Thursday, September 27, 2007

Poker Poker Poker (Sadly Shaking Head)

Poker and I had been on pretty good terms, but last weekend was just ugly. Fairly gruesome run at the cash games, then I got bounced from the Aussie Millions freeroll on Sunday in 40th or so when AA couldn't hold up against J6h.

I think the key to poker happiness is keeping my expectations very, very low. I like to play poker. When I sit down to play and have fun, I do well. When I get emotionally invested (man, I need to win some money today) and or intellectually invested (man, look at these donkeys, I should win some money today) in the results, I tend to post some pretty piss-poor results.

Why I ignore that and put a metal trash can on my head and bang it with a spoon, shouting "Lalalalala, I can't hear you," I do not know.

One thing I continue to struggle with is picking my battles with the crazies. Especially the crazies who love to shove for a ridiculous overbet pre-flop or on the flop. I'm not recommending completely nitting up, but I'm also not sure I want to get all my chips in the middle with A10 on a flop of 8s 4s 10d, if a crazy calls a pre-flop raise and open shoves for $95 more into a $10 pot. Or if I raise it up to $4 pre-flop from UTG, everyone folds, and the resident push monkey insta-shoves from the BB for $100. In theory, sure, call all day, as I'm ahead more often than not, which means I make money over time. In practice, I'm usually not that far ahead, and often flipping coins with a crazy. Definitely see the value in pushing any edge, if there's a reasonable belief you have an edge, but the overall EV is sometimes marginal, and getting the bad end of a few of those encounters early in a session can easily lead to a downward spiral of poor play.

I'm also struggling with letting the past go, as far as targeting lucksacks that stack me early on with ridiculous hands. Yeah, there's a lot to be said for liberally involving yourself with bad players, but not so much when steam is still coming out of your ears. I donked off a buy-in or two that I should still have due to still being Tilty McTiltpants and getting entangled in hands I shouldn't, giving absolutely no credence whatsoever to the fact that even lucksacks are dealt strong hands from time to time.

But, you know, I still gots chips, and managed to stop the bleeding at around the $1,500 mark, after donking off $500 or so. I'm on pace to get in about 40,000 hands this month, which is more than I've played in many, many moons.

Poker play may be light for the foreseeable future, though, as I closed on investment property #2 last Friday, so there's lots and lots of work to be done. I'm hoping to bang this one out pretty quickly, hopefully finishing up by November 1, then that's it for the real estate wheeling and dealing until next spring.

Heading off to Niagara Falls, Canada in late October for another tournament reporting gig for, which I'm definitely looking forward to, then covering the WPT event at the Bellagio in December, which should be a nice break before braving a family Christmas in Tennessee.

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