Wednesday, September 19, 2007

May You Live in Interesting Times

Part of me is tempted to say that not a lot has been going on in my corner of the world, but, on paper, that's a bald-faced lie. Highlights of the last few weeks include:

1) Seeing Bob Dylan and Wilco and assorted other cool bands at the Austin City Limits music festival.

2) Being threatened with legal action for the very first time in my life.

3) Preparing to close on another investment property tomorrow.

4) Playing many, many hands of poker.

Part of the problem is that I think of the last few weeks as being very slothful on a personal level, as for the first time since April I haven't had a house in need of repairs to work on. (Well, other than the one we live in, but that's a different sort of always ongoing never-ending sort of thing.) But I suppose I've been pretty busy, when looking at things from afar.

Poker remains, as always, a strange beast. The nice little heater I'd been disappeared, replaced with a fairly epic cooler that saw the fledgling bankroll drop all the way back down to $1,000. I would have thought it difficult to drop nearly $1,000 in the .50/$1 NL games in just a few days, but I managed to pull it off.

All the usual culprits, but the biggest was playing when I was very much distracted and not in position to play anything resembling my A game, but I insisted on cranking out tons of hands to qualify for the Aussie Millions freeroll promotion on Full Tilt. 6 max games can be pretty punishing when you get a bit spooked and run into some rough sailing, as it's easy to sit there in a semi-daze, calling far too many pre-flop raises with speculative hands, then meekly folding away buy-ins when you miss.

The frustration is also more evident when you can't, no matter what you do, get paid off on the big hands that you finally do hit. AA gets cracked by 94o, a flopped set goes down in flames to a runner runner straight, the only time the action is folded to your BB in an hour is the time when you have AA, and on and on and on. You start playing scared, dumb poker, and it all goes to hell pretty quickly.

On the bright side, I finally had the good sense to shut things down and spent the rest of the weekend watching football and drinking. Since then I've been able to repair about 2/3rds of the damage I did, getting back to around $1,700 or so.

It also drives home the old adage about playing within your bankroll, too. I've been a little too arrogant for my own good playing at the lower stakes while trying to grind out a bankroll, telling myself that $1,000 was more than adequate for me to play .50/1, I'm too hawesome to get tilty and do too much damage, yada yada yada. Not so much, though, in practice, as the only thing that saved me was that I started the whole debacle sitting at just under $2K, and managed to right the ship before doing irreperable harm. If I'd started at $1K I'd have blown through most of then donked off the last $300-$400 doing something stupid like sitting in a $2/4 game with my entire roll, getting it all in with a hand like QQ vs. AK then bitching and moaning about my terrible luck when my opponent rivered an A.

Very happy that maddening, maddening football is back. No wagering this year, other than an office pool at work, which is probably for the best given the wacky start so far to the NFL season. Week 1 looked fairly normal but Week 2, umm, not so much. Nothing much to say about my Longhorns, other than all signs are pointing to a serious beatdown when they play OU this year. If we struggle with Rice this week, well, that's pretty much the nail in the coffin, methinks, as some good Texas high school football teams could likely thump Rice.

No comments: