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Thursday, May 27, 2004

Little time for poker the last few weeks, spreading into the last few months. I'm planning to establish a schedule where I can play at least one night a week, and on the weekends, so I can see how I do at a more set habit of play.

I'd hoped to play in Royal Vegas' guarenteed 20K last night, but deadlines at work stopped me from getting home until about 8:55 PM, so I did manage to sign up ($20), but really was no mood or state to play well.

And indeed I did bust out in 20 minutes, and I elected not to rebuy. Shoudn't have even wasted the $20, I was so tired (and had no desire to continue sitting in front of a computer), but at least I did learn a valuable NL lesson.

Maniacs abound in these rebuy tourneys, and the guy who busted my two pair (he had flopped a straight flush) had already rebought 3 times in the first 20 minutes at the table. So I was deperate (a word you should never useto describe your poker play) to get my money in against him. Aside from the fact that I should not have put my money in with a flush board, the maniac made a small raise on me. Why a small raise?--he had done nothing but go all-in until then. The answer: he had the nuts. So the lesson is: identify the maniacs, but if suddenly they are making reasonable bets against you during the rebuy period, then watch out. They've got a big hand, and they're trying to get as much of your money in as possible.
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Monday, May 17, 2004

Thanks to Iggy for a fine tourney--I was happy to make it to the final table with only a smattering of good hands during the whole tourney. I busted out 7th, raising all in (I was one of the three shorter stacks) with A T suited, getting called (hesitantly) by Boy Genius, and then losing summarily when his pockets 8s turned into a full boat. Oops.

I enjoyed playing against a field of better players, because I could actually make some big bluffs (and I had to) and not get called down by anyone with bottom pair.

Thanks again--back to work.. sigh.

Ed (MonsterZ)



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Friday, May 14, 2004

Dipping my toe into dangerous ideological waters here, I'll offer (without being asked) my own opinion on the last blow-up over the beheading.

But first let me say that Iggy, in a word, rocks. His blog is a staple of my week: his writing is tight and his work ethic is astounding--he provides a valuable service. And I don't know Stinkypants from Adam, but I'll agree typing the name is, at least, unpleasant.

That much said, I'm in agreement with some of the commenters: the vitrolic reaction of many to SP's post, though understandable, is ... what, too much? No, the word are fine. It's beheadings that are atrocious, Crazy ideas should be aired--they will often eat themselves (or, as is the case with Rush Limbaugh, get sydicated). And they should be left aired--defended fine, not retracted.

The problem is this: the suggestion SP makes is such anathema to the decency of the common individual, who lives his life in such a way as to not hurt others directly, that it literally breaks the citizen-psyche. The reaction is violent, like a man thrashing for breath. If the "U.S." did perform an act like this (and I don't think you can say the "U.S." does anything--it's just not possible for such a diverse entity to claim singular will), then just what are we supposed to be defending?

But in fact the will of the powerful has led to some devestating acts that are attributed to the "U.S.", ones we don't want to hear about. Has U.S. money overthrows democracies that threaten its trade interests? Yes. Has U.S. money trained people as violent and cruel as the killers in that video? Unfortunately, yes again. Did the CIA sell crack to finance its own covert wars? We can't stand to hear about things like this--it destroys the fabric of our ideals. This is why writers like Chomsky aren't read, or heard from--I honestly couldn't finish any of his political books, because the holes in the fabric are so ... empty. And I don't think that fabric should be destroyed, but I think seeing that the holes are there, seeing what we can do to do better, would be a good thing.



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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Reading the PokerGrub's last blog on his spiral after getting unceremoniously knocked out of the Empire tourney, I see that he and I share some common traits.

Though not on the same scope, I've walked in the same footsteps: I just followed up two good weeks of (sporadic) play at the 2/4 tables with two dismal sessions, both played not because the tables were good, or because I was feeling sharp, but because I wanted to play. Last night, in fact, I had my worst session ever, ending the session with my pocket QQ getting beat by my raiser's pocket AA (on a board all J and lower). I could have told you I would lose, not just the last hand but the whole session: I was tired, mentally and physically, essentially on tilt before I even sat down, and have had too many things onmy plate too long. So why sit?

Because the instinct for some of us, when we're feeling bad, is to self-punish. I'll do it with all the vices I can get a hold of--I'll drink, return to cigarettes, lose money at poker, etc. (I'm glad I never moved into more dangerous pursuits--like Blackjack--or heroin.) I assume this is just the brand of one personality type, but fighting the instinct is damned hard, because deep down I apparently want to linger in that negativity--extend it, wallow in it.

Obviously, this is not the trait of a good player. Brunson talks about this in his Super/System; not to play when you are dealing with problems, or upset, or desperate. And he's right, but learning the lesson and getting it to stick is the tough part.

Self-analysis aside, I hope to join in Iggy's tourney this Sunday--I haven't had the chance to play in a Blogger WPT event since the inaugural, so I hope I can get Pacific to accept Neteller tonight.

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