A delay for your pound of flesh

Monday, March 8th, 2004, 5:42 pm

Alas, I will not be able to play in Wednesday’s WPBT event. Work has reared its ugly head, and those who vowed revenge after my win in the Grublog Poker Classic and dreamed of check-raising me until I burst into tears will have to wait a little bit longer. I’m ticked, I was really looking forward to playing, but a tidal wave of work is ready to break upon our shores and it’s all hands on deck. So instead of dropping $20 I’ll work three or four extra hours and make…$20. Well, a bit more than that. A bit.

A reader posted a comment concerning my bitching about a bad beat in the previous post. I still think I got moderately shafted (I didn’t put the hand into Pokersavvy’s Bad-Beat-o-Meter, since it probably wouldn’t register) but I think I understand Noel’s point. If the other guy didn’t put me on trips staying in with KQ wasn’t THAT terrible a play. I got nailed in a hand last night to a guy holding trip deuces, and the thought that I was up against a set barely occured to me. It should have. And that’s a problem. I really don’t have much sense what cards the other guy is holding. That’s a part of my game I’m working on, and occasionally I make good “reads”, but my deductive skills are hardly Hellmuthian (I promise to stop using that word, starting now). I certainly know that it’s a wee bit harder to get reads off people online because you can’t freaking SEE them, but from betting patterns and some knowledge of who you’re playing against you can accumulate a bit of understanding. I’ve been playing 2 tables lately, and doing well, but I think this is more due to other players’ poor play than my own good play. Plus the fact that I got wicked lucky and won 3 pots yesterday of over $50, including an $90 monster I hit with, you guessed it, trip tens. One guy had top two pair, the other had the baby set, and I we all pushed about $30 into the pot. Bingo.

With things going so good I think it’s time to step away from the tables, study a bit, look over my PokerTracker stats in detail, and work to improve my game. It may seem odd that a big night put me in such an introspective mood, but now that my bankroll has grown to the point where I don’t worry about it anymore, I don’t feel quite so much pressure to play like crazy and build it up. Let me rephrase that–I might be getting to the point where I’m worrying more about the game than the money. I feel like I can play poker and make money. Hell, on Party if you aren’t making money its time to take up cockfighting. But I think I can play better, and should play better, and to do that I need to dial down the multi-table trawling and work on my game.

Before I continue let me interpose this– I was playing my usual pot-limit game last week and we all had about $25 in front of us–except for one guy who had close to $100. He hit the century mark when he flopped a full house and had a guy call him down with trips. After the pot was pushed his way the winner said, “Well, that gets me back to almost even for the night”.

I raised my brows, and another player wrote, “I hear you. I’ve dropped $50 today”.

Another said, “Do you know ANYBODY who’s made money on Party?”

The guy who just won the pot wrote, “I don’t. I bought in for $400, lost that, bought in again and I’m down to $150 in just a week. The whole place is fixed”.

I was so stunned I made a mistake Iggy will doubtless scold me for–I forgot to tag them on my PokerTracker database. I logged off that table when the game bogged down and totally forgot to note their fishy names. Money swimming down the drain.

Let’s see, what was I saying…oh yes, I was thinking out loud. I also want to limit my play somewhat because there’s a story I’m working on and I want to get at least a rough draft done in the next week. I’ve been playing too much, writing too little, and I need to invert the ratio. Someone had a post about a month ago asking, “Why do you play poker”. I of course play for fun, and to make money, but I also play because I like the inherent drama of poker. Blogging about poker is both easy and enjoyable because the game itself makes for great drama. You have the good guys (that’s you), the bad guys (everyone else), conflict (who’s gonna win that pot), dramatic tension (betting, raising, the showdown) and catharsis (whew, I won, or, crap, I lost). It’s a ten-way brawl with cards and chips as the weapons instead of chairs and bike chains. Unless you welch on a bet in a bad part of town.

OK, this has gone on long enough. I may post again later tonight, I want to write about the first WPT event, which was both odd and entertaining. Hey, watched The Sopranos premiere last night, and the episode (like many others) was directed by Tim Van Patten. Is he the brother of Vince? And if so, is he the brother married to the WPT’s resident angel Shana Hiatt? Maybe I should ask WPT player and part-time Shana stalker Richard Brodie?

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