Monday, May 26, 2008

A Sweet $64

Before I get into my post I want to wish a quick congratulations to one of my best and oldest friends Chris Wilhelmi on his recent engagement. Chris proposed to his girlfriend Sarah over the weekend during a trip to Yosemite and of course she said yes. I want to wish them all the best.

Now on to poker related stuff. For the majority of my day today I got totally stomped. Sometimes you play a session where you are connecting with plenty of flops, but your opponents just keep on getting whatever turn and river cards they need. Today was one of those days. Not only is is much more expensive than just getting shitty cards or having good starting cards miss the flop, but it's also a great deal more frustrating.

Feeling like you've got a hand won and then discovering that the clown you are up against hit a 10 to 1 shot is never fun. When it happens over and over and over again it can make you want to pull your hair our and in the worst cases take you off your game.

I'd been playing a mix of two $15/$30 and two $10/$20 games all day and by the time I was ready to take my lunch break I was down about $2,000. I was feeling like giving up for the day, but I took a long break and after about 90 minutes I was ready to give it another shot. 20 minutes later I was down another $500 and decided to call it a day. I went and shot some hoops, took a shower and played with my son for a few minutes.

Even though I've had plenty of sessions where I've won $2,500 in my career when you're down that much it can feel like you're never going to get it back. Even a big pot at $15/$30 is about $500, usually at least a third of that money was money you put in the pot so it's not all profit, and pots of that size are few and far between. When you're winning much more pedestrian $200 pots (which don't exactly grow on trees) where half of the money in the pot was your's to begin with you can see how it feel like it's going to take forever to pick up $2,500.

Happily, even though I'd decided to call it quits for the day I was once again feeling OK. I opted to play a little more with the thinking that if I dropped another $500 (which would put me at -$3,000 for the day) I'd be done for sure and if I managed to pull back even a few hundred it would leave me feeling a little better about the day.

Well instead of my opponents getting whatever turn and river cards that they wanted, I was the one getting the magic cards. I quickly got back $1,500 and thought about stopping. After all -$1,000 is not a major loss and something I could easily get back tomorrow. But I liked the games I was in and decided to keep on playing. I picked up another $500 and though a little harder about quitting. But I kept on playing.

When I was within $100 of even I said enough is enough and decided to get up after playing to my blinds. Luckily in one of those last few hands I picked up pocket aces, won a nice pot and ended the day with a $64 profit. It was a very sweet $64 win.

Also of note, I played against 2003 World Champion Chris Moneymaker in one of my $15/$30 games for about an hour (during the stretch that I was winning). You might wonder what a former WSOP main event winner is doing playing $15/$30 and I don't have a good answer for you other than he is probably the worst poker player of any world champion ever and he's more of a tournament specialist. I've seen him playing the 6 handed games a few times, but he's usually in the $50/$100 (where I played him once before) or the $100/$200. Anyway I always think it's cool to play against poker celebrities and in this case I certainly got the best of him. Not only did I take him off a few pots with bluffs, but I also snapped off a few of his bluff attempts with weak hands and at the very least held my own in pots where we both had real hands. It felt pretty good.

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