Actual Poker Content!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008, 8:39 pm

As you all know there’s a brewpub near my house and after going to the gym and lifting for a good bit I decided to treat myself to a salad and a few medicinal beers. God, that first Pale Ale invigorates my soul like nothing else. I did some work, tried to do some Vietblogging (my Flickr page doesn’t load well here) and finally settled down to some poker. I like to play poker when I’m here at Marzoni’s–just about every time I play and drink here I win enough to cover my tab. And that’s just awesome.

Though not so much tonight. I was dealt the A-10 of clubs, called after a couple of limpers, and saw a 6-high flop with two clubs. Dude bet, two folds, and I raised with my nut flush draw. He called. The turn was an Ace, pretty much locking me in. He made a sizable bet, I pushed, he called. He had A-6 for two pair and I didn’t catch on the river. He called my big check-raise on the flop with TPTK? I made fun of the guy, not because I’m a cashew-sized crybaby, but because he had a Hello Kitty avatar. "Kitty, hello???" I said in chat. I, for one, was amused.

I then got stacked again when I flopped top pair with AK and the other guy flopped a set. Silly me, I thought he was on the flush draw and bet to protect my hand. That didn’t work out so well. So I’m out $100…yet I’m completely nonplussed. I know I can beat this game (the stats bear me out) and while I’ll never get rich playing poker, I did withdraw enough from my poker account to open a Roth IRA before my taxes came due. I know–what’s more un-balla than THAT??

I haven’t played much poker lately, even as more and more poker books appear at my doorstep. It’s odd–or perhaps totally understandable–that as much as I write about poker, talk about poker, think about poker, DREAM about poker, I don’t play all that much. I haven’t been to Mountaineer to play in like 3 months. I go days, weeks, without playing online. It’s not intentional, it’s just that I think that I think I should be doing something else. Writing. Taking pictures. Shedding the enormous cocoon of flab I’ve gathered about me.

From time to time I wonder, am I a writer who plays poker, or a poker player who writes? Such is the degree of my self-loathing that I don’t think I’m either–such is the degree of my self-delusion that I think I’m both. I’m confident that I could sit down with the best NL cash game players in the world and at least follow the conversation . That said, I’ve never sat down at so much as a $2-5 table. Am I being lazy, or responsible? Am I the careful observer, or a yellow chicken? I’ve been on the fence about playing in a WSOP event this year. After paying my taxes, I’m off the fence. Still, I’m supposed to be this rock-star poker blogger (this is how my boss introduced me to some new folks on the UB team–yes, I blushed). Can I honestly consider myself a poker writer when I ride the pine?

Sigh. These are the existential concerns that wash through me when I’ve had too much (but not enough) to drink. I think I’m gonna hang here, have a few more beers, tie one on, and play the Mookie. Here’s the one thing that I know about my poker blogging career–I love the game, I mean, I LOVE to play poker. It’s fun. And I like winning money. But the reason I love writing about poker is because of the people who love playing poker. They (dare I say we?) are a fascinating bunch. Hell, anyone who’s ever attended a WPBT gala knows what I’m talking about. And that doesn’t even include the insanity that is the World Series of Poker (or even the lesser goofiness of the Aruba Poker Classic).

I just dropped another $25 when a dude called me with 2 overs when I had an open-ender. He hit his biggie on the river and called. YUCK. Ah, poker. You gotta love it. Just like you gotta love the folks who love to play it.

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One Response to “Actual Poker Content!”

  1. donkeypuncher Says:

    Gene, I consider you more writer than poker player. And that’s a good thing! There aren’t too many bloggers who are really writers. But you guys stand out.

    Me? I’m a hack blogger (not writer) and a hack poker player.

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