Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Downswongs, the WSOP, and Yard Sales, Oh My!

The wife and I are in the thick of Operation De-Clutter and Downsize and had a big yard sale this last Saturday. Aside from raking in nearly $300 for a bunch of useless crap, there was the added fun of being reminded just how bat-shit crazy many people are. I need to find a way to invisibly view such things, hiding in some sort of camouflaged, air-conditioned duck blind, so that I get to enjoy all the crazy but never have to, you know, actually speak to anyone.

Overweight lady reeking of displeasure with the world: How much do you want for this vacuum cleaner?

Me: Three dollars.

OLRoDwtW: Does it work?

Me: I have no clue. Probably not. It hasn't been used in years. That's why it's three dollars.

OLRoDwtW: Will you take two dollars for it?

Me: Sold.

(OLRoDwtW returns 20 minutes later, full of rage, dragging the vacuum cleaner behind her like an orphan waif who had just unleashed a foul load into their Huggies.)

OLRoDwtW: This doesn't work.

Me: Huh.

OLRoDwtW: I want my two dollars back.

(Hands her two dollars)

OLRoDwtW: I can't believe you'd sell someone a vacuum cleaner that doesn't work.

Me: ...

I also particularly enjoyed the people who'd eyeball stuff on the free table, consider it from all angles, and then ask how much I wanted for it. When told it was free they'd immediately drop it as if it was literally crawling with monkey pox, jumping away and giving me the stink eye for obviously trying to shoot some angle by unloading free crap on them.

Finished the month of May with a little over $3,200 in profit + rakeback from my adventure into $100NL full ring poker. Observant readers will notice that not only is that number well shy of my goal of $5K but a good bit below where I was at last report. Yes, indeedy...

I was just about to post on how I'd managed to avoid any major downswings or monkey tilt episodes for the month, when BOOM, downswong. I managed to drop about $1,300 over two days when very, very little went right. Like most kicks to the bankroll junk, it started with a string of coolers, draws that didn't get there, and similar somewhat unavoidable things, then got pushed into Wafflesian territory when the truly riduclous started piling on.

You'd think holding As 8s on a flop of Ks 4s 10s would be a good thing, especially when the idiot monkey at your table came over the top of your standard $5 continuation bet and shoved his entire $200 stack into the middle, holding just 3d 3h (really, I swear). And it normally would be a good thing, except when the turn is the 10d and the river the 10c to give him a boat.

Or flopping a set of 10s on a 10 8 4 rainbow flop, and leading out with your monster only to have a similar monkey shove his entire stack into the middle with J2o, only to catch a 9 on the turn and a Q on the river for a straight.

Don't get me wrong, though, I played like ass at that point and brought most of the losses on myself. Suddenly unable to lay down big overpairs to squeaky tight players that obviously have a huge hand, calling off entire stacks with just naked ace flush draws, and similar feats of donkery.

Which was pretty ironic timing, as I was about to post about how playing a much higher volume of hands was helping to reduce any tilt or stupid play on my part when I was running slightly bad. If you're only playing 3,000 or 4,000 hands a month, it's very possible that you can run epicly bad and lose every time you sit down to play, junk kicked repeatedly, through no fault of your own.

When you get in 50,000 hands a month, a lot of the variance gets smoothed out, and it's much easier to stay focused and avoid dumb plays, as even when you drop 3 or 4 buy-ins to start off a session it's just a drop in the bucket and you know you can grind it back as long as you get the hands in at the tables.

Easy to say, hard to accomplish, which I found out there at the tail end of the month. Pretty disappointing, all in all, but I did get my head back on straight and June is starting out well. If you'd have told me I'd take down around $3,200 for the month when I started the experiment I'd have been very happy with that, so I can't gripe too much. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and try to avoid it next time. (And yes, I already knew the lesson; the only "new" info is that I'm still unable at times to follow my own advice as far as not chasing losses, not playing pissed off, yada yada yada.)

The early WSOP reporting has definitely got me jonesing to be about their, as it sounds like Caesar's is running a pretty tight ship this year. I'm flying out June 28th to meet up with some of the PokerRoom staff before their players descend, so I should have a few days to gamble it up before getting to the grind of covering the Main Event for the PokerRoom blog.

Getting a press pass has been an absolute nightmare this year, as the firm Caesar's hired to handle the media application/approval process seem intent on making the process as painful and difficult as possible. I've bitched about this before but the attitude of nearly all the poker-powers-that-be to the media has to be one of the sickest ironies of the sports/entertainment world, as never have I seen any organization(s) consistently make it so hard for them to be given free, valuable publicity, time and time again.

Flying back on July 16th, so I imagine I'll be more than sick of Vegas by then, but for the moment I'm really looking forward to it. I'll likely be somewhat busier this year as PokerRoom is sending a ton more players this time, but they're also sending more bloggers to spread the workload around, so hopefully it'll be a wash. One cool part about my gig with them is that I do end up hanging out with players on all the trips throughout the year, and a lot of those players have managed to qualify for the WSOP, so it'll be cool to see them again at the Main Event.

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