure out which one you're seeing only causes you more pain, more hurt.  It only does more damage to decipher if the comment you just heard was born out of simple ignorance (they don't know better), bigotry (far worse), pure evil (obviously the biggest concern), or some combination of the three.  The things I hear on a day to day basis would literally make your blood curdle.  Speaking to fishy but respected businessman several months ago, he  just casually dropped the following pearl of wisdom:

"I don't really like basketball.  It's just a bunch of monkeys running around"

He wasn't making a joke.  He didn't pause for me to laugh or turn white and then punch me in the arm and say "I gotcha!" or anything like that.  He didn't even have the slightest inclination that what he said could possibly have been construed as anything other than a commonly accepted fact!  The conversation continued on, with me virtually unable to continue holding up my end because I mean really, are you fucking kidding me?  This guy is in his late 20s.  He's an immigrant himself.  He runs a successful business.  It's America, and it's 2013, and he just casually dropped that knowledge on me like it was fucking nothing.  Maybe I took it too seriously, but honestly I'd have been less shocked if he'd simply fired off the N-word.  Is this man evil?  I don't think so;  I have a fair bit of evidence suggesting he's not.  But it can't simply be ignorance, right?  I don't think so.  He's a bigot, plain and simple.  Why does it matter?  I guess it doesn't, but the force of his statement just struck me, almost physically so, and I haven't been able to let it go since.  It eats at me, it is wrong, and when I see things that are wrong they bother me.  Is it my place to worry about it?  No.  But every time I let something like this go, every time I turn a blind eye to a "human" treating another human poorly like this, or making a statement like this, I lose a part of myself, a part of my decency, a part of what makes me worth keeping alive.

Today another one happened.  The South African was just joking around, egging on the the fish who got me barred, and eventually got him to declare:

"No way!  No gays go to heaven.  And no lawyers.  If you want to go to heaven, you better not become a lawyer or a gay!"

I mean, the man is 84 years old and basically a dottering idiot.  As an aside, I just remembered that the two men here actually arm wrestled for $50 last week, surveillance footage I'd consider committing some lesser misdemeanors to get my hands on.  Anyway, he's a senile idiot, but I don't really think his comment is simply ignorance.  It's bigotry, too;  has to be.  And again, why do I care?  He's 84 years old, he'll be dead soon (not soon enough, but soon) and when he kicks off the world will be a (slightly) better and more enlightened place.  Why should I worry about him bumbling around for the next decade or so?  I just don't have an answer for this question, but I do.  I do care.  Seeing him continue to take in precious oxygen and use it to make statements like that, in 2013, in America, just makes me feel so awful inside.  If comments like these can happen here in California in the present day, how awful has it been for so many countless millions of people throughout the last two thousand years?  And what am I doing to make it better?  Nothing.  Every day I am presented with countless situations where I am forced to choose (often subconsciously, but far too often actively and these are the decisions that haunt me, the ones I realize are happening and make passively, make without causing conflict, the wrongs I allow to continue to live, those are the ones that hurt me, that stay with me, that lay down to sleep with me at night) simply, do I say something or let it slide?  Every time I say something I end up in a conflict.  I end up barred, or angry, or in general at least unfocused.  But when I don't say something, when I let it slide, when I let the idiot or the bigot or the evil just be it costs me something, too.  The cost is small, but over thousands of days and tens of thousands of interactions the damage adds up.  A scratch here, a dent there, a nick there and all of a sudden my armor just isn't up to code.

That's all I got. Sorry if you were expecting me to talk about poker.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

And Yet I Still Wonder

Today I played so many hands so badly that I find it to be a small miracle that I'm even still in action, let alone a respected pro that a lot of people look up to. I mean, I just  It was beyond reason.  Nitty prop guy capped it, then checked the flop of AQ3 3 ways, so what did I do with the ten and the ten?  I fired a bet out there.  Am I bluffing?  I better be, because I am losing 114% of the time here, and when he c/r why did I peel?  Did I really want to hit the jackpot that badly?  I must have because I certainly can't win the pot.  When other super duper nitty guy checked back the 976-3 turn after c-betting the flop, why did I bet the 9 river?  What exactly was I hoping he'd call my pair of 6s with?  I mean, really.  It's an awful awful bet that he's going to play so close to perfectly against it blows my mind that I even considered making it, let alone actually fired it.  Sure it's preposterous, but I really do need to check call, check check, check/fold a pair there.  I do, I really just do he's that awful and by not doing so I'm sinking to his level and letting him off the hook for no reason whatsoever.  And when he checked back the A63 flop after three betting me preflop, what exactly was I hoping to accomplish by check/raising the 5 turn and betting the deuce river with A8?  Again, he's playing perfectly....He showed me the Ace and the Ten, obviously.  If he'd had the king and the king even he'd have snap folded to my check/raise.  I have to stop going for thin value against this idiots and commence bluffing them relentlessly.  It is the only way.  Or when I opened AQ otb and the blinds defended and the sb donked the KT3 flop and said "raise me!" after the big blind just called I...raised him?  Really Jesse?  Really?  Stone cold fish I was there.  You check/raise me on the KT3-4ddd turn?  I will showdown red eights.  Why not, I could win sometimes right?  OK actually that one was pretty much fine, and when I started writing this post I had more hands in mind wherein I played like total garbage but they are now escaping me.  The point is that I've lost $20k straight and honestly I think I'm pretty far off my A game and might be in need of a break.