Sunday, November 25, 2007

Poker Itch 

"Luck is nothing but probability taken personally."

Is there anything better than a Thanksgiving break? I think not.

A few Guinness-fueled, tangential quick thoughts before getting back to business tomorrow.

First off, I live on a 100+ acre horse farm. We have five mailboxes at the end of our very long driveway for the assorted families who live here. Thankfully over time, when I'm fortunate enough to receive cool stuff in the mail and it's only addressed to "The BlogFather" - the US post office knows which box to stuff it in.

So I've got that going for me.

I received both Wil Wheaton's book, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, and Johnny Hughes poker novel, Texas Poker Wisdom.

I was going to do a proper write-up of Wil's book, but just allow me to state I read the whole damn thing in one sitting. He has a genuine gift for storytelling and the courage to share. Highly recommended.

So get off your ass and support a fellow blogger. Head over to Wil's site and buy his damn book.

Anyone who reads this here humble poker blog knows I'm a huge Johnny Hughes fan. But I've yet to dig into his book so I'll be back with a full report when I've done so.

And yes. I finally got my ass to the boat to play poker over this holiday break.

So I've got the live poker bug again.

Having a monster session after a sustained and concerted time away will do that, I suppose.

Every table at the Argosy was packed when I got there. The biggest limit game was 5.10 so I opted to sit in the $2/$5 $500 max buyin NL game, and unbelievably, didn't recognize a single player at the table. Weeeeee.

For someone whose mantra is lose early and win late, the opposite occurred on this evening when I doubled up with set over set in the first orbit. Crimeny, I thought, why did I go back to work again?

I did, however, misplay a hand later on as badly as I've EVER misplayed a hand. It's pretty embarrassing considering I didn't just misread the board - I failed to identify the nuts. Literally gave away $200 on a river raise that the minute I pushed my chips in, realized what a horrific mistake I was making.

I really should recount the hand for you so you can cringe right along with me, but alas, I don't do hand histories here.

You know that moment when you are closing the car door and realizing you're locking your car keys in the car?

It was exactly like that.

But hell, it ultimately served two purposes. One, it knocked me out of my poker reverie and got me back into focusing on the game at hand, and two, my table mates (after seeing me table my mistake in the above hand) clearly thought this was my first time ever playing poker and refused to respect any of my raises the rest of the evening. +EV.

So there was that. But I'm still surprised I fucked up that hand like that.

As always, complacency is my nemesis in poker. But I'll be damned if I'm not gonna get back into playing more seriously. I've always considered poker the greatest hobby in the world - it's been said many, many times here in this blog.

I think the combination of playing for a living, then going back to work and then the legislation passing last fall just took all the wind out of my sails.

I needed a break.

But now is different. It's been a year. I have a great job and don't have to worry about grinding out my nut. And besides, I had mucho fun talking thru some hands and tough poker situations with poker buddies after my session. It really can be just for fun and continuing to learn again.

I've truly forgotten how much I love this damn game.

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