Wednesday, June 22, 2005

No Love for the Pistons

Indeed, it's easy to be an, umm, Wednesday morning, umm, basketball-equivalent-to-a-quarterback, but I have to believe that some folks made a killing on last night's NBA finals game. I'm kicking myself for not loading up even more on the Pistons, as Bodog had them at +6 when I placed my bet, which is pretty freaking ridiculous. Yeah, I know, they were playing in San Antonio, down 3-2, against a team with one of the best home records this year in the NBA. Yeah, I know, they're not exactly a likeable or exciting team. But they're also 8-1 the last three years when facing elimination (and 10-0 when they can eliminate their opponent). Not hard to imagine the Pistons winning that game outright, much less when handed 6 points. It'll be interesting to see the line for Game 7.

Managed to right the slightly listing poker ship yesterday, booking a decent win and calling it a day. AA actually held up for me, twice, despite five people seeing the flop in both cases and aces not improving. I realize I should be happy happy to get that many customers with big hands but more and more I just cringe, as far too often that ginormous pot ends up sliding to someone who hands around with middle pair and catches good on the river, etc.

I still haven't quite worked out a working plan I'm happy with at higher limits, as far as session length. I'm still sort of feeling things out and haven't been playing a ton of hands (usually 1,000-1,500/week) and haven't quite settled on an approach I'm happy with. From a results-oriented point of view, I'd like to able to get to the point where I could play poker and make the equivalent of what my day job pays me. Not that I necessarily want to play poker full-time, but more so that I'd have that insurance policy securely tucked in my back pocket in case I needed it. So it's easy enough to crunh numbers, round off here and there, and come up with a daily ballpark number to shoot for.

The problem, though, (and it's one of those good problems, not bad ones) is that number is a good bit lower than the average pot size at some 15/30 tables. So it's entirely possible for me to sit down, post, get dealt a couple of cards, and win $400 the first hand I play, putting me well ahead of the completely arbitrary target number floating in my head. I have to admit that a few times I've completely donked out, called it a day, logged off, and run away with my winnings, playing exactly one hand of poker that day.

Yes, I know, silliness. Lately I've been better, getting in my daily allotment of hands, no matter the results, but it is something I didn't expect to struggle with. It's more than a little tricky, as the inherent variance can wipe a $400 profit out very quickly, making you feel like even more of a muppet for not booking the profit and calling it a day. Which is when the tilt monster gets a whiff of weakness and starts whispering in your ear, trying to convince you to play more hands in order to get back those profits that the bastards stole from you.

I've found myself playing shorter sessions, usually not more than an hour at a time, as it seems easier to stay sharp and (usually) keep things on an even keel. I'm still usually just playing one table, sometimes two, and it's normally hard to bleed too much in an hour's time. When I look back at my worst runs, it's usually a situation where I get stuck quickly and get stubborn, playing long after it ceases to be fun or profitable. My house and wife are happier with shorter sessions, too, as I usually play for a bit, shut it down, go kick my yard's ass, do assorted other stuff, come back, play for half an hour, rinse, repeat.

I still continue to run freakishly well with the silly online blackjack play. Not complaining at all, mind you, but it's more than a little odd.

1 comment:

Mourn said...

Boy I can relate to that hit and run mentality. It's so bizarre because from a rational standpoint, it makes no sense.

Hey I'm winning, I better get the fuck out of here.

the counterpoint of which, as you've stated, is:

Hey, I'm getting my ass kicked, I should stick around!

This paradox is, of course, one of the many things the real pros have defeated that separates them from the rest of us. When they aren't running well, they generally have the discipline to cut and run or at least refocus and cauterize the losses. When things are good, you can't pry them off the table. This runs along with their ability not to imagine the car payment and power bill sitting in the middle of the table instead of a just a big pile o' chips.

Nice to hear you're doing well at 15/30 despite the variance. I've had my forays, both positive, but both scary. I booked profits and hightailed it off the table.