The Ups, The Downs

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006, 1:45 am

One could make an argument that, before receiving their diplomas, all US high school students be required to play 100 hours of online poker during their senior year. Each student would be given a $100 bankroll and be allowed to keep whatever remained when they graduated.

Why do this? It would teach these kids so many valuable lessons. About statistics. Money management. Discipline. And, perhaps most importantly, the vicissitudes of fate. Life isn’t always fair. Play enough online poker and this becomes self-evident.

I took second in last night’s HORSE tournament. Was my play brilliant enough to deserve that spot? Nah. I thought I played OK in spots, but to be honest I flailed around a bit. Thing is, I’m aware that my play wasn’t optimal. I gained wisdom.

Today was a pretty brutal day at the tables…but I’m still going to post a small profit. Provided I quit now. I started the day two-tabling and breaking even. Then I hit a few hands in a row and ran up a nice 20BB profit. Then I lost it all on one hand.

I had aces in middle position. A solid player limped, I raised, and the maniac to my left 3-bet. When I call him a maniac I use the proper word–according to PokerTracker he played nearly 75% of his hands and raised a solid 30% of the time. The limper called, I capped it, and we went to the flop.

Which was 6-5-2 rainbow. OK, maybe one of these guys hit a set, and if that’s the case, woe is me. The limper checked and I checked–knowing the maniac would bet. He did, the limper called, and I raised. The maniac raised, the limper folded, and I re-raised. Mr. Maniac only had $10 behind, so when he capped it I called knowing we would see the next two cards. The turn was a seven, he bet, I raised, he went all in and I called.

He turned over 4-8. Sooted. He hit his gutshot and I was drawing dead. The sickest beat I’ve taken in awhile. He re-raised with 4-8. And hit his double gutshot. Sigh. Instead of posting another roll-swelling win I was back to even for the day. The other players tore into the guy for his play, but I stayed pretty much silent. I did type “Unreal” when he showed his hand. A moment of weakness.

So I come back from volleyball and decide to play a bit. In two hands I really soaked this one guy. I had KQ, flopped a queen, hit a king on the river to crack his aces. Next hand I had KJ, he had QJ, we flopped trip jacks. Bang, up a very nice amount.

Almost went to bed…almost. Then I flopped an ace with AK when the other guy had aces, and then a guy with a flush draw hit on the river to beat my top two. Another scrabbly hand and what should’ve been a very profitable day was…another day spent spinning my wheels.

But, again, I gained wisdom. The game ain’t always fair. Nor is life, in case you haven’t noticed. In this big scheme of things, this is no big deal. The game goes on into infinity. My game needs work. So, work must be done.

Still wish that bastard hadn’t hit that goddam gutshot. Still wish that last goddam club hadn’t hit. Still wish I’d quit when I was up 20BB instead of down ten. But wishes, in case you haven’t noticed, usually don’t come true. It takes work. It takes discipline. And yes, I know how much that sucks.

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2 Responses to “The Ups, The Downs”

  1. Deal'em Says:

    Catching up on my blog reading post turkey day and came across your post about great last lines in stories. How about the one from The Sun Also Rises? The line is “Isn’t it pretty to think so” and the context is well explained by googling last lines and book title. But it has its poker uses…for example, if I hadn’t run pocket kings into pocket aces for my whole bankroll, maybe I would be playing professionally now. “Isn’t it pretty to think so.”

  2. Michael Albert Says:

    I love the $100/100 hours idea. Might try it out on my children. 🙂

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