You ever have a week where you know you are going to lose all your money when you sign on, no matter what you can do?
Of course you have.
I'm starting to feel that way about Colorado's weather.
For the third straight day when I've gotten up, I've glanced at my new atomic clock and it's read -15 degrees.
I shit you not.
I just did a story for the Greeley Tribune about how this is the first winter in many that ice anglers have been able to actually fish in the ice for more than a day or two. When I was interviewing them yesterday, my ears started to hurt, then started to go numb, after 10 minutes outside. This was on a bright, sunny day.
That inspired this lede:
The air was so cold, it seemed to hold tiny razors that sliced painful little paper cuts into any piece of exposed flesh.
Any ear unwrapped in fleece hats, any finger exposed to grasp car keys, or any nose left uncovered winced and whimpered at the air that struggled to remain above zero, even with the sun’s help. People spoke with a dragon’s smoky breath. It was the kind of day that called for four layers of fleece, three big dogs and a mug of hot chocolate while you watched “Fantasy Island” reruns.
I love the winter. I really do. It's fun to live in a place where we actually have four seasons. I love the snow, the cold and the fun opportunities it presents. I love to ski. I will guide a snowshoe trip this weekend. I even love to sled.
But come on.
Just like in poker, eventually, when you get kicked in the balls over and over and over, your enthuasium wanes.
• • •
I watched the season opener of "High Stakes Poker" last night and loved it.
Did anyone else enjoy watching Jamie Gold get his ass handed to him as much as me?
I'm assuming all of you did.
And his performance, coupled with my successful night last night, shined some sunlight (mmmm, warm, warm sunlight) on the state of my game.
Gold tried to get too fancy, in my mind, during the first hour. He simply called with pocket 10s and allowed his opponent to draw an A on the river. He simply called with A,K (on a side note, does this guy ever NOT catch cards? Doesn't 8,2 ever get dealt to him? Jesus Christ). In the funniest moment, he tried to push Doyle Brunson off a pot when Big Papa had the nut straight.
Did it work?
Gold did make a couple decent plays. Maybe one, actually. But he also played horribly most of the time.
Would I have played much better against those guys? Of course not. Probably worse, actually. But I certainly wouldn't try many fancy moves. Gold overdid it.
And that's exactly what I was doing too often recently.
In an effort to retool my game, I forgot about my strengths. I can make great laydowns. I am patient. I know when to push and almost always get my money in with the best of it. These are good traits to have, even if at times it makes you rocky.
Last night, after watching Gold, I decided that I was capable of making moves or playing aggressively when I needed to do so. Otherwise I was going to let the game happen.
I won one SnG, took second in the other and then won $30 in cash games.
Yes, I took away a few pots when I sensed weakness. I raised occasionally with crap and pushed my good hands. But I didn't overdo it. In fact, in those cash games, I played for an hour and a half, and I think I bluffed once. There was no need.
I have a new arsenal of moves and I'm more aggressive. I'll continue to work on that.
But I'm also going to let the game come to me more.
And laugh hysterically when Gold impatiently blows his.