Monday, February 07, 2005

You Are a Fickle Mistress, Lady Poker

Total hands of poker played this weekend: 6,128
Total bonus money cleared: $750
Total profit: -$27.00
Experience of getting kicked in the junk repeatedly at the tables and frigging playing for frigging hours and hours on end only to show a net loss: priceless

Yes, indeed. I managed to clear assorted Empire and Paradise reloads, grinding and grinding away. I even received special dispensation from the wife to be a poker hermit, to aid me in the quest of knocking all these "juicy" reloads off my plate. Umm, yeah, juicy...

And I just couldn't get anything going. Nothing. Spending the weekend generally card-dead didn't help but I just couldn't string together any momentum. I'd finally start building a stack and the table would break, I'd get sucked out on at a NL table, something, anything. I tried mixing it up, playing 6 max 1/2, full ring 1/2 and 2/4, NL, Omaha, Stud, you name it. Nada. Nothing. No soup for me.

No Party cruise for me, either. My KK didn't hold up when the chip leader at my table cold-called my all-in bet of 2,120 with J8o, and rivered the straight. Sweet.

So yeah. Add in the bonuses and I'm $27 poorer than I was on Friday. I suppose that's better than being $777 poorer.

There was a silver lining, though. I was waiting for the Party semi-final to start and thought I'd knock out a blackjack bonus. I've worked through most of the good ones and am hitting the remaining dregs, usually sticky bonuses that require you to wager a ton of money. So I deposit $200, get a $200 bonus, and start playing. I start out pretty well but don't get too excited, as I have a lot of wagering left plus I have a pretty aggressive target for sticky casino bonuses, so odds are it'll all end up going poof.

The Party tourney starts, plus the wife is coming in and out of the office, and I'm trying to sign up for one more poker bonus reload before it expires, etc. Basically doing all of this on auto-pilot. Lo and behold, I finish the blackjack wagering and hit my target. For the hell of it, I bet one last hand at $200/hand. And I win. And I win again. And I say I'll let it roll until I lose a hand, and then I'll cash out. Except I don't lose a hand for quite awhile. I finally cash out +$2,200. Which isn't bad for about 45 minutes of "work".

(Don't get me wrong, the last thing I'm saying is blackjack > poker. And sticky casino bonuses are especially dangerous, as you have to be willing (and financially able) to suffer through losing your entire deposit over and over and over, before recouping it (plus some) when you hit it big. But yeah. Woo. Me like money.)

Watched the Super Bowl, which was a bit disappointing. Lucrative, in that I loaded up on the Eagles, but it was a pretty sloppy game that the Patriots had in hand the whole way by doing little more than playing solid, workmanlike football.

I started SuperSystem 2 last night. Can't really say I'm disappointed with it but I also can't really say I'm impressed. Once you read enough general poker strategy books there's not a whole lot new to glean from similar tomes, and you generally end up taking away a few nuggets from here, from there, and I didn't find any nuggets in the Caro section or Jennifer Harmon's limit section.

Well, that's a lie, as Caro did have an interesting tidbit about playing marginal hands, that I'd never really thought about in that light. His point was that if you're a good player, it really makes no difference whether you play all the marginal hands that you find or none of the marginal hands, as far as your net profit. Your net result is about the same over the long run. You don't profit from playing marginal hands, as the wins simply offset all the wasted antes and bets. Most top pros play all the marginal hands, though, as it gives the impression that they're giving action, allowing stronger hands to extract more value from the table. Not rocket science by any stretch of the imagination but I'd never seen that stated that way, as the normal justification for playing marginal hands is that if you're a better player, you're a better player, and can outplay people after the flop even with marginal hands. Which always seemed a bit dodgy to me, as, umm, they're marginal hands for a reason.

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