Monday, October 18, 2004

I Worship Thee, Gamblor

Much to blog about this early Monday morning. So, with no further ado...

Things continued to run well on the poker front last week. I'm more encouraged by weeks like last week than some where I actually make more money, as I managed to squeeze out a decent profit from some pretty atrocious cards. Clearing some bonuses helped ($200 from Pokernow, $210 from Absolute) but it was mainly a matter of fighting through some cold cards and sticking to my guns.

Lately I've been multi-tabling different limits and games, usually playing one 1/2 Omaha table, one 2/4 table, and one $25 NL table (and one more 1/2 Omaha 8 if I'm feeling jiggy and can concentrate well enough). I need to keep better records of my Omaha play (which is one of the few disappointing things about PokerTracker so far, the inability to track Omaha games), but for the last two months at least limit Omaha has been the largest source of profit for me. That's a bit surprising, but not overly so. I still think of myself as an Omaha newbie but I've got three months of steady play under my belt now, and am getting a good feel for the limit game. Still have big holes in Omaha 8 and I'm still too much of a wuss for the push-fest that is Omaha PL, but I'm doing well with the Omaha limit games.

I'm also still on a pretty crazy $30 SnG run. I've made the money in 12 of the last 15 I've entered, winning six. At some point I'd like to devote a month to just SnGs and see how I do. I've played enough of those to know that those results are abnormal, and have suffered through plenty of offsetting dry spells in the past, but I'd be curious to see the overall results from playing 100 or so of them in a month.

I also played a few MTTs for the first time in awhile. Note to self: never play another speed tournament (blinds increase every 3 minutes) until Party finds a way to prevent people from mass stalling into the money. I like the idea of a speed tournament but there's massive collusion now, especially by people on the top tables that don't get broken up and rebalanced, so it basically comes down to a random crap shoot as far as what table you're sent to when yours breaks and the position you get relative to the blinds.

I also played a $5,000 guaranteed on Empire, which was interesting. Nothing went right from the first hand, leading up to me getting knocked out 20 minutes in when my KK got cracked by J10o. Oh, wait, I'm not out, I've still got 20 chips. Hee, my 89 held up, now I've got 60 chips. Big money. Then my K10s rivered a straight, to put me up to 240. I was about to push the next hand with K6s, but I thought wait, don't be stupid, the Red Sox/Yankees game is still on, you've got enough chips to do something with, the blinds are still tiny, etc.

So I kept hanging around, doubling up, hanging around, hanging around, tripling up, etc. I made it to the first break, hit a hot streak of cards, cracked AA with 1010, and suddenly was an above average stack. Long story short, I ended up placing 6th and taking down a bit over $250. Not the biggest cash in the world but that's the first time ever that I've come back with only a chip and a chair to win some decent money. So, you know, keep swinging.

The other gambling fun was of the blackjack variety, as I spent the weekend in Bossier City for my bachelor party. Louisiana casinos crack me up, especially the Horseshoe in Bossier City. It's a decent enough casino but, you know, it's still Louisiana, and, well... They also don't have a poker room so I was doomed to sit at the forever -EV blackjack table. Don't get me wrong, I used to love playing blackjack, but so much poker playing has tainted me a bit, as far as to the allure of sitting and watching crads flip out, always playing at a disadvantage, with no control whatsoever.

It also annoyed me a bit that they didn't offer any $5 blackjack tables. My main desire was to gamble as much as possible while risking the least amount of money possible. Yeah, I know, I'm a high roller. But I just got the final estimate for our wedding at the end of October and was still in a state of sticker shock, so I couldn't stomach the thought of dropping too much money. So I sat at a $10 table, cashed in $100, and managed to hold my own for awhile. I was up $100 or so at one point, down to my last $20 at one point, and cashed out to go get some dinner with exactly $103. Sweet.

After dinner I hit it again. Except this time they'd raised all the minimum bets to $15. Bastards. So I play for awhile, hanging around, until I get whittled down to $50, two green chips. Instead of breaking them down to prolong my agony I just start playing $25 each hand. I win a couple of hands to get back to even, win a couple more, and start pondering if I should cash out, up a bit. Some loud jackass and his brother and father sit down, smoking cigars. The louder jackass brother sits right next to me and keeps insisting on giving me the fist bump when one of us wins. So now I'm really pondering leaving, especially when I hit a bad stretch of five or six hands.

For some reason I stay though, and proceed to hit the wonderful shoe of goodness. I've been playing $25 for awhile so all I have are greens, and at some point I doubled it up to $50 a hand. Everything was working out, doubling down, dealer busting when we needed it, etc. The whole nine yards. I'd been keeping close track of my chips, rolling around numbers in my head, but I blanked out a bit here, almost scared to see how much I was up. We hit the cutoff card, one last hand (which I lost) and I just shoved all my chips in the middle to color up, before I talked myself into staying any longer and giving it back. I got eight black chips back, along with $80 in greens and reds. I tipped the dealer $25 and ran away.

It's interesting, the effect of poker on my thinking. In the past I never would have left then, convinced that I was running hot, that I was on my way to a truly huge score, only to slowly piss it away over the next few hours. This time, though, I couldn't run away fast enough, knowing how lucky I was, excited to take essentially found money and put it to better use in a poker bankroll. Well, minus about $50 of that I blew on really nice cigars at the cigar bar in the casino lobby. Heh.

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