Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Summertime...and the living ain't easy

Summer's already looking like one big, fat stretch of chaos from June to September.
Just off the top of my head, we've got a trip to Hawaii coming in a couple of weeks (and my mother's visit as a result), Jayden's birthday party, house showings and a possible move (pray for us, we really need that now), an extensive climbing schedule that will take me all over the state, several races, a trip to Salina, Kan., in August, a possible trip to the San Juans to help a friend complete the Hardrock 100 (and do a story on it), the Fourth of July, my Dad's visit in mid-July, entertaining Jayden every day (not an easy feat, he sure gets bored for a 1-year-old), a project at work, work in general, some more climbing trips in September, trying like hell to catch at least ONE summer movie (we're so behind thanks to the baby) and taking at least one hike with Jayden, probably at the end of June, in Estes Park.
And, of course, there's always the need to feed my addiction to poker.

Wow. All that fun is already wearing me out.

I love summer because of that. But sometimes I find myself looking forward to fall, when I don't feel the pressure to live so much.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Winning a race

I glanced over at the alarm clock, and 4:15 a.m. was staring me in the face. Ah, well. Might as well get up now, I thought.
I haven't slept much anyway.
I'm not exactly sure why the body wakes up every half-hour before a day that you know is going to be long, exhausting and, at times, painful. You usually need your rest before such days. Instead, before a big climb and, now, before Monday's Bolder Boulder, I wake up more often than a hooker on call in Vegas during the World Series of Poker.
I woke up at 1:17 a.m., 2:10 a.m., 3:05 a.m.,
4 a.m. and 4:10 a.m. before my alarm was supposed to wake me up at 4:30 a.m. On nights like these, you don't ever feel like you've actually been asleep, and you tend to pray for the time to get up to just get here, so you can end the misery, until 10 minutes before it's time to get up, when all you want to do is lay your head on your sweet, sweet pillow, as soft as cotton candy.
Instead I rolled out of bed, put on my running clothes (wicking T-shirt, running shoes, shorts), grabbed my workout food (banana, which always tastes GREAT at 4:30 a.m., ugh, and a piece of toast, and Gatorade) and my GPS and prepared to run my first 10K.
I was, suprisingly, sort of confident today heading into the race. I'm really thought I could reach my goal of 50 minutes, about an 8-minute-mile pace. I'm not sure where that confidence came from. Maybe I knew I could finish because I did a 15-mile run three weeks ago. But I still wasn't sure how fast I could go. I'd run that far before. I'd never run that far, that fast.
Sitting in a coffee shop, in Boulder, near the start, at 6 a.m., quickly sapped my confidence, as my stomach started churning, as it usually does after I'm all in with TPTK and someone calls me with a flush draw that I'm sure is going to hit.
Uh, oh.
I visited the toliet twice, and let's just say I'll leave out the details.
In my first competitive 5K, last year, I didn't bother to visit the toliet and almost wound up crapping my pants about halfway through the race. It was quite possibly the worst feeling I've ever had (Kate's labor about 11 months ago may have been comparable), and I swore I would never, ever go through that again.
So, five minutes before my wave, scheduled to start at 7:08 a.m., a qualifer, was gonna go, I had to, well, go. OK, I thought. If I'm late, I'm late. I ran back to my wave start, practically shoving the other 45,000 runners out of the way, and got there.
"Is this CB wave?" I said to the woman next to me.
"Yes," she said.
"Cutting it a little close, aren't you?"
I barely had time to answer before the gun went off.
My plan was to run the first two miles in a 7:50 pace, run the next two under 8:30 and run the final two as fast as I could, maybe 7:15, maybe 7:30.
Starting a race always reminds me of the beginning of a poker tournament, at least at the levels I play. The beginners always start too fast, pushing with A,K on their first hand, and the veterans always start too slow, refusing to gobble up the fish money before it gets eaten by someone else.
By the second mile, my average pace, measured by my Garmin GPS, measured 7:55. Perfect.
Now the hills would start.
I'm not sure what's worse: Having AA cracked by K,J (to me the ultimate fish hand) or running up a steep hill during a race. I'm still not sure after the Bolder Boulder. The hills were plentiful and gradual, which is almost worse than short and steep (ask a Hamster whether he'd like his wheel stuck on a peanut that will eventually come loose or just sort of rusty and slow, and you'll know what I mean).
By the time I was done with the hills, my average pace was up to 8:05, and my right knee was sort of shouting at me a bit. I think it was saying, "Hey, Jackass, we're done with the hils now, OK?"
I agreed.
The road was flat.
Time to hit it.
I hit it, pushing my pace up to 7:15 at times, until 9.3 kilometers, when my stomach-o-meter was starting to reach BARF and my legs were getting weak. The sun beat down on my forehead, mashing it with unwelcome heat after a beautiful, cool morning.
And I heard Jamiroquai.
Now, I have what I consider to be eclectic but fine taste in music. Yes, I like my share of hair metal, but I'm also a heavy metal fan, I love jazz, pop, some hip hop and a whole lotta funk and soul. Many of my favorites are in the Hall of Fame. Steeley Dan, Stevie Wonder, Metallica, etc., all have been overplayed in my car.
But I can't help but love Jamiroquai. The dude plays some FUNK, even if it does sound like Disco to the untrained ear (OK, to many trained ones as well). And Jamiroquai was exactly what I needed. The Bolder Boulder does a great job of attempting to take your mind off how much pain you're in by supplying live bands along the route. This band was playing "Canned Heat," yes, that song from "Napoleon Dynamite" (which, by the way, really isn't that great a movie, get over it).
A surge of electricity went through my body, and my pace not only bumped back up, it surged past 7:15, all the way into Folsom Field and the last, steep, torture hill you face until you get to run a victory lap around the stadium, which I sprinted, of course, to the finish.
I looked at my GPS.
7:56 pace.
I did it.
I'm so happy I could puke.

(Editor's note: Upon reflection, my pace was actually 8:05 when I entered it in a pace calculator. I'm not sure why my GPS measured 7:56. It may have something to do with the fact that my GPS measured 6.33, and that may be because I turned it on a little early and it measured the distance I walked. Next time I'll have to reset it completely right before the race. I'm still happy about my time, especially for my first year, but I have to admit that news was a touch disappointing as well).

(In fact, I almost did, until a race official came over and insisted I needed to see a medical person there, which I answered to her that I had in fact climbed through puking sessions many times and was fine, and she annoyed me so much I forgot to be sick and started walking past the finish to get a snack).
Sometimes, winning a race does not mean winning with 7,7 against K,A, and sometimes, winning a race doesn't mean crossing the finish line first.
Sometimes, you win only by staying just ahead of the doubts in your head.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sometimes, I'm too honest

”Felicia Lee” just wrote a great post on being honest with yourself when you play poker.
I agree with every word, as I usually do when I read her.
Sometimes, though, I carry it too far.
Sometimes I'm too honest.

Editor's Note: Felicia is actually a sweetie and not quite the cranky blogger she makes herself out to be. I got to speak to her for a bit and she was very nice. I love her blunt honestly in her blog but if you ever get the chance, say hi to her. She probably won't bite your head off. :)

Lately I have tried to expand my game by bluffing more than I would normally bluff and calling when I wouldn't always call. The calling part is dangerous. The bluffing part is a way to improve. When I'm too honest with my own poker play, I tend to play far too tight. Tight poker is winning poker at my limits, .25 NL and occasionally .50 NL, and $5 SnGs; but I"m trying to win not only more consistently but move up. To do that, I can't just wait for a 10 percent hand and play it aggressively.
When I"m too honest, that I still can't read other players as well as I would like (it's improving but still not there) and that I tend to play scared far too often, I tend to follow my honesty instead of pitching it aside and trusting my instincts.

I've never been a totally confident person in some respects.
I am with my writing (although you wouldn't know that by reading this blog. Blogging, in my mind, is not writing, unless you are Joe Speaker or Pauly or Felicia. I am a much better writer than blogger. And I'm really not dismissing blogging as an art form when I say that. Blogging is its own skill). I am in my ability to play Halo. And I am in my ability to think through a problem and solve it.
I am not confident in my athletic ability. I plan to run the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day, one of the largest races in the U.S. and a 10K. I think I can run under 50 minutes. In fact, everything I've read says I can. But I'm not sure I can. I'm warning people I may not. I'm warning myself I may not.
I'm too honest about it.

Honesty is a way to improve yourself. Honestly is still the best policy when it comes to many things, including poker. But honestly, sometimes I wonder what would happen if I wasn't so damn honest.

Monday, May 22, 2006

American Poker Idol

Am I the only one who hasn't fallen for the American Idol craze?
Don't these people see that the contestants are marginally talented, karaoke specialists who sing with about as much feeling as Huey Lewis? That the Simon/Paula feud is as tired as a Hulk Hogan/Sgt. Slaughter match? That the show has produced zero legitmate stars since it got lucky with Kelly Clarkson? I wonder what Reuben is doing these days, besides eating Twinkies.

Here's my idea for a reality show. Take 12 amateur, nickel-dime-quarter poker players and put them through the ropes. The Professor, already a TV star, could be the host/teacher, with special appearences by professionals such as Phil Ivey (shit, just have Full Tilt sponsor this and each one of its pros could do it) teach one thing a week (how to read the texture of the board, how to bluff, how to play a tournament, etc.), and at the end of the show, a tournament determines who gets knocked out. I suppose that could be determined by who has the fewest chips at the end of the tournament, or maybe they just play and Lederer and the pro committee votes off a player, maybe the one who played the weakest and not necessarily had his AA cracked so was first to get out.

The winner gets a seat to the World Series of Poker main event. We could even follow that person through the main event and see who he or she does.

And, yes, I'm available. :)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hey, TripJax, look!

1. What is the biggest mistake people make at a NL table?

Calling, not raising or folding. This applies to NL as well as Limit, in my mind. My biggest mistake is playing too tight.

2. What is the biggest mistake people make at a Limit table?

See above, but not folding soon enough, which isn't quite the same as calling.

3. Why do you play poker?

I love games. I caught the poker bug from a home game I played at just for fun and now it's a great way to pass the time in the evenings.

4. If you weren't playing poker, what would you be doing?

I run, climb mountains, play softball, play X-Box, spend time with the fam, but mostly I'd probably be reading or doing something productive, lol.

5. What is your favorite poker book and why?

Harrington's books are simply awesome. I also liked Phil Gordon's Little Green Book.

6. Who is your favorite poker player and why?

I have too many for many different reasons, but the guy I admire most is Phil Ivey because of his ability to read hands so well.

7. Which poker player do you dislike the most and why?

Shawn Sheikan. I'm not even bothering to see if I spelled is name right. What a jackass.

8. Do your coworkers know about your blog?

A couple.

9. What is the most you have won in a cash game or MTT (both live and online)?

Cash game was that $171 I picked up recently in a casino (hey, I'm new, back off). Online I once cleared $85 in a .25 NL game. Basically because of my conservative play, I'm never going to have monster nights unless the cards really come my way.

10. What is the most you have lost in a cash game or in one day total (both live and online)?

I haven't lost much more than $25 in a day. See above for the reason why.

11. Who was your first poker blog read?

Pot Committed. I love her writing.

12. What satisfies you more, your aces holding up for a big pot or a bluff working for a big pot?

AA if I played them correctly.

13. Why do you blog?

I love to write and I write for a living, so blogging helps me sort out my own thoughts about the game as well as try to share tips with others. I don't think it's very good, especially for my standards of my own writing, but it does help me sort out my thoughts.

14. Do you read blogs from an RSS reader like bloglines or do you visit each blog?

I just read what I have linked from my own blog.

15. Would you rather play poker for a living than do what you currently do for a living?

Poker for a living? Hell no. It's far too much fun for that; it would be really hard to make a living from it. I'd be a stressbag.

16. Do you wear a tin foil hat on occasion?

No. But occasionally I wear donkey ears.

17. If you had to pin it down to one specific trait, what does a great poker player have (or do) that separates them from an average player?

The ability to put players on a hand. Anyone can bluff and play a big hand aggressively, but I'm amazed at how well the pros can put a guy on a hand.

18. Is Drizz the coolest person on the planet for naming his baby Vegas?

Drizz really seems more like the geeky type (even if he does play softball), which is another reason why I love his blog, but I have to admit, that's an extremely cool move.

19. What is your primary poker goal and are you close to accomplishing it?

To finish ahead at the end of the year, and I'm going to have to lose a lot to not make that goal.

20. What is your primary online site and why?

Hollywood Poker for the good reload bonuses and Pokerroom because I have a Mac.

21. What site do you dislike and why?

I don't realy dislike one.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nice try

Note to gas station:

You can play Barry White's "You're My First, My Last, My Everything" all you want.
It doesn't ease the pain of paying $3 a gallon at all.
Not even a little bit.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Grab the fish money before your opponents do

OK, I'm not Felicia Lee, and after bubbling out of my SnG last night when I was in second place deep into the tournament (hint, K-10 is NOT a hand to go to war with, ever, even four-handed, yes, even sooooted) I'm not sure I should be giving any poker advice, but here goes.
Dan's Guide To Winning (Or Cashing, Which Is Good Enough At Times) SnGs:
(it's a short list)
You know how to play tight/aggressive, follow up your raises with continuation bets, play your high pocket pairs strong, etc., etc., etc., so here's just one piece of advice.
Grab the fish money before it disappears.
Conventional wisdom says to play tight in the beginning and loosen up as the blinds get higher and the pots get bigger.
It's good advice.
It's also wrong.
More and more, I'm cashing and winning more SnGs because I go after fish money.
In the beginning of an SnG, especially a full table SnG, you'll always find fish ready and willing to give their money over to the highest bidder, or at least those with TPTK.
I play low-stakes SnGs. And I'd say, at every full table, I can find at least four fish who are just begging to hand you their chips.
Shorthanded? I'd say 2/5.
Higher levels, like the $10 or even $20 SnGs? There are less out there. But they're still there.
It's your job to eat those chips before another shark grabs the snack.
So, in the beginning of a tournament, if I have TPTK, I play it hard. I might even move all in if challenged.
Most of the time, I'm right.
If a guy moves all in right away, I immeaditely lower my hand requirements. I might even call with A,J, but I would certainly call with A,Q or a pocket pair 10,10 or higher.
Grab that money while you can.
In the middle of the tournament, once the blood leaves the water, I tend to play even tigher than conventional wisdom says to play in the beginning. Oh, I'll still play strong hands aggressively, but it better be really strong, like 10-20 percent strong. Why? This is when most of the fish money is gone, and the other players, panicked over seeing some big stacks (like yours, hopefully, if you've gobbed a fish or two), tend to fight a little hard over the scraps. They get themselves pot committed even when they don't really need to do so.
In the last third of the tournament, I loosen up again and try to bully a bit and also steal when I can. But I'm still not a maniac. By this time, you've probably built a fairly high stack and just need to wait it out to cash. It doesn't always work. But it usually does.
Bait your hook with TPTK and reel in that fish money. You'll find your bankroll growing fatter off the krill.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Blowing the head off a zombie can be theraputic

Poker is going well again, and I think I know why.
Have the suckouts stopped? They're not as plentiful, but they're almost more painful, many times the difference between a cash or the bigger payoffs or first and second (lately, the trend is for me to have the villian dominanted, only for him/her to get the fucking other card on the river for two-pair; last night my A,Q versus her Q,8 on a Q-high flop cost me $10 when she got her 8 on the river).
So, no, they haven't stopped. So what's the difference?
I've added a little violence to my life.
Don't worry. The dog's fine, the wife gets hugs and kisses and the only violence the baby feels is when he's tossed in the air two feet above my chest, which, by the way, he loves. That and an occasional tickle.
But I'm blowing the heads of lots of zombies, aliens and the occasional innocent.
The X-Box has really helped me decompress and, in some cases, take out some frustration after a long and difficult SnG that ends in yet another suckout. The current choice is Doom 64, but I've also played Fable a second time (this time I was Evil, slaughtering innocents on the path along the way, I just pretended they were poker donkeys and it really helped) and will move onto Half-Life and Gun soon enough.
I've discovered I must do something else every night other than play poker. I like to play an SnG a night and spend an hour at a cash game.
In between, I shoot and kill as much as I can. I stop when I'm starting to jones for poker. I have a clear head when I get to the cash game, and since I started decompressing, I'm way up in my cash game.
A cash game, especially online, is all about patience, but it's hard to have patience when you're pissed and, I hate to say it, tilting.
Blow the head off a zombie. It will give you patience.

Side note: I'm really digging NBC's "National Heads-Up Poker Challenge." It's a great format, almost like the NCAA tournament, and is a wonderful change from the long line of poker tournaments. Plus Gabe Kaplan is probably the best poker commentator out there. He's even better than Lederer and far better than Vince "Frat Boy" Van Patton.
But the theme music is cheesy. Like Supertramp or Air Supply cheesy.
NBC treats poker like it was a cribbage tournament, acting SHOCKED at the Shiek's "antics" and asking Doyle Brunson about it and assigning a guy to call the action who knows NOTHING about poker (thank God Kaplan is there or else it'd get really bad). Here's how he calls the match: HE CALLS!!!! I'm sorry, but I could that.
Poker ain't a nice game. Don't try to make it so by giving it a funny little theme song and treating it like the Olympics.
Get your act together, NBC, and look at how the Game Show Network handles poker. Shit, even Poker Superstars III has better commentary than this. You've got a good game. Now match it with the production.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Poker is going so well right now, I don't think I have any right to bitch. But bitch I will. Last night will inspire most of the following thoughts.
I left $8 ahead, but it was one of those nights when I might have cleared $75 with better moves.
• I am a NL player, and my biggest strength is avoiding trouble. I am very good at dodging bullets (not just AA in this case, although even then I have a Hellmuth-like ability to "dodge bullets, baby"). Some can semi-bluff. Others can bullshit. Others can bully. I dodge bullets.
It's not sexy, but it works for me.
OK, so given that, I seem to lose the most money when I simply call and not raise or fold, even when, according to the odds, a call is justified.
Last night I called a guy down when I was holding AA because I refused to believe he had a flush, even when he was betting a flush and three diamonds were out there. A pot-sized call was justified, in my mind, because I held the nut diamond, so if a fourth came down (even with one card to go), I thought I would take him for all his money, so the implied odds were huge.
When a heart fell, and he bet $5 into the $23 pot, I had to call, given that there was a 25 percent chance my hand was still good, even though I knew it wasn't.
This is why I don't play limit poker. I tend to make far too many "odds" calls, and by the time I keep calling $1 bets, my stack shrinks like Costanza's penis once it hits a swimming pool.
• I also tend to lose money when I've made a lot of money. When I haven't won a hand, I play tight. Too tight. Tighter than a nun's... (OK, you've heard the joke).
When I'm winning, however, I make too many "what the hell" calls. I am very good at holding onto my chips in a tournament. I need to do the same in a cash game.
I lost more money on two other weak calls, just like the fish do, because I was up $25, so what the hell, right?
• My least favorite hand? KQ. Every time I don't call a raise with it, it flops two pair, as it did last night. Every time I play it, I lose money on it, as I did last night, when I lost $8 with a Q-high board, all rags, no flush and no straights. The guy flopped a small set.
• My favorite hand? AA. I know. Duh. But I rarely lose with it. Why? I don't slowplay it. I bet it aggressively. Too many players see those As and think their hand is golden. The only time it's golden is pre-flop. Even though I lost earlier with it, I won a $17 pot with it later that night.
• I still have a problem calling raises, even 3x raises, with anything but a very strong hand, like pocket pairs down to 10,10, A,K or maybe A,Q. I don't think this is a bad thing. But I'm starting to think I should loosen up a bit.
Of course, probably nothing depends more on your read of an opponent than calling his or her raise. If a tight player (me) raises, you better fold unless you have the goods or we're in a tournament and the blinds are worth stealing. If a loose player raises, well...maybe you can call.
It still bothers me, in a cash game, to invest a lot of money preflop unless I have KK or AA or, maybe, AK.
It's a weakness of mine. But maybe it's also a strength.
• Poker is going well for two reasons. One is I'm getting good hands after a couple of mostly card-dead months.
That's easy. Even donkeys get good hands and sometimes even win with them.
But the second reason is I'm reading opponents better than ever.
I'm actually improving! Wow!
Last night I held K,J, the ultimate donkey hand because of how many times it's overplayed. I never call a raise with it. Last night, after playing an opponent for 15 minutes, I held K,J, threw my .25 out there, and four others called.
Rag, Rag, J. No draws out there.
OK. I bet $1, about half the pot and usually what I always bet on the flop regardless of what I have in .25 NL.
Everyone folds except for THE opponent, who was talking a lot and lost $5 to me earlier chasing a heart draw even when he didn't have the odds to play it because I priced him out of it (or so I thought). The guy was going back and forth with another donkey, about how bad this donkey was, about how, even if he did lose a pot to him earlier, the donkey sucks.
The turn comes a blank, and I fire $2 into the pot. He raises me back $2.
Ah. Now. Does a guy who is chatting about how a donkey plays crap all the time in fact play crap himself? I make sure he's not on a blind. Nope. He would have raised me with J,A, I believe, because he's raised a fair amount, every time with high cards.
I take the raise as a sign that he has a pair and would prefer to take the pot down now.
I hold K,J, and I bet my whole stack, $20.
He calls.
He holds Q,J.
I win.
I would not make reads like this three months ago. In fact, I would have probably been the guy berating me (wouldn't that be weird) a coupe of months ago for pushing all his stack in with K,J.
Lately I've made many calls or, even more importantly, raises like this one. I"m not Phil Ivey. But I am a winning poker player because of them.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Last week:
Played poker. Finished up $100 for the week, playing mostly .25 NL and a few low-stakes SnGs.
Played Fable, a game on the X-Box, and a fun one at that. This is my second time. I'm evil this time. An evil badass. Grrr!
Feel good!
Ran a "mini" marathon, 15 miles, in 2:12, or about 9 minutes a mile.
Can barely walk.

Remind me, again, which activity is healthier?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

One big pot, one tiny turnaround

Playing poker while tired, physically or mentally, is dangerous.
But sometimes I need poker to relax.
It sounds funny, poker can be and should be intense, but at times it's also a nice way to end the day. If that costs me a couple bucks because I haven't analyzed a hand enough to see through that guy's bluff, so be it.
So I sat down to a .25 NL cash game last night, after a softball game when it rained THE ENTIRE TIME and a 15-mile, mini-marathon is staring at me, in the face, at a time when I've rarely felt so worn-down, tired and just plain dead.
Maybe I overtrained. It's possible. Maybe I'm just sore from softball, the first two games of the new season. That's possible as well. Maybe I'm just worn down mentally, from considering giving one of our dogs away and dealing with a situation I don't want to get into right now (it involves ebay and an undelivered computer) and selling our home and trying to do all this while raising an active 10-month-old who thinks he MUST explore every inch of every open door, cabinet or toliet.
Then again, I may have just been pissed and down after bubbling out of a $10 SnG and a completely frustrating last half when my cards were deader than the cast of "Night of the Living Dead." My play was lamer than that analogy. The other two guys were raising, raising, raising, pounding my stack into nothing, and yet, when challenged, they would back off. Whenever I had any scrap of a hand, J,10, Q,9, K,8, even 8,7, I would pound back, but more often than not, they would raise me when I had 4,9 or 8,3 in my blind. That means, of course, that even if they are bullshitting, they probably have you beat. It's the most frustrating feeling in poker, at least it is for me, a tight-aggressive player who prefers to make a move with a good hand rather than bluff and push with bad ones.
I finally get another scrap of a hand, A,5, after three blind levels, and I have to push, and I do, and the guy flips over A,K.
Sigh. IGHN.
Anyway, so after an hour of X-box to decompress, I went back to poker, to my cash game, still exhausted but not on tilt.
I was whining about my cash game, at least in my head. These last two months, I have scraped together enough winning sessions to make a profit for the month (I was ahead $50 in April, who-hoo), but I've also had lots of losing sessions.
Here's what I was whining about in my head:
"I'm a tight player, especially in cash games. I never seem to lose a lot. The problem is, I never seem to win a lot, either. So many other players, bad ones, walk away with these $75 takes (200 BB). I'm happy to scratch out $5 profit for the night. Lately I'm either raised out of a decent hand or not called when I raise with a good hand. My hands also never seem to hit the flop. Maybe I'm not playing enough hands. Wait, I play sooted connectors, my blinds, any pocket pair, As down to A-7, Ks down to K-10 and a few other fliers. So is that too tight? I don't think so.
But there are so many players playing crap all the time, and with so many players in every hand, they don't mind the gamble. Is Poker really a glorified lottery? Is it really a skill game? How can anyone call a 7-hand game a skill game?"
My game plan is always to not lose a whole lot and wait for the big score.
I was down another $2 when I got Q,J hearts. I call. Three other players call. The last guy raises another .25. In an effort to loosen my game up, as I have lately, I call.
All hearts.
One card can be me at this point, and only if it's paired with another hand.
One guy bets $5.
I call, taking a small risk, but hoping that the third guy calls.
He raises all in for his $25, a full buy-in.
Sweet. If he has the K and another heart, I suppose he deserves a payoff.
I call.
The third guy calls.
The pot is $66, or more than 300 BB.
10 diamonds, 8 spades.
One guy turns over 10,9 of hearts.
Last guy turns over a set of 4s.

I love my style. I love my game.
I love poker.
And I'm awake.

Today I'm tired, but that pot still brings a smile to my face. Maybe it will give me a little more energy Sunday.