Pokerama-rama! Now with more beer!

Beer, brewing and poker, with possibly some inane drivel on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Hmmm. Well, I guess I could say that I'm back, though I don't remember ever saying that I was leaving in the first place. Up until last weekend, I hadn't played much poker in a little shy of a month, so that means that there wasn't all that much to write about. "You better have a good reason", all two of you say. "I do", I reply.

You see, there's this little game called Halo 2. Have you heard of it? If not, you've been living under a hobo. I was one of those freaks that waited in line at midnight last week to be one of the first to play it, and I really haven't stopped playing it since. You'd think that getting completely, and utterly schooled by prepubescent 12 year-olds in a video game would make me want to cry into a pillow. On the contrary, it makes me feel so much better to frag a little punk, even if that's the only point I score when the match is over. So, I've been spending much of the past week and a half playing Halo 2, but that doesn't account for the other 2 weeks.

Right after the last blogger tournament, I was running good and starting to feel like my game was finally coming around. And then I started becoming too session oriented, and I know that I'll get absolutely nowhere by doing that. I had to take a step back and look at what I wanted to accomplish in regards to my poker playing, and the answers I came up with required a break. I didn't think it would be this long, though. Of course, I want to be a successful player, but I'm too practical to think that I'd ever be driven enough to make it a career. That would be silly of me. I also don't ever dream of playing in the WSOP, or any other big tournament for that matter, because those types of situations just don't make me comfortable. I was just worried with wins and losses per session, and not what the long-term picture held, and that can spell distaster. Anyhow, I'm sure none of that makes sense, just sayin' is all.

My return:

A buddy, Anthony, called me on Saturday afternoon and invited me to a home game down in Eden Prairie, and I figured it would be as good a time as any to break back into groove. Plus, Anthony needed a chaffeur.

We started at 5pm, and by the time we finished 7 hours later, I was just frustrated. It wasn't even a case of being on tilt, I just get frustrated with disorganization, especially when I can't control anything. There was so much that I had issues with, and I think that comes from playing online a lot, where everything is structured so well, that when I come into a different situation, I have trouble.

For one, we started out with an assload of chips, and though that doesn't bother me-because it gives everyone enough play for their money-the blinds stayed the same until someone has knocked out. This meant that, for the first hour, we were stuck at 1-2 blinds, and even after the first person was eliminated, they were only bumped up to 2-4. This accomplishes nothing more than passing chips, and there is no sense of urgency to make a move. I could sit back until I got premium starting hand-which I never did-and then push. There's really no decision making skills involved. And I couldn't really speak up and say that the structure was one of the worst I've ever seen, because I was a guest. Luckily, the second tournament we played, we changed the levels to be on a per-minute basis, which was a lot better.

The second problem I had-and I realize that it has a lot to do with my reluctance to speak up, because I didn't run the game-were the players. The guys that I knew were decent, but a few had never played before. The problem isn't in that they were new, and had to be walked through a few hands, just that one kid inparticular had shitty etiquette, and that bothers me. Yes, I know, I should've said something. For instance, when this kid was dealt his hole cards, he'd hold them in his hand the entire hand. This had never occurred to me before, and at first it didn't register that this was a huge problem. It wasn't until the second tourney that it became apparent that he was the one slowing down the game because nobody ever knew if he was in the hand in the first place. Secondly, every time he folded, he'd angrily whip his cards into the muck, and I'm surprised that Anthony didn't clock him after getting hit by cards for the 5th time.

Oh well, enough about that. I can't even say much about my play, because I can't recall any specific hands. One of the guys-who was fairly decent as far as I could tell-said "I'm afraid of playing a pot with you, because you haven't been in a hand for awhile, and if you come in, you're probably going to have something". Respect is a nice thing, if I'd used it to my advantage. I loosened up for a few hands after that, but unfortunately the others didn't have the same respect for me, and I lost a pot or two on steal attempts gone horribly awry.

In the first tournament, I bubbled, and in the second I went out in 4th, losing 3 consecutive hands to the bad kid when I was a significant favorite in all 3. Oh well, at least he bubbled in that one.

Last night, the Halo 2 servers were all wonkified, so I jumped on Party $25 NL tables, and 30 minutes later, I was up a full buy-in when my AA held up against someone else's KK. The Party dealers welcomed me by dealing me aces 3 times in 15 minutes. If were only that easy all the time, I'd never leave in the first place!

I hate to cut this right here, but I think that'll suffice for another month, or so. I need coffee. Or lunch. Or a nap. All three would be nice.


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