Riding the roller coaster

Monday, January 19th, 2004, 4:36 pm

After the last few crazy days I must use the tool of philosophy to put my play in context. An experiment–fill a glass with water until it reaches the halfway point. The optimist says that the glass is half full. The pessimist says the glass is half empty. The grinder, however, shrugs his shoulders, accepts what he’s got, and drinks it down. The grinder does not recognize that half the glass has water and the other half air. He does not recognize the concept of “half”. The size of the container is irrelevent–all that matters is the amount of water that’s in the glass. Accept what you have, not what you don’t have, or what you used to have but have no longer. Because what you have RIGHT NOW is what counts.

Why the gobbledegook? Had a ferocious up and down weekend. In my last post I wrote that I’d nearly hit $100 after some fine play. Well, played some Saturday and got absolutely crushed. The flip side to playing 2 tables is you can lose money twice as fast, and that’s exactly what I did. I had a 2-minute nightmare where I had an ace-high straight lose to flush when a guy turned over 4-7 of spades, and on the other table my pocket kings got beat by a guy who played 5-8 offsuit, flopped a four, and made a six and seven on the turn and river to make a straight (OK, he also flopped an eight to make a pair, but still). That sunk me about $10 right there, and it never got better. When I slipped down to $75 I decided to play a SNG–and was the first guy knocked out. I made a terrible call with two pair when I KNEW the other guy had trips, and then I went all-in with pocket queens and got two callers. I flopped trips–but the queen and the other two cards were clubs. Another club on the turn and I knew I was toast. And toast I was. Normally I enjoy toast–not too dark, definitely not burned, a little melted butter. Very tasty. Can’t say I enjoy BEING toast, tho.

Played some more limit and dropped $20 more, until I was down to $50 again. Unreal. I was playing tight, playing smart, but I was getting battered by a school of marauding fish. From now on, when I play at Party on the weekends I’m playing tighter than a mosquito’s poopchute. You can win some big hands, but unless you have a monster you’re in danger of being run down by any one of a half-dozen scrabbling fish. I saw some really weird hands Saturday night that I wasn’t involved in that had me wondering why the poker gods protect fools while the pure of heart get shafted regular.

I thought that until I won 2 big pots on consecutive hands to end my miserable streak. I got myself back up to $76 and I called it quits. I’d gotten up as high as $106, as low as $50, and I ended up at $76. The optimist in me was thankful for the $26 I’d won after falling down to $50. The pessimist lamented the $30 I would’ve had if I’d quit when I hit $106. The grinder in me was glad that I’d made a buck on the day. Had some fun, some ups and downs, and I made a buck. Better than losing a buck.

Played some Sunday and was rewarded by the poker gods for my level-headedness. Made about $22, ended up at $99. I thought about hanging on until I went over $100, but I felt I was pressing and decided to call it a night. Trying to hit a milestone can cause artificial pressure–just ask the folks on Wall Street the next time the Dow approaches 10,000. It’s like the sound barrier, once you crack through the sailing is smooth, but right up to that point you get strange buffeting. Once I get my bankroll over $100 I think I’ll relax and not have to worry so much about one bad night putting me in the poker hospital.

Thinking about writing a feature story about poker for one of the publications ’round here in Pittsburgh. I need to start publishing in forums more august and venerable than my whiny blog. Plus the pay is probably better. I’ll keep you posted on what I’m researching.

Have to update my comments software so you good people can let me know what you think. Think that’ll happen tonight.

Permanent link to this post.

Leave a Reply