Sunday, January 16, 2005

It's Sunday and Tomorrow is Sunday, Too

Umm, yeah. Can I just have a do over on my assorted football pickin' for the weekend? That'd be great. Thanks.

Atlanta obviously didn't play like crap the whole year, but man, that team looked scary good last night. I potentially take back what I said about the NFC representative automatically getting thumped in the Super Bowl. Mr. Vick is a freak.

So far I'm digging this three day weekend. Yesterday was really damn productive, as I knocked out two bonuses that'd been lingering for forever on the to do list, finally got paid by a couple of casinos, and wrecked one of those freebie $5 bonuses that Casino-on-Net gives every few weeks, managing to run it up to $300 before I cashed out.

I'd kind of forgotten what it was like to get smacked in the face by the deck, which happened a good bit yesterday, and is always nice. It was partially due to really bad players at Bodog paying off obvious hands like nut flushes and boats, but I'll take it any way I can get it.

I go through phases where poker is infinitely interesting to me and other phases where poker seems terminally boring. Which is odd. Right now I'm in an infinitely interesting upswing. While it's somewhat tied to my results, it's more than just that, as I've been terminally bored when posting great results, punishing silly muppets hand after hand after hand.

Most of it, I think, results from the odd nature of poker, in that you can acquire a goodly amount of skill and knowledge away from the table, reading and absorbing strategy, thinking about how to play hands, analyzing past results, ruminating, ruminating, ruminating.

But in many ways that's completely divorced from actually sitting at the table, playing hands. They're obviously linked, but they're more like parallel tracks that edge towards one another ever so slightly. The longer you work at it, the closer they get together. Way out there on the horizon they may, indeed, touch. But you're always trying to get to that point, always trying to find some nice alchemical formula that results in theoretical poker knowledge being translated into poker results at the table, in a perfect 1-1 ratio.

The kicker (and what's behind the whole infinitely interesting/terminally boring conundrum) is that there's no way getting around the fact that if you decide to embark on the journey, you have to sit through thousands and thousands of hands. Hundreds of thousands of hands. Mucking the same crappy cards thousands and thousands of time. Watching muppets hit that two outer over and over and over.

So that finally, after all those hands, patterns start to emerge and you start successfully putting into practice, almost unconsciously, all that knowledge you soaked up. At which point poker is very cool. Until you plateau out and hit a stage where you haven't built up the requisite amount of experience to move any further. At which point the grinding commences, once again. As long as it's two steps forward and one step back, though, you eventually get there in the end.

Another much simpler way of saying all this is that I'm currently (and constantly) amazed at just how little I know and understand about poker. Things that seem impossibly difficult suddenly become easy, while things I take for granted suddenly become impossibly difficult. And that's cool. Really.

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