Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A few dozen chips and a chair....

Brings me this:

I was down to 65 chips in last night's Blogger Bodog tournament at the final table. That's sort of like holding, say, a small square in Asia in Risk when your opponent has everything else.
I must have pushed like a half dozen times before I lost the race but gobbled up the antes and blinds every time, once with K-K, mostly with mediocre holdings that I had to go with because my M was ghostly.
Then I was at 65 after losing a race (shocking, I know), and so when two players pushed all in ahead of me, I said, "I'm keeping my 65 chips" and did not push.
I would have gotten creamed.
I did push on the next hand, with the mighty 5-2 offsuit, and it beat A-K when I got a straight on the turn.
And that started the comeback.

There's a pretty good story here, but unfortunately Bodog doesn't really allow you to get hand histories, and it's late and I have twins remember and besides, me coming back can really be summed up in just a couple phrases.
Suckout, suckout, cooler, lucky hand, lucky hand.
Oh yeah and lots of aggression and terrific post-flop play on my part.
For instance, I went all-in preflop against K-K with A,9 and flopped two 9s.
Skill, people, skill.
Then I became chip leader when I flopped a set of 3s against the former chip leader's A-A. I just called his raise, planning to pitch it without any luck, and about shit my pants when I saw the magic 3 on the flop. He pushed on the turn and I was happy to call.

After that I thought I played good poker. I was way more aggressive than usual, as that's what I'm trying to work on this year, sort of my poker New Year's Resolution (my other one is not saying "Fuck" around Jayden after he repeated me when I was having trouble with his car seat. Oops. I haven't said it since). I stole several pots and chipped up nicely.

Lightning 36 played well heads-up and took me out when I really needed to feed a twin and pushed with a draw and didn't hit it. He outplayed me though, made it tough for me to get any traction against me.

From 65 to 60,000 and back to zero equals a pretty decent MTT score (for me, anyway) and +$109 in tourney dollars.

I can't wait for this tournament to start with a leader board! Can we start this week instead?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

There Will Always Be Conflict

I remember being a little relieved when "The Sopranos" quit its run as perhaps the best show ever on television.
As much as I loved the show, I'd always feel drained at the end of it, sort of like my soul got the shit kicked out of it. I'd feel dirty, too, like how it must feel to visit a porn shop with slick floors and peek shows for a quarter.
I felt the same way Saturday after seeing "There Will Be Blood."
The movie is a remarkable achievement, thanks mostly to the performance of Daniel Day Lewis, who plays an oilman with a soul as black as the crude goop he covets.
The oilman creeps through most of the movie friendless and alone, plainly ignoring questions about a wife and cutting down anyone who dares to show anything less than perfection.
The most heartbreaking part of the movie for me, however, was the relationship he had with a boy he claimed as his own after the boy's father is killed in a brutal scene (and there are several, though not as many as the title seems to imply).
At first Lewis' character, named Daniel Plainview, seems to love the boy, but after he loses his hearing in an accident, Plainview takes his inability to communicate as an affront and cuts him off emotionally, treating him like a shelter dog, something that needs only food and shelter.
It was hard for me to watch him break his son's heart over and over.
Mainly because I could relate to him.
I've been guilty of thinking of my children as a burden, rather than the blessings they are, because of the way I crave time alone.
I crave time with a book, a movie, a video game, a run, a climb, even at an online poker table, which is proof to me just how internal poker is even if it is a game played with others.
As an introvert, I get my energy from being alone, and so I constantly struggle with the fact that part of me would rather be writing or spending time on my computer than roughhousing on the carpet with my son or holding my daughters.
I knew this about myself, and for many years I hesitated to have children because of it. I didn't think I'd be a good father because I knew I'd struggle with the time it takes to do it right.
I surprised myself. I love my kids far more than I ever thought I would, and I miss them when I'm apart from them. But I still struggle more often that I should admit here.
I struggle the most at times like this morning, when I wanted Kate to go to church and yet slightly resented her leaving me with two cranky, teething, fussy girls.
I sat them between me and enjoyed their company, until that part of me cried out for something to do rather than just be in the moment, and when I fired up my computer to read about my Jayhawks, the girls started fussing and I internally started whining myself about soothing their red eyes.
They are so cute these days - and I promise to post a video or pictures soon - so it only takes a pouty lip and teary eyes to melt my heart, close the computer and cuddle them until they nap. Twenty hard minutes later, after trying to get one down while the other cried out, I was glad when they did fall asleep rather than stay up and play.
I defend myself, maybe to a fault, by telling myself that we're at a hard stage right now, and the care is almost constant until the few golden hours that they're down before my bedtime.
When something like free time is taken away from you that much, you're bound to miss it, even crave it, the same way people crave cookies when they're on a diet.
But I've always been this way, and it seems like for me that I never get enough time to myself, even on the days when I get three hours or more.
Still, my heart hurt as I walked out of the theater, as Daniel Plainview was reduced to an old, bitter hermit whose only pleasure was hurting others, even the son who still loved him.
I hope one day it's not that hard to love me.
When I got home, I listened for Jayden's heavy breathing behind his bedroom door, and I gave a peck to the girls' heads. Then I went into the bedroom, anxious to relieve my craving for an hour of online poker, before the girls interrupted it with their midnight feeding.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Maybe there's something to this Presto is Gold thing...

Two hands I've had in the last week:

They weren't paid off as much as I would have liked, but then again, quads rarely are.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Razz Rocks

"I hate Razz."
"I really HATE Razz."
"I really, really hate this game."


I really wish I could hate something that netted me two fairly nice scores in a row.
Alas, I love Razz, and it only got me this last night:

I'm happy with my performance, and catching some cards helped as well, as it always done for a tighty like me. I do think I'm a lot more aggressive in this game than I am in Hold 'Em and I don't know why. I steal a lot in Razz and really play my hands hard. Maybe because it's limit? Maybe because it's easier for me to read other hands? Maybe because I'm apparently the only one who loves this game and so I play it with vigor?

Congratulations on a three-way chop for first to Surf, Instant Tragedy and last but not least, G-Cox, who won a big blogger Razz tourney the last time he played it too! Sheesh. No more complaining.
When they did discuss a chop, I started bitching because I was on the "bubble" chop and I gave them crap, but I was only kidding, and yet IT and G-Cox both sent me a little sugar after it was over, which was very nice of them. That's actually going to be my first donation to our new college fund for the girls.
Keep IT in your prayers or thoughts, whichever, as he struggles through a rough time that we'll all eventually have to face. Hang in there man and we're all looking forward to have you back on the radio.

Also, I'd like to turn your attention to a new sponsor of this site, FlopTurnRiver.com. That's partly how I'll get to Vegas next December, folks, and it's a good site chock full of poker information.
Thanks to Mary for the help on the banner, too, as I am HTML-Forrest Gump.

EDIT: SHIT I forgot to post this part at the end. Sorry Google readers and Bloglines beamers. But this is too good to pass up, and it's for all you razz haters out there:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

10 simple pleasures

This is in no particular order:

10. The way your breath sticks in the -5 degree air and numbs your legs from the pain as you complete a 10-mile run.
9. The crunch of snow under your boots.
8. Lemonheads and these new Peppermint Hershey kisses. Mmmmmm.
7. Queso and chips.
6. Flannel sheets in said -5 degree weather.
5. When my son climbs into bed with me and snuggles in the early morning and the way he calls me "Daddy."
4. My Jayhawks on defense on the hardcourt.
3. Tinkering with iMovie.
2. Hard-driving metal.
1. Poker with friends.

I was here last night:

And I'll see you here tonight:

Monday, January 21, 2008

What's next? A Corvette?

"Anyone could see
The road that they walk on is paved in gold
And it's always summer, they'll never get cold
They'll never get hungry
They'll never get old and gray"
- "The Way," Fastball

It was late last night, on a Sunday night, after a full day of work, and I was doing husband duty, which means gathering food for the clan, only instead of spearing a Mastodon I was in Wal-Mart.
Fastball's "The Way" came over the speakers that play music to keep us happy and mildly entertained, to reassure us that Wal-Mart is a happy place and we should linger over the lobster tank and maybe wander over to the bakery items for some impulse purchases.
Impulse food purchases are why my wife always gets nervous when she sends me to the store - I can't resist the siren song of a new kind of pop, maybe a box of sugar cereal my parents never let me have as a kid, or there's always the snack food aisle - and I started singing the tune, happy and contemplating what carton of ice cream I should buy (oooo, Peanut Butter Cup and a 1/3rd less calories) when I stopped the cart and paused.
Wait a minute. "The Way" was one of my favorite songs a couple years ago. Now Wal-Mart is playing it?
I was already resigned to songs I grew up with, even hair metal, being stashed on classic rock stations and made into commercials (the latest, "Melt With You," now shills a GM car after being used by Taco Bell last year, and Poison's "Nothing But A Good Time" is sung by children for an X-Box commercial).
But Fastball? Really? In a Wal-Mart late at night? Fastball is now soothing shopping music? So I looked up the date of its release.
Holy shit.
That song is TEN YEARS OLD.
Now don't even get me started on how "Appetite for Destruction" and Metallica's "Black Album" is 20 years old and "Pyromania" is 25 years old. I understand that. I know my high school days are long behind me.
Fastball is different.
I wasn't really even fresh out of college when that song came out. I had spent more than three years at my first job, "The Salina Journal," and I had completed several projects and won a dozen awards by then, including one for the state's best feature writer among the eight or nine mid-sized newspapers. I had an apartment and was on my third serious girlfriend, and we were about to live together in a house owned by her parents (yes, we were going to pay rent). I had a few cats and my old dog was living with me instead of my divorced parents. I was on my second car.
And now that life is a decade old.
Sometimes your mortality jumps you from behind.
I always hated the Mid-Life Crisis. To me it was always an excuse for men, and sometimes women, to make a stupid large purchase that will leave them spending their kids' college fund paying off interest on their credit cards. Or bang that 24-year-old at work who looks up to them. Or try drugs again and relapse into therapy. Whatever.
But I'm wondering if I'm starting to approach my own Mid-Life crisis after all.
It will be a different crisis, to be sure. I'm not going to buy a 23-year-old some new boobs and hole her up in an apartment, name her Lucretia and shower her with dresses. I love my wife too much for that, I love my kids too much for that, and to be completely honest, I don't have the energy for that.
I'm not going to get a hair transplant. I only have one bald spot, and a good haircut covers it up. Plus there's some debate as to whether the spot is there whether it's because of age or because I smacked my head on a rock, opening a bleeding wound that was never stitched up, during a climbing accident. I prefer to think climbing accident because that's sort of cool.
I'm not even going to get another car. I love my CR-V too much and it's paid for. I'd rather save the money so my kids will be finished with their students loans by time their grandchildren arrive, as opposed to them being left in their wills.
But I'm wondering what to do with journalism. A bitchy and fairly clueless supervisor, a continuing comparatively slim paycheck, an uncertain future, mediocre work by others (and, unfortunately, myself at times) and continuing to work under a somewhat public spotlight is wearing down my enamel. I still love to write and can't imagine doing anything else, but I also feel trapped by a specific profession in specific market. If I jump to another paper, I may lose my job to continuing cutbacks in the industry, and we'd probably have to move, which means we'd have to sell our house in an -EV market.
Yet I have no idea what other options to look at, and even if I'd want to explore anything else. And raising twins and a toddler doesnt' exactly leave any time for that, other than doing it when I'm completely exhausted and just looking for an hour or two of downtime.
I'm also wondering about my place in the world. Even as I'm constantly wary of the kids swallowing every scrap of my free time, I also wonder if I spend enough time with them. I'll never be as selfless as Kate, and it shows, with Jayden favoring her over me every chance he gets. I fear the twins will favor Kate as well, and right now I wouldnt' blame them.
I wish I didn't need long trips to Black Hawk's poker room on a Saturday every once in a while (we went Saturday, seven hours, I finished down a bit after some cool but fairly uninteresting poker, I really hate the limit format - there were four chances I knew I could win a pot with a big bluff bet on the river but was handicapped by the $5 limit - but love live cash games with my buddy too much to quit).
But I do need them.
I'm not a sad panda, just thoughtful, probably a bit too much, and really wondering what will happen in the next few years.
I know people who go through periods like this one for the better. There are people in our running group who complete marathons for the first time and lose weight and get out of bad marriages or, hey, dead-end jobs.
I'll need to look to those people for inspiration as I grapple with a world that isn't paved with gold, where I do get cold (all the time this winter, kinda tired of it actually), and I'm starting to realize that I'm getting old and even a little gray.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A radio personality made for the newspaper

Well, last night was my debut on Buddy Dank Radio, although I hesitate to call it a debut because that implies I'll get to be on again at some point.
After my blasé performance, I'm pretty sure I won't be asked back on. It made me appreciate what Buddy and Instant Tragedydo every week. Even if it does sound chaotic at times, those guys monitor all the games, try to keep us entertained, make sure the music is going, take messages from us Yahoos (literally) and play the Mookie all at the same time. It's harder than it sounds, folks, and that's because they are so relaxed while I do it.
I wanted to tell more climbing stories but after a while I realized it didn't seem to fit, and it would probably just come across as me just bragging about my exploits anyway. What I was hoping to do was introduce the poker bloggers to a different world, but I don't have the personality to do that without it coming across as just me blathering about my "great feats."
I busted fairly early from The Mookie. I was re-raised a lot preflop, and I'll have to start taking a stand if that continues, although I have a feeling I was beat each time, and I couldn't get anything going otherwise.
Now that PokerStars is on the Mac, I two tabled it while I was on the radio after I busted and scooped a huge pot when I called a minimum raise with five other callers with A-J clubs, expecting to either hit the flop big or let it go cheap. The flop came A-J-9, with two spades, so I bet the pot and was mini-raised by the original raiser. Given the draws and the fact that I thought I had the guy beat, I pushed, and he eventually called with K-K.
I had a great time on the radio, so thanks to Buddy for putting up with me the whole radio program. I would encourage all of you to give it a shot, as it was really easy to set up, and Buddy and IT will make you feel at home.
Speaking of a different world, go check out the latest Miami Donpost, his first installment of a series about his former life. It's outstanding writing, from the soul, and I can't wait for the next part. When Don isn't feuding or talkin' like a bookie, he's one of the best bloggers out there, and I'm really glad he's started this series.
We've got a prop bet this weekend, my Kansas Jayhawks versus Don's Missouri Tigers. The Tigers have us in their building, and that's a tough game no matter how good we are. And our ballas are really, really good this year. This is probably the best Jayhawk team I've seen in a long, long time, and that's saying something. This team is definitely better than the one that went to the title game in 2003 and equal to the one that went to the Final Four in 2002.
I'm heading to Black Hawk this weekend for some donkey limit poker after some time with Kate's parents. I've already scheduled a 10-mile run on Sunday to work off the frustration from that session.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The ballad of the beginner

— "Life has been kind to you...
You will learn."

Sweeney Todd in "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"

Dear Beginning Poker Player:

I have to admit, it was fun to watch you fall in love with poker.
At our occasional home poker tournaments with friends, it's always nice to have new players, and so we gathered in a table after we busted and taught you how to play. This is the flop, we said, and these are the chips you bet, and these are the hand rankings. We enjoyed teaching you the game because that's what our friends did for us, and it taught us to love this horrible yet fascinating game.
Horrible, you say? How could it be? Never mind. We'll get to that later.
When the game started, you played carefully, as we told you to, until you couldn't stand it any longer, and though I was at the other table, sweating out a pot with A-J, you scooped a massive chip stack after rivering an 8 to go with your K and to beat your opponent's A-K.
I did not see the other two pots where you apparently dragged nice pots, and I began to hear you say "this game is easy!", and I smiled.
A knowing smile, mind you, the kind of grin the aforementioned Todd flashed on his pale face as his young friend revels about the wonders of London.
Yes, it's easy when you're catching cards and the blinds are so fast, at 10 minutes, that our hard-earned skill means nothing, and we're at the same level, a hand versus a hand, and with that, anyone can win.
That's all right. Let her enjoy it, I thought. Bad girls are fun at first, too, until you wake up one morning and she's taken $40,000 worth of your stuff (head to 2+2 to see what I'm talking about. But when you don't know that's what's gonna happen, you just enjoy the fun.
When we were at the final table, I had a good stack, but I knew I was going to have to push eventually and hope for the best.
You got Q-Q to go against a shoved J-J and 4-4, and I smiled again. Ah, yes, Q-Q. The Cunts. The hand that's caused me more pain than any other in the history of poker.
But you flopped a set with it. and you laughed and cheered.
And four hands later, I know I've got no choice, peek down at my cards and see Q-Q.
Sigh. I smile.
A knowing smile.
And I push.
"How much is that," you ask quickly, but I'm not worried. You are a beginner, after all, and you'll be just as infatuated with any pair.
But you flip over K-K, and you have a quizzical look when you hear me say, "That's why I hate that fucking hand," even when I am smiling at your beginner's luck.
"Man, poker is fun," I hear you say as you rake my chips. "When do you guys play again?"
I smile once again as I say my goodbyes to everyone and head home to feed the twins.
You will learn, I silently thought to myself as I look at your huge stack. You will learn.

P.S. I will be here Wednesday during the Mookie:

As the featured guest! Supposedly. I'll talk about some of my mountain climbing adventures and I guess poker. Buddy Dank used to climb, too, but this isn't his show, so I have no idea what it will be like.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Ha!

Kate's great-great grandmother not only had twins, she had THREE SETS of twins.
Well, no wonder.
All that floating around her bloodstream, it's a wonder we only had one set.
And here's the freaky part.
We just got a picture in the mail of her.
And she looks a lot like Kate.
Like, a LOT.
I mean you take away the braided, wavy hair style and the grainy parts and the Victorian dress buttoned up to her neck, and she's practically Kate.
I did not believe in reincarnation.But now I'm willing now to listen to those who do.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Goodbye strangers, goodbye friends?

Lately for short periods I've thought about what my funeral would be like.
There would probably be a picture montage set to U2 because, let's face it, Iron Maiden or Metallica would probably not be appropriate. Besides, I'd be dead, so I'd have no say in what music was picked. And U2 does open the movie I'm making about the twins, so they'd probably deem it a safe choice and move on.
I suppose there would be flowers, maybe me in an open casket, if I'm not too gashed up from my fall off a peak, dressed in fleece and my ice axe by my side.
The thing I can't picture is just how many people would show.
But I think the pews are getting emptier.
Even before we had the kids, I wasn't one to have a lot of friends, and quite frankly I liked it that way. I liked having free nights, even on the weekends, to myself. I love time alone. The time I spend with people, while fun, drains me of the pieces of energy I have left after burning it running or working or living.
In the eight months since we added twins to Jayden, however, the few friendships I enjoyed have been difficult to maintain, and lately I've worried about their erosion, to the point where I wonder at times if I have any friends left at all.
I've had to leave poker games as they're just starting to pick up, turn down invitations to movies and forgo inviting others to watch a Kansas basketball game with me. In the past I'd probably gather a few friends to watch the Orange Bowl. Last Thursday I watched it alone, and silently, because the kids were all asleep.
I've constructed a pretty thick cocoon around myself as a parent of a toddler and twins.
We used to have a group of friends Kate and I hung with every few weeks, where we'd gather and drink and play games (NO, not spin the bottle or the car keys in a fishbowl). Once we even ran around different neighborhoods on a scavenger hunt, like eighth graders. It was fun. We took a five-day mountain climbing trip with a couple in that group and went out to dinner several times a season with another.
Now we haven't seen any of them in months.
It's just easier that way.
It's so much work to go out these days. It's not like we can just call a babysitter. "Hi, can you take care of two eight-month-old infants and a toddler with more endurance than an Ironman athlete? OK, see you at 7!" And taking the kids anywhere, even to dinner with friends, means shoving more things into a backpack that I used to bring climbing 14ers, clipping in two babies in their carriers and belting in Jayden and praying to God they don't throw a fit in the restaurant.
We're trapped in our own house, and though it's not prison because the girls are now super cute and getting big (videos to come I promise) and Jayden is speaking more words every day, those refreshing times with friends are fading fast. Even when we're out, sometimes it's too hard to have the singleton parents to make plans for some trip/night out and act disgusted when we say we can't go. One friend of Kate's constantly asks her why she can't go out to dinner with them every week, and Kate says "that leaves Dan at home with the three kids." I do give Kate a girls' night out once a month, and even then, her friend just asks her why Kate can't go out with them more as they take their calm, single child out in a stroller and to swim lessons and lunches in a high chair.
They don't get it, Kate says many times, and no one really does.
People, however, get tired of asking if you can make it to a movie and eventually just assume you can't. That's where we are now, and I'm beginning to question what, if anything, I want to do about it.
As I said, I'm perfectly happy playing online poker and chatting with virtual friends made and strengthened in Las Vegas and hitting up Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and reading and watching movies. Now that my free time has been cut in half, at least, with caretaking, those activities are more important to me than ever.
Yet I do fall into depression at times, and I think it's because no matter how much of an introvert you are, and no matter how renewing time alone is, human contact with others you care about is important.
Kate and I realized how nice it was to have a few hours alone, without the kids, when Dad and his family watched all three of them during our trip to Kansas recently. So we made it a point, then and there, to try to have at least a couple hours together once every couple of weeks.
We're trying to watch our own relationship, and then we'll work on rebuilding the ones we enjoyed with others. But finding the time to do that continues to be challenging.
Kate asked her brother this weekend if he could watch the kids for a couple hours. We're not sure yet. We're starting to get the idea that he may be busy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Maybe the curse is over...

I was playing at Bodog last night and enjoying the horrible pokerites handing me their chips like they were covered with a rare disease, and I had Q-Q.
We all know how I feel about that hand.
But I raised because I refuse to let the 783 times I'd lost with it in a row to make me play incorrectly, and a shortie pushes all in for about a quarter of my stack.
I put him on A-K and call.
So I'm already shaking my head about losing this race when the flop comes.
So with this hand and the last hand I just posted about, I've won two big hands in a row with Queens.

"Then the spell starts to break
The albatross falls from his neck
Sinks down like lead into the sea
Then down in falls comes the rain."
- Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Iron Maiden

See you at Bodog at 7:05 p.m. for the Blogger tourney. Password is Bodogblogger. Come for lots of added goodies and a possible Bodog league, which would rock like Queen (not queens).

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Relative Ms and thoughts from the top

So when did it become OK to make fun of a guy for his weight on national television?
Yes, Kansas' football coach is a fat guy (see picture below). I've made several comments myself for that. My brother said it best: "He's the only guy I know who has cheek fat."
But he's also the mastermind behind one of the greatest turnarounds in recent college football history. Seriously, Kansas football is pretty much a joke in the history books.
And we just beat a top five team and won the Orange Bowl, and some people are saying we deserve a national title (I don't agree with that, but still, it's nice to hear).
And here's what the jackoffs from the Fox broadcast said at the end of the game:
"His players are looking for coach Mangino."
"Well, coach Mangino isn't hard to find."
Seriously, the guy's got an amazing story. He was living in a basement with his wife and kids at age 35 to pursue his dream to become a football coach. He's humble, yet he had a much better year than the tan and ivory-teethed Nick Saban, who Alabama puts before God.
Enough is enough.

So I was playing a home tournament with my buds last night, and I thought about posting about relative Ms, which I'm sure would get me much criticism, if any of the hardcore poker bloggers actually read this space.
But they don't (and I don't blame them, how many posts can you read about twins and late nights and diaper shit, after all), so I'm safe.
As an aside, the blinds are 13 minutes, meaning you'll get to see maybe one orbit before the blinds go up to 50/100, and you start with 2,500 chips. It costs $10 to enter, and the game is a mixture of complete and clueless donkeys who are there for fun and ask every time they're up "how much is it to me again?" to decent players who can't fold top pair to a few players like me, meaning they're good, winning recreational players but aren't going to challenge for a seat in the WSOP.
We had 14 players in both games last night, and the first game went exactly like most of my tournaments have gone in the last two months, meaning I got sucked out on hard and went out first.
The first hand I lost to a two-outer, and in the second hand, I had Q-Q and lost when someone called my 10xs big blind all-in (punishing three limpers) with...A-5. I have an A! I call!
And...well...he hit his A on the river, making it the 738rd time I've lost with the Cunts against a weak A. Have I mentioned I hate that hand? I have? OK.
In the second game, however, I got nuthin' for cards, which I'm fine with because the cards come later. Right? Sure. I get nothing save for A-6 sooted when my M is...well, I can't even complete the big blind if I fold here.
And someone raises. In early position. What do you do here? You have to push, right?
What if I told you you're certain the guy only raises with Aces, Kings or A-K?
Do you still call?
Here's the thing. I did not call.
I folded.
Bah, you say, how stupid. The guy flipped up Aces, and I would have been dead to clubs or trip 6s or a strange straight. No help.
I do not believe in committing suicide just because your M says you must.
And I folded because I looked at my relative M, and I realized the blinds were going up yet again in a minute, and I figured by the time the blinds reached me again, five other stacks would be toast.
Sure enough, the blinds are near me again, three stacks are gone, I'm three spots from the money, and I get Q-Q again.
Arrgh. I have to play it. A guy with K-10 calls me, and I'm so stunned when a K does not hit that they have to revive me with smelling salts.
I play again, blind, when I'm in the Big Blind because the big blind swallows my whole stack, and I have 9,4 against A-Q and 7-5 sooted.
I flop a four, it holds, and I'm OK shape. Q-10 outflops A-10 (on the river, heh) and my J-5 holds against 9-6 and suddenly I'm looking all right.
Suddenly I'm heads up, switch gears, bluff relentlessly against the big stack and when we're even, we chop.
It was a lucky comeback, for sure, but one that wouldn't have happened had I not broken a golden rule and instead focused on my relative M.
And that's my strategy post, sorta, for the month, because otherwise I'm not really qualified for such things.
Back to talking about babies.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

Congrats to my Kansas Jayhawks, who beat the No. 3 team in the country despite some people whining about the fact that "they don't belong there."
I guess a win says otherwise.

It was a great season. We're more than just a basketball school now, although that's going pretty well right now as well.