|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
|"All life is 6-5 against" - Damon Runyon|
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Where's My Motherfucking Movie Check
I mentioned there's a dichotomy between my feelings about this "internet celebrity" thing I alluded to before. There is absolutely a part of me that needs to mentally disconnect the fact that someone is actually reading all this to write some of the things that I have before. I need to feel like I'm shouting into the wind or locking these words up and out of anyone's view in order to get some of this crap off my chest appropriately.
I like anonymity. I crave anonymity.
But I'm also fiercely proud (if not wildly insecure at the same time) of this site, as much for what it gives me as for what I have created on it. Pauly asked me the other day why I blog. One reason is that it gives me a creative outlet that I'm really not satisfying anywhere else in my life at the moment. The other? That I'm an analytical person and I have been able to understand my life far better since putting my past into words than before. And I think that I'm able to merge those two reasons together to create some interesting content (sometimes). I'm not looking to get my ass kissed in the comments or anything, but I know that there are people out there that really (seem to) enjoy what I'm doing here.
So, despite my craving for anonymity, there's also a part of me that has a little bit of an ego about my writing. It's a small part, and it's a small ego to be sure. But I know that on my best days, I feel that I can write some pretty goddamn entertaining stuff.
That small part of me with that small ego is never satisfied. I can write better than this. I can buckle down and write a novel (not saying anyone would want to read or publish it, just a goal). I should be more "widely read" than I am. I am a top-notch blogger and deserve more.
Ahh... here we go. This is where I've been going with this. In one breath I'm telling you that I don't like having that weird feeling (no matter how infrequent) of "internet celebrity," but in the next breath I'm telling you that I feel I'm just as good a blogger as someone like Dooce, and crave that sort of attention? Yeah, that's exactly what I'm doing.
Remembering the ego is, in fact, very small, and my insecurity about the quality and content of my writing is always much higher will get you through these next few paragraphs either scratching your head or more understanding of my messed up head than ever before. I'm laying eight-to-five on the former.
I'm going to admit something here that I'm not proud of. And it starts with a disclaimer: whatever it is, it's always all about me in the end. Especially pertinent in this space. In between posts about how much I hate Ohio drivers and my experiences over the weekend in the grocery store, I tend to pick at little things in my head that need either a good dislodging or just a Feng Shui move-around. And what I'm not proud of is that when I read about Otis' new gig, my first instinct wasn't to be happy or excited for him.
It was to be depressed for me.
By no means whatsoever am I saying "I deserve that," or anything of the sort. I'm just having a hard time seeing the people around me, friends both online and off, doing more interesting things than I am. When Otis said he was taking that leap, I mentally crashed for a couple of days. It's not Otis in particular, it's not that there's someone making a leap from their blog to fame and fortune (cough) when I'm not. Part of this is that I was feeling burned out and spent on my life, my job, my writing, and really the only outlet I have into which I can pour all my emotions is contained right fucking here.
I was feeling like this is all I have. And what has it gotten me? I feel like I have shed a lot of emotional blood in this webspace, and what exactly has been the point?
I felt like I should be getting something in return. I've laid myself bare on here at times, and I wasn't seeing any benefit. What was the point?
I really didn't have a good answer for that. Pauly asked what exactly I wanted in return. A book deal? I really don't fucking know sometimes. I don't think so though.
For as much as I support as I got from Otis, Pauly, Iggy, and plenty of others along the way, I am a realist that understands that I'm not good or seasoned enough to just "be a writer." Not now, at least. But I began to see the forest for the trees. It's not this, meaning my blog, that is the source of my dissatisfaction. It's this life of mine in which I am understanding that I'm not "doing" what I'm "supposed to be doing." All of this muddled mindstate mess I was focusing on just made me magnify my own problems with being so fucking sedentary in my life over these past few years.
So I'm "supposed to be" doing something else.
I want to know what that "supposed to be" thing is. I want to know that I'm pointing my life in a direction in which I'll ultimately find some semblance of satisfaction. It's not headed in that direction right now. I'm not "supposed to be" a cubicle monkey (who is?). I think I need to be paid to be creative on some level, somehow, in order to feel like I'm productive and happy. I don't know that this blog has anything to do with any sort of life-altering seismic shift, but I don't know that it doesn't either. For now, I'm going to continue to try to be the person and the writer here that I've become. Because, if in no other place in my life right now, this is where I can find a little clarity, and maybe a little bit of satisfaction.
I thought more about what I have, in fact, gotten in return from my efforts here. I have moved farther down the path towards understanding who I have become and who I want to be, and that's been incredibly valuable. I have also gained the friendship and support of a number of people across the country who I have let get to know me through these infernal ramblings of mine perhaps better than most of my "real-life" friends ever have. I wouldn't trade that for a full-time gig writing for the Sears catalog.
And I want to acknowledge that I am happy for Otis and thrilled that a very deserving person is being put in a position to do something he loves. And I hope it loves him back. This has been a temporary funk that can hopefully spur a full-time acknowledgement that there has got to be something out there that I can do to make my life more fulfilling. It's not (necessarily) what Otis, Hank, Grubby, Iggy, or Pauly are doing. It's not (necessarily) doing what my brother and his wife have done and are moving towards, along with more than a couple of my friends.
There's got to be something better, and I guess it's all on me to figure out what that "something better" is all about.
Friday, January 28, 2005
Picasso had his blue period, I’ve got this post.
The usual blog volume has been muted lately, as I have a couple of thoughts bouncing around that I haven’t been able to articulate for a variety of reasons.
Until now. By the way, about a week ago I said there was a post I was trying to write that I kept ditching out on because it would make me look like a conceited asshole. This is going to be that post, with some other thoughts folded in for good measure.
There’s a really interesting dichotomy going on with me in regards to this community and this blog, where we came from as a group, where we’re going, and what this all “means,” if anything at all. On one hand, there’s a part of me that is astounded by and thankful for the “legitimacy” the poker blogging community has found, and what that has meant for a few of our key contributors. And on the other hand, there’s a part of me that is astounded and annoyed by the “legitimacy” the poker blogging community has found, and what that has meant for a few of our key contributors.
Confused? Me too.
Pauly’s post the other day about not wanting to read a blog unless it was reasonably well-written was a sledgehammer driven version of the message I had been trying to convey on paper here for a couple of weeks. I think he probably came off a little more abrasively than he could have in what he said, but his point wasn’t lost on me.
My version is a little different though.
I started this here blog of mine for my own reasons. Seemed like a fun thing to do, mainly. Gave me a place to “talk” when I wasn’t getting the daily dose of conversation I feel I need to keep my mind from falling into atrophy. Oddly, Iggy and I found each other at about the same time. I don’t think I was one of the first “poker blogs” he pimped, but if he’s adding links to his blogroll at the bottom as time passes, that might tell you how long I’ve been around. Through Iggy I read Pauly. Through Pauly, Al started reading me. I started reading Al. I met Pauly, then got the chance to meet Al. This same sort of series of connections introduced me to everyone you see linked over on my right hand side.
Organic. Connections were made, mutual respect was formed, friendships were born.
We were able to find voices in the chorus that sounded like our own. A lot like our own. We were fortified by, made friendships with, exchanged stories about, and were inspired by the efforts of those around us.
This community was and is our own. I’m speaking solely to a group of thirty, maybe forty of us who have become my friends, my colleagues, my enablers, my virtual and one-time real gambling circus sideshow and brothers-in-blog.
Vegas, for those of us that were there, was a chance to experience these associations in person, a weekend of solidarity organically grown from the friendships we had all grown to respect and value online.
Vegas, for better or for worse, was a gathering hurricane of anticipation and an absolute avalanche of sordid and assorted tales of anything but gambling blues for the few weeks surrounding the event.
My point is, there was a definite buzz growing out there leading up to the event, and I believe that in the weeks following that trip there was hardly a blogger involved that didn’t produce tremendously engaging content. We painted a true picture of what happened that weekend in December. In actuality and in retrospect, it all seemed larger than life.
Combine that with the larger than life actuality and day-after retrospectia* circling the “Blogger Tables” on PartyPoker, and we’ve certainly created an image – almost a group identity – as a bunch of free-wheeling, hammer swinging, poker hedonists.
*I acknowledge “retrospectia” is not a word, but I like the way that it sounds. By the way, if I want to make sure I’m using a word properly, I’ll often Google it. In this case, I wanted to find out if it was, in fact, a word. It wasn’t, but oddly enough I turn up as search result #2 of about 22.
I joke around with Al Can’t Hang and refer to him as an “Internet Celebrity.” Problem is, I’m barely kidding.
There were two events that occurred within a week of each other that really left me feeling weird about this whole thing we’ve got going on here. First, one night while sitting with about five other bloggers at a NL table on Party, there was an unrecognized name who had waited on the list for at least an hour for his seat (trust me, I was watching). Didn’t chat, nothing. I’ll give you one guess as to what happened…
…Yep, he basically played zero hands until he got the hammer, came in for a ridiculously big raise on the flop, and got everyone to fold around. He showed the cards and typed in chat, “EAT THAT YOU BLOGGERS!” before leaving.
The other happened shortly thereafter. I had written about feeling a little crappy, as had Pauly, and Iggy had mentioned his surgery. I got a comment on my blog from a name I didn’t recognize and a blog link I didn’t either. So I click over, and there’s a whole post about how Pauly and Iggy and I are all sick or injured, and that something must be going around.
I know, I know… That’s really actually quite nice of the guy to care. Really it is. But no matter how open and brutally honest I am about myself in this webspace, I am basically so utterly and freakishly shy that my first instinct tends to be, ”Do I know you? Why are you writing about me?”
Internet Celebrity Boy Genius. See, here’s where the “conceited jackass” perception is going to start. I’m uncomfortable, I admit it. While I’m absolutely proud of my blog, and feel that I have good reason to be, I find it strange and disconcerting to have people who don’t know me at all talking about me online. Stalking me (us) to the blogger table on PartyPoker. Talking on their brand new blogs about how next blogger trip to Vegas, they’re definitely going to be onboard.
”Do I know you? Why are you writing about me?”
I know I’m not alone in this feeling. I’ve talked to a few bloggers who almost resent the fact that poker blogs are sprouting up left and right out there on the landscape, and talk as if they’re part of the family. I’m not going to go so far as to say I resent these guys, but I know that my small problems of discomfort are nothing compared to what some of the more widely-read blog authors have told me. New bloggers are hitting them up for links, advice, even money. Some are stealing link lists or, as I have heard lamented, “stealing my style.” And to paraphrase someone else’s words, “I hate every time a new blogger says, ‘Oh the humanity.’ It’s so unoriginal.”
Therein lies the rub, which Pauly so delicately discussed a couple of days ago. Unoriginal. But let me reach back a few paragraphs to grab another word that I think can accompany “unoriginal” to help me make my point. Organic.
I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the bloggers I know and read, simply because it is extremely difficult to come up with something interesting enough to read on a near-daily basis. These are writers who have worked hard to create a personal and engaging diary, and are gracious enough to share what they’re thinking and learning with whoever wants to read it.
Unless a blogger steps into the fray with some obvious and nurtured talent for writing (or at least diary-keeping), it’s naturally going to take them a little while to understand what it is their blog says about them, what it is they want to say, and how best to say it on a daily basis. It took me awhile. They may find a niche, they may not. They may just scrap the thing after a few weeks or months. It’s an organic process. Find your voice, and we’ll come and read you. Have something besides hand histories and home game reports to communicate, and sooner or later people will come. And come back. I’ve never once asked anyone to advertise my website. I’ve actually turned down offers. I may not be that wildly well-read, but I do okay. The moral is, I never pushed for any of this to happen, never lobbied for inclusion in this community, and never asked anyone else for any special favors for my blog. Every friendship I’ve gained from my writing and poker play has been a completely natural occurrence.
I have something I want to say to all the new bloggers out there that is probably the most egotistical and conceited thing I’ve written in this space since I turned the “OPEN” sign on a couple Augusts ago. The thirty or forty of us that know each other, read each other, and play together all have a mutual respect for one another because of the work we’ve each done to contribute to this community as a whole. If you want to get to know Iggy, if you want to pick Hank’s brain, if you too want pieces of Pauly, bring something to the table. Be intelligent, be funny, be theoretical, whatever. Just be fucking interesting, all right? Having a blog does not make you a blogger. Having something to say might. Saying that something you want to say in an engaging fashion will. This is all I’m asking.
I understand Pauly’s frustration. Blogs are such an immediate and personal art form that to see mediocrity continue to pop up is disheartening. And it’s got to be doubly frustrating for people like Pauly, Iggy, and Hank (among others) who have dedicated their time, energy, and thoughts to creating unique and engaging content, only to see uninspiring poker blogs continue to pop up at every turn, looking for a piece of these guys somewhere along the way.
Be patient guys. Work on your content. It'll happen.
(There's more I'm going to add later, I just wanted to get this up for now)
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Bob was wrong in his assessment today of the most unwatchable commercials on television. While I can’t disagree that those Jamster, McDonald’s, and redneck funnyman ads are horrid and grating, it bears mentioning that I’m a fan of The West Wing re-runs.
Therefore, there’s a special spot in hell I have reserved for whoever invented that fucking Project Runway show and the advertisements they run every lousy commercial break on Bravo.
Especially annoying were the promos that aired before the show ever did. They introduced you to the cast of characters, some of whom, predictably in the world of “fashion design,” were almost too flamboyant to be on E! (almost). There was one guy in particular, a chubby and lisping pastel wearing caricature, whose line in the promos was basically something like, “And I just want to go to middle America and get you up off your couches and out of Wal-Mart and just say Let’s Dance!” He then proceeds to execute a dance move to show us what that might look like, and I can’t dump the Clorox into my eye sockets fast enough for it to matter.
There’s also one guy who looks like a wispily effete version of Fred from Scooby Doo (doubtlessly due to the ubiquitous cravat), whose mere presence makes Carson Kressley look like Mike Ditka (and I can’t believe I know enough “pop culture” to be able to make that last analogy – I’m so, so sorry). I’ve seen corpses in wakes with less facial makeup than this guy was rocking. He’s the type of guy that sets stereotypes back fifty years. If he were Asian, he’d be squinting real hard, exchanging all his “Ls” for “Rs,” wearing beaver teeth, and bowing madly underneath a big wicker hat. I can tell you that a “shucking and jiving” black man wouldn’t last three seconds on TV without Sharpton leading a march, but a guy like this can be trotted out and, well, nothing? Makes no sense to me.
I really only bring that guy up because in a later commercial that promoted a midseason episode, Chubbily “fought” Fred and was “slamming” his head up against a wall while Fred was wailing in faux distress. Chubbily wasn’t “slamming” his head hard enough to muss his hair, let alone do any physical damage. It was an egregious display of ridiculousness, and almost turned me Republican.
The sky is falling.
Seriously, look outside. Grab a hard hat first. What else could explain roosters wearing boxing gloves, Ringo Starr saving the world, the government asking a bunny for their money back, some dude too dumb to just jump off a freaking bridge, or the latest sign that hippies are really just screwing it up for the rest of us?
At least I can count on Irv Gotti to “keep it real.”
While I certainly have no explanation for a superhero “with a great sense of rhythm,” or a guy who didn’t kill himself but took out a dozen innocents instead, the rest of this stuff gets me thinking…
Cockfighting is a $100 million dollar a year business? Really? Is putting a few hundred bookies out of business that big a dent on Oklahoma’s economy? Seriously though, this idea has merit. If they can somehow keep the industry that creates tiny little chicken sized boxing gloves and sensor vests in Enid and Stillwater as opposed to sweatshopping the labor out to Seoul or Mexico City, they can create a cottage industry and all sorts of jobs. Maybe we could even put this on TV, or better yet tag it on to all those venues that show horse and greyhound racing and allow for pari-mutuel wagering.
OK, maybe not. And seriously, if I ever get to the point where I have a favorite cock, just put a bullet in my skull and drag me out of the OTB by my feet.
I don’t have much to say about the PBS article, but let me address that and the well intentioned patchouli smelling pony tailed hippie faction in San Francisco at the same time… Stop it. You’re not making things better, you’re just encouraging fascist elements at some end of the spectrum to continue to shove their agendas down the throats of America. It’s pretty simple guys. If you’re using government money to show lesbians on TV to kids, you’d better realize you’re going to get bitchslapped by conservative elements – some of whom are running this country right now. Just don’t do it. Find some private funding, find an outlet on cable TV, do it yourself if you want to make efforts to show how normal you are. Don’t raise the hackles of conservative America because you feel it’s your obligation - it’s not. And don’t drag kids into the middle of this either. Use your own money and put these people on TV on your own channel. Let’s not turn every “seemingly innocent” thing you’re trying to do into some sort of battle. And explain to me one thing before you go…
Why now can’t I fucking smoke outside if I want to?
Goddamn hippie fascists. Take a shower, get a haircut, and let me smoke a freaking cigarette in peace for chrissakes. If I ever go to San Francisco, it won’t be a flower in my hair I’ll be sporting, it’ll be a Gillooly-issue kneecap whacking baton in my right hand to accompany the cigarette in my left. And if some fucking longhair walks up behind me and does the so-polite-it’s-impolite “coughcough” to let me know I’m smoking in his airspace, he’s going to get Kerriganed. You’ll have a quivering mass of tie-dyed Woodstock funk sobbing quietly right there on the sidewalk wailing, “Why… Why!?!?!”
Speaking of “so-polite-it’s-impolite,” What did Kenny Loggins say to the fat girl? No, that’s not the opening to a joke. I actually watched “American Idol” last night, and their “guest judge” for these opening auditions was Jim Messina’s Personal Judas himself, Kenny Loggins. Late in the show there was an audition from a pretty talented, but awfully plain fat girl. The instant she was through singing there was a loaded moment as the judges looked at each other, all looking for the reason to tell her she’s not pretty enough to move on.
But what Kenny Loggins said made me laugh with how aghast I felt: I think we have a bit of an “image problem” here.
Nice double standard you Ruben Studdard lovers you… To their credit (and because the only reason to say “no” would have been “you’re not an attractive person”), they moved her along.
And then I lost, by my calculation, six and a quarter IQ points watching Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie for the next half hour. This raises an interesting question…
Would you sleep with Paris Hilton?
Since I often think like an economist, I’m going to place the following assumptions and/or caveats on this question. First, this isn’t an “I’d rather sleep with (insert other celebrity),” scenario. It’s Paris Hilton and only Paris Hilton. Secondly, there is no ability to videotape the event or sell your story to the Enquirer. The only post-coital benefit is to be able to tell people (without financial gain) “I slept with Paris Hilton.” Third, it’s a guaranteed one night stand with this “celebrity” in a nice hotel, and that’s it.
So you’re in a bar, Paris Hilton notices you and starts flirting. Would you sleep with Paris Hilton?
I offer “Yes” as my answer. The “one night stand” aspect makes this palatable. Plus, she’s not unattractive. Also, even if the sex itself was average at best (and if I’m somehow involved, that’s no guarantee), there is an awful lot of mileage a guy could get when he, oh, calls every single person he knows the morning after and tells the whole world what happened.
Could I date her? I think getting a crack at that much money would be difficult to walk away from, regardless as to how big a dumbass twit she is or isn’t. If I knew she and I weren’t getting anywhere ultimately, there’s no way. But millions upon millions are probably worth overlooking the fact that you’re marrying a girl that has a widely viewed sex tape on the market.
So am I saying that my type is “rich, blonde, young, and lithe?” I’m certainly not not saying that.
Another miserably bad session last night. Let me give you an example of what I mean by "bad cards." Sometimes, it doesn't mean "nothing but King Three Off."
I saw flops with 13 sets of pocket pairs. I was 0-13 catching a set on any street (would have rivered one to make a boat, but had to get out of the hand well before that point).
I saw flops with 13 sets of suited cards (mostly aces, also throwing in SB/BB suited connectors I played), and in twelve of those instances the board came with two of another suit with no pair for me.
I had KK twice - both folded to me pre-flop (once in limit to one raise, once in NL where I made $8). I had AA once and had to protect a KT6 flop with two clubs. Made $2. I had QQ once and made $6, and JJ once and saw two overcards on the flop.
When I had starters that needed help on the flop, I didn't get it. When I had starters that didn't need help, I didn't get action. Frustrating.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
'Cause I got mine...
Monday, January 24, 2005
This week, in middle schools across America, has been deemed “No Name-Calling Week.”
Sounds like a great idea, right? Teach kids that it’s okay to be different, and that it’s not okay to be a bigot?
Well, the problem some people are having with this is that the idea was presented by a gay/lesbian group. From an article I read this morning:
"I hope schools will realize it's less an exercise in tolerance than a platform for liberal groups to promote their pan-sexual agenda," said Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute.I spent what were probably my most important “formative” years (age 10-17) out in Utah as a Catholic in Mormon-land. In my experience, there was always an underlying tacit assumption that everyone was like everybody else in their beliefs.
Except I wasn’t.
I can remember plenty of times where pious, well-meaning adults engaged groups of us kids in prayer – even in a school setting for school activities. Since I don’t consider Mormons to be Christians (I don’t think Catholic doctrine does either), this was always seriously uncomfortable for me. And divisive. And a complete reaffirmation that I was, in fact, an outsider and different from everyone else. And I had a big problem with that growing up.
I have a sincere issue then with anyone who pushes an agenda that seeks to limit tolerance under the assumption that “we’re all Christian,” or “we all believe this,” whatever “this” ends up being. We’re not all like you. We don’t need a “return to Christian values,” because one concept of Christian values doesn’t even remotely come close to marching in lockstep with every other pious and well-meaning version of Christian values out there.
I think there’s a big leap that these “values groups” need to make. They need to understand that ideas like this can be presented to our kids with one basic idea behind it: don’t be an asshole. There’s a big difference between “you’re different and I don’t endorse your choices” and “you’re a fag.” It’s perfectly acceptable for our schools to tell children that the latter is not acceptable without having to dive in to why the former is or isn’t a core belief for millions of people out there. They don’t necessarily have to talk to our children about why people are different (although I think they should), but should at bare minimum set expectations that while on school grounds children should act civilized to one another.
At bare minimum.
I know that what I just said was almost said in as many words by the gentleman I quoted above, but I would bet money that this guy heard about this program third hand, heard who was behind it, and hasn’t personally inspected any of the curriculum that would accompany the idea. I guess I get confused as to how these groups can get “respect for” and “endorsement of” mixed up. Kids are going to pick on each other regardless of how many programs like this are rolled out, but when the school can get involved with these kids at an early age to teach them what is and what isn’t acceptable to say to another kid, how doesn’t that make the world a better place?
I don’t think you have to teach what the least of us believe, but I also don’t think that some supposed idea of “majority values” are appropriate either. As long as tax dollars come flowing in from Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, and Atheists alike, Christians don’t have the solitary right to choose the curriculum or jump to conclusions over who is or isn’t endorsing an agenda. I would love to force a couple of these Christian do-gooder families to spend a year or twelve in a community like Salt Lake City or Dearborn, MI. Put them in a place where their beliefs and their religion is in the vast minority. I’d like to see them using the same tactics Atheists and the ACLU use to get “under god” out of the pledge to stop the Muslim prayer bells from ringing. I’d like to see them redefine their ideas about what should and shouldn’t be taught to our children when their children are not like everyone else’s children.
Respect seems like such a simple concept. It’s a real pity people like this are around to spoil it.
How to go broke twice with deuces…
I’m getting kinda bored playing for dimes.
By no means am I saying I’m getting bored with the people in my home game, but $20 buy in stakes don’t hurt, so I haven’t been tending to take these games real seriously lately. I’ve been cashing out even or up almost every time, but have been getting the reputation for playing extremely loose.
With as much money as I’ve lost online lately (a lot for me and my small stakes), I went in to Saturday’s game with the full intention of tightening up. For my own good, I needed to remember what it was like to not play 83o, just because $.50 isn’t a lot of money.
Thankfully, the cards were cooperating with my plan on Saturday, if by “cooperating” you mean “not ever being playable.” So I folded.
And folded. And folded.
There’s a point, stay with me.
I was audibly complaining about my cards. I wasn’t “making moves” on pots. I wasn’t caught in any bluffs, simply because I didn’t bluff. Not for the first few hours.
Fold, fold, fold.
Three and a half hours in, I’m on the button, and I get deuces.
Flashback to four days prior… With my last $22 on a NL table on PartyPoker, I get 22 down and call a 1xBB raise. Flop comes AAA. It’s checked to me, I bet the pot and get a caller. Turn is a 9. I bet the rest of my stack, about 1.25x the pot, and get called – by 99 down. What are the freaking odds?
So I’ve got deuces, and I haven’t played anything but the rock all night long. I bump it up $1, hoping to buy the blinds. Jon is in the small blind and calls.
Flop comes AAQ, three suits.
I know Jon doesn’t have an Ace or a Queen. Of that I’m confident. I bet $3, just under twice the pot, and get called.
Turn is a blank, let’s say a 5. Again, I want to bet the pot. I don’t have the overcards, but I know he doesn’t either.
So you’re Jon. You’re sitting there without an Ace or a Queen, and you don’t have 55 either. The guy who’s played three lousy hands in three hours comes in for the pot on a board chock full of overcards. What are you going to do with your pair of nines?
It’s only an extra $3 or so to go all-in, so instead of betting the pot, I push. Jon calls for almost his entire stack.
Now, if I have a “tell,” I have a “tell.” So be it. But I’m pretty confident he didn’t “catch something” from me that would have told him his nines were good. Every time my lil’ bro calls me all the way down, regardless as to whether I have it or not (which I do, more often than I don’t), it’s always because he “thought I had nothing.”
I’m pretty sure that was Jonny’s idea too. “He’s loose, he’ll play with anything. I’ll call.”
How you can do that against a guy who hasn’t played shit all night long is beyond me. Like I said, if I gave something away, that’s on me. But even though his call turned out to be right, I still think it was a horrible call.
Now, my online play getting busted with deuces was actually pretty bad. This play I really liked though. I thought I had been setting it up well all night long, and “playing tight” would give me a shot at a board full of overcards sooner or later.
Instead, I had to rebuy.
This leads me to my next gripe about the home game lately. I understand that none of us are rich guys. I accept that. I’m not rich, they’re not rich, this is why we play for $20. Problem is, when I go to my pocket for another $20, I look around at the table and the two guys who are winning have already pocketed $20 each, taking it off the table. With the relatively conservative play you’d see in my home game, I might be able to double my $20, but I’m not going to run it up a whole lot higher than that.
Is it “fair?” Sure, why not? It’s their money, they won it. If they want to play “on the house” after doubling their buy, so be it. Does it suck? Absolutely. What happens when one of these guys lands a solid second-best to me somewhere down the line? Are they more likely to fold than to take a chance on busting out and having to reach into their pocket for what they had put away earlier? For most of these guys? Absolutely.
What’s the etiquette on this anyway?
I did double my $20 back to $47, meaning I walked away a winner. I’m not griping too hard about this. I do think it’s interesting that these guys are missing out on being able to play big stack poker if they do rally their buy in up to a big number. I know I enjoy laying the boom from ahead instead of always feeling like I’m down to my last $20 and playing chickenshit poker.
Tonight is another home game, this one a tournament that will hopefully be a badly needed tune-up for the next WPBT event coming up on February 2nd. I plan on donating in that one, so don’t miss out.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
About the Author
Greatest Hits [archived]
Guinness and Poker
Al Can't Hang
The Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Tao of Pauly
Scott, Texas' favorite Fat Guy
Only Built 4 Cuban Links
Up For Poker
Ugarte's Poker Grovel
JD's Cheap Thrills
Poker Stars Blog
Vegas Poker Blog
Poker in the Weeds
Nickle And Dimes
Not a Poker Blog
Dispatches From The Culture Wars
Horse Racing Links
Curb My Enthusiasm
Daily Racing Form
They Are At The Post
Tampa Bay Downs
Your Average Horseplayer
Tote Board Brad
Left At The Gate
design by maystar
powered by blogger
Syndicate this site
Online Poker : Visit Dr. Pauly at Tao of Poker for the best written journal on Poker Around. From on-line poker rooms to off-line live tournament coverage including the WSOP.
Las Vegas : The Poker Prof's Las Vegas and Poker Blog is the goto stop for people who come to Sin city to hit the tournaments and poker rooms. From the World Poker Tour to the World Series if it's big poker in Vegas it's blogged here. Home to the Prof's Las Vegas Links Directory.
Utilities Provided By