Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hanging around

I've been a most unfaithful correspondent of late, a condition I can only attribute to lethargy and ennui. I've been playing poker, but just not motivated to write about it.

Let the curse begin. I've had a bit of success on all fronts, tournament and cash, live and online.

Baseball (my son's high school games and the travel team for which I'm the pitching coach) has limited my live play, although I did win an 18-man PLO tournament last Friday and a small amount of cash afterward for a decent profit.

I admit to some blatant luckboxery in the tournament win. I'd hardly played a hand in the opening five levels that led to the first break as everyone else traded chips back and forth. The cards got better after the break and I built up a significant chip lead as play continued at the final table.

Down to six players -- four paid -- I limped with JJ44. Vinnie, to my left, potted, which put him all in and Doug Poker then re-potted, esssentially putting himself all in. That left me with a decision on whether to put half of my now formidable stack into the middle. I hemmed and hawed for a minute before having a WTF moment and deciding to gamble. The flop gave DP an open-ender with J-6-7-8 while Vinnie showed KKQQ. The one-outer jack on the turn and the paired board on fifth street sealed their fates. I was a paltry 14 percent to win that hand preflop and had the good fortune to hit. I'll take it.

Yet by the time I got heads-up against a player named Bill, I was at nearly a 4-1 disadvantage, having lost a huge chunk of my stack on a slight cooler. (Flop came ace high, I was sitting with A-K-x-x and Bill had the other two aces.) It took about 20 hands to complete the comeback and secure the win.

Online, I've been able to build my roll with some 8-Game, 45-man SNGs and tournaments the last couple of weeks. It hasn't been enough to bankroll a vacation home -- or a WSOP trip -- but it's been enough that I felt safe to finally cash out some of that roll. Since the return of eCheck to Poker Stars, I've been depositing $25 here and $50 there to finance my low-limit adventures. The cashouts were part of a psychological ploy that will reduce future guilt should I need to reload again.

I've moved up in limits. I've been playing as much $2/$4 8-Game as I have my normal $1/$2. With a 25 percent ROI over 300 games of 45-person SNGs, I've moved up to the $6.50s. And I've also upped the usual tournament buy-in amounts, especially with rebuys. I've come agonizingly close to some real money in tournaments as of late, only to get cold-decked or unlucky as the final three tables approached. With a little luck and continued solid play, I'm hoping a big tournament cash is right around the corner.

This is my last week of rehab for my knee. It's back to work after Memorial Day. It's been nice to have the time off, but I'm ready to return to the working world. My batteries are recharged and I have some interesting projects awaiting me. Given the short shelf life for my profession, I'll be needing to kick it into high gear in the coming months.