Worm: You know what always cheers me up?
Mike McD: No, what's that?
Worm: Rolled up aces over kings. Check-raising stupid tourists and taking huge pots off of them. Playing all-night high-limit Hold'em at the [Borgata], "where the sand turns to gold." Stacks and towers of checks I can't even see over.
Mike McD: Fuck it, let's go.
Worm: Don't tease me.
Mike McD: Let's play some cards.
I'm off to AC for a marathon 10/20 session because check-raising some stupid tourists sounds really therapeutic right about now. (And you can be damned sure that I'm bringing the ipod, and that the electronica is going to be LOUD and uptempo.) Also, Oklahoma and Florida will be in the house tomorrow, potentially with guest appearances by some of the Pennsyltucky crew. Al, you had better get your hippie ass to Borgata with them, or I will be forced to serenade you with the entire Monster Ballads: Platinum Edition catalog on your birthday. Nobody wants that.
But before I go, show Betty some love. She wound up on the wrong end of a 15-minute drunken rant two nights ago after I called her in Austin, trying to reach one Texas April. You're the best, kid. Many drinks on me in December.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Worm: You know what always cheers me up?
Monday, August 27, 2007
Three tidbits to get off my plate:
1. Say what you want about the Yankees' postseason chances. I'm a diehard fan and I'd love to see them make the playoffs again this year. But don't expect me to get too excited if they do. My Little League baseball coach always said "Little plays make a big difference in close ballgames" and the Yankees seem to critically fail at the little plays in all of their close games. Cold hard numbers tell the story best: Yankee season record in one-run ballgames is 11-17. And for what it's worth, the Yankee season record against the other 5 playoff contenders is 21-20. This is not a team that's going places.
2. This photo nearly got me arrested Saturday evening. Sorta sad that this is what the world has come to, even if I understand the mentality.
3. A lengthy thread developed in the NVG forum of 2+2 over the weekend, started by non-other than 2+2's resident Creepy Old Man, David Sklanksy. Sklansky took issue with a few points made by everybody's favorite piss boy, Daniel Negreanu, in an article Negreanu wrote for this month's Cardplayer. Negreanu starts firing back somewhere around post 110, and in between there are a few posts from Greg Raymer, making it a good popcorn thread.
Apropos of nothing, I'm in favor of "taking shots" when and where you can, but at some point many recreational players (and even some pros, the putative subject of the article) reach a level where they simply can't handle the swings any longer, or are unwilling to tolerate such swings. My self-imposed summer ban on trips to the Air Conditioned City will be ending this coming weekend. Maybe it's time to duke it out in the 20/40 game again.
By the way, those of you who doubt me on the softness of the 10/20 game at Borgata, consider this: the next limit after 3/6 is basically 10/20. There is sometimes a 6/12 or 5/10 game that gets going, but it's never more than one table. The 10 game, on the other hand, is usually spread across four to seven tables.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Remember this? That's right, it's the WTO case brought by Antigua and Barbuda against the U.S. due to the U.S. prohibition against online gambling. Well, the case hasn't gone away. In fact, it's getting somewhat thorny:
For the W.T.O. itself, the decision is equally fraught with peril. It cannot back down because that would undermine its credibility with the rest of the world. But if it actually carries out the penalties, it risks a political backlash in the United States, the most powerful force for free-flowing global trade and the W.T.O.’s biggest backer.Stay tuned...
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Phil Rizzuto, legendary Yankees shortstop and television announcer, died today at 89. It's a bittersweet death for me as a lifelong Yankees fan. I grew up in the 80s on a steady diet of Rizzuto's antics in the booth as the Yankees struggled through a forgettable decade. But, a tally's a tally, and his death shakes up the standings quite a bit. The new leader of the 2007 RTFT Dead Pool - me! Also, DonkeyPuncher notches his second death in as many days (could he hit the trifecta tomorrow?), and Duggles vaults into third place, knocking Team ACH / BigMike out of a medal slot. Click the link at right for the bigger picture.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Brooke Astor died today. That's not what was amusing. What was amusing was that Dawn Summers thought she had Brooke Astor on her Dead Pool roster. On being informed that, in fact, she did NOT, Dawn said, "Oh no! I mean... whew." No major shakeups in the standings as all of the top three teams on the leaderboard had Ms. Astor, but congratulations to DonkeyPuncher for notching his first tally. Only four teams remain with the dreaded goose egg. Updated standings at right.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Hello blog, how have you been? That's good. I've been doing pretty well too. I managed to sneak in 1,000 hands of online poker this week. Care to dissect the results with me?
It's been a long time since I spent any serious amount of time at the virtual felt. Having withdrawn most of my funds after the last go-round, and using the remainder for things like staking some donkey in the WSOP, or paying some skinny-fat dude for a Yankee ticket, there wasn't much to work with. The grand sum of $160 was in my account. Being the responsible bankroll manager that I am, I took that money and farted around at the $0.50 / $1 tables, right? Of course not. I headed straight to $3/$6.
1,000 hands later, it's safe to say that I'm a donkey. It's rather embarassing to admit that, and a fairly distressing turn of events. I have two major leaks, which we'll get to in a moment. First, a word about the state of online play.
It's no secret to anyone who's been around this industry for many years that the games are not as soft as they used to be. It's a combination of things: (1) players have matured as they have logged thousands of hours playing; (2) the flow of new money into sites has slowed as poker gets played out on TV and the UIGEA closes off the spigot from a torrent to a trickle; (3) the bad players that remain go bust and have no easy means of reloading their accounts, leading to a natural thinning of the herd (so to speak).
In light of these three factors, it's no surprise that play at the tables revealed itself to be more aggressive, and less donk-tacular. There were still some donk-tacular plays, just not nearly as many as their used to be. With this backdrop, and with my general decline in frequency of play over the last two years, the online players have, relative to me, improved quite a bit.
Oh, and I'm a fucking donkey. Let's get right to that. My style seems not to have changed much from the last time I took any sort of stab at online poker. I'm playing a 20/13 pre-flop range, with a fairly smooth aggression factor curve after the flop of aggressive on the flop, super aggressive on the turn, and aggressive on the river. However, where my play deviates is revealed in the two glaring weaknesses I've developed, as revealed by PokerTracker.
(A) I seem to overvalue medium aces. My six loss leaders, by number of big bets lost per hand, in descending order, are: ATs, A5s, AJo, 75s, AJs, A9o. By themselves, those 6 hands, dealt to me a total of 33 times, account for losses of 57 big bets. Over 1,000 hands. Eek. (B) I cannot seem to fucking fold when it is obvious that I'm beat. The statistics bear it out: Went to Showdown -- 39.22% (this used to be more in the 35% area); Won $ at Showdown -- 48.75% (this used to be more in the 55% area); and the killer, Won $ at Showdown When Just Calling River: 12.00% (fucking abysmal).
There's a third weakness, called "once a session, F-Train goes complete fucking insane and donks off 5 or 6 bets in a huge pot he has no hopes of winning, usually defending his big blind", but that problem is easily corrected. The other two weaknesses are more complex.
Tackling (B) first, I think I need to just trust my intuition more. Playing 6-max got me in the habit of calling down more frequently, and that's not a winning strategy in a full ring game. Too many times, I put Villain on a hand on the turn, only to see myself calling turn raises and river bets to find out that yes, I was right. Hopefully, the combination of remembering that I'm calling too often, and knocking more rust off my game (by playing more) will curb this impulse, saving me bets that I don't need to give away.
(A), on the other hand, I'm not sure what to do. I could just eliminate those hands from my repertoire altogether, until I feel more secure in my game, and then add them back in one at a time. That doesn't feel completely right though. I'm open to suggestions as to how to deal with this problem.
The end result of my 1,000 hands showed me as a winner, but the amount -- 28 big bets -- is laughable and statistically irrelevant, especially since I was up 28 big bets after 200 hands. That's right, for 800 hands, I played solidly break-even poker, without losing to more than my share of suckouts. That's laughable. I should be able to beat $3/$6 handily, even online. (For what it's worth, $3/$6 online is tougher than $20/40 at the Borgata. I'm not kidding.) But "should" being able to do something doesn't equate to actually doing it, and just resting on that pomposity and ego is what leads to going busto.
Looks like I have some work to do.