Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Confessional Record

"Madame/Mister Chairman, I ask permission to revise and extend my remarks."

Not-so-gentle readers (if you're out there somewhere ... anywhere?), I ask that you provide me that courtesy. As my thought-swollen brain hit the pillow last night, a thought occurred to me: My just-published post crowing about my improved NL play and all the little strategies I've been employing might just sound a little ... uninformed. I realized that someone who might actually read this blog and might actually know how to play poker just might conclude I'm a hopeless donk who knows nothing about the game.

But then I fell asleep content with the knowledge that it's okay to sound stupid. Really. This blog, like my poker game, is a work in progress and these posts should represent a snapshot of where my head is at at a particular moment in time. It's my hope that when archaeologists dig up my laptop 1,000 years from now, they'll decipher my digital hieroglyphics and say, "Ah, that's why the asshole decided to limp with pocket jacks from early position." Then, they'll no doubt shake their heads and laugh and say, "Geez, what a fish this guy must have been," before attempting to steal whatever personal information I might have stored on my hard drive.

I did admit to a friend, co-worker and fellow poker enthusiast today how much I'm enjoying this little exercise in blogdom. For what seems to be the first time in my life, I'm looking forward to writing. A very good thing, indeed.

And now, a word from our poker-content station: I did something last night that I cannot remember having done before -- I put a guy on tilt. The guy just flat-out bugged me. I'd limp with marginal holdings along with the other 75 players acting before me in our 50-cent 6-max game because I had pot odds, for God's sake. And this butthead, on the button, blinds, wherever, would min-raise, forcing all 300 of us to call the additional 50 cents because we now really had pot odds. Each time it happened -- and it happened often -- the flop would hit me with 3rd pair or not at all, he'd bet 50 cents or a buck and I'd roll over like some Vichy swine functionary before the jackbooted heels of his weak-tight plays. It began to feel like death by a thousand cuts.

Tired and cranky, instead of heading to bed with my meager profit, I finally decided to retaliate. Whenever I got heads-up this clown, I started coming over the top, bluffing with bupkus and forcing him to lay down his hands. And each time I showed it to him. That's right. I took those smelly-been-in-the-gym-locker-for-the-last-three-months pieces of crap and rubbed them in his face. I could only imagine what might have been going through his pea-sized brain by the third time he'd been turned into a 50-cent NL ho. His stack, which had miraculously reached the max buy-in mark, dwindled as he began calling sizable bets and raises from elsewhere and getting picked off as if he were Stephen Hawking trying to take a lead at first base. A wondrous sight to behold. Unfortunately, none of that money tilted my way. In fact, I later had to lay down a hand after a big pot-sized bet to his $25 all-in. Poker Tracker informs me that I managed to lose $9 to this clown during the session. Oh, well. It was worth the price of admission. By the time he skulked off into the gloomy night, his once proud stack had dissipated to a mere couple of bucks and change. That'll teach you, chucklehead.

Now, from events around the poker world tonight: I decided to take a shot at the Big Time -- a $33 tournament on Stars. (My hands trembled in fear and awe as I clicked the registration button.)

I know it's only 20+ bucks more, but it played way different than the PS $5.50s and $11s. Much tighter, much more aggressive. Nearly doubled my starting stack early when I straightened on the turn and then bobbed aimlessly in the Card Dead Sea. On the button with A-7, the blinds 100-200 and only 1,100 chips left, I doubled up when I called a slightly bigger stack's brilliant 9-7o all-in and got the rest of his chips with Kournikova a few hands later. After two revolutions, I followed four limpers with an A-10 limp on the button. The blinds complete/check, every swingin' Richard checks a ragged flop, and a sexy looking ace appears on the turn. A big-stacked limper min bets, I push my last $2,222 (aw, the symmetry) and he calls with A-J. Asshole. Limping with A-J. Should be shot. No 10 on the river and I'm toast, 130th out of 598. Think I played ... okay. Certainly wasn't intimidated. I might have tried to be the aggressor in a couple of spots later on, but the big stacks were calling consistently and hitting, so I decided to stay patient and hope for some cards. The one I got, unfortunately, did me in. I hate when that happens.


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