Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

24 hours of Poker - or How I Went Broke for New Year's

It's the second day of the year and my bankroll sits at a whopping $332. To say I've been running bad is a slight understatement. I have lost more money in the month of December 2006 than I won in all of 2005. Frankly, I think I lost nearly that much last weekend. Let's recap, shall we?

Friday - I send out text messages to the two guys I know who run underground games. I get a response from one telling me that there's a tourney that night. $60 with one rebuy and one add-on. I cruise over, stick in my $60, and make it a little past the first break, when I push over the top of what I thought was an isolation move. Short stack goes all in in the cutoff for $500 with blinds of 200-400. I call from the button with AQo. BB raises 1,000 and I push my remaining 3,000 or so into the middle, figuring he was just making an isolation move and he doesn't really have much. AK counts as something a little better than my AQ, and seriously better than shorty's AT. IGHN.

But actually, I go to the cash game now, which I thought would be a good place to make back some of my monthly losses. Not so much. 1/2 NLHE, uncapped buyin. I'd played this structure at the other underground game before and done okay, but that game didn't have two guys buying $500 each on the first hand. There was a flaming assload of money flying around, and I could put my hands on none of it. I was pretty card dead, and whenever I had the opportunity to play a hand, I missed the flop entirely. My suited connectors - no good. My baby pairs - no set. My face cards - low flop. Dropped two buyins and went home a little ill. Total for the night: - $460.

Saturday - other underground game calls and lets me know about their tourney that night. $40 unlimited rebuy. I go, play it fairly well, get broke once right before the end of the rebuy period and do the double rebuy planning to forgo the add on at the break. Get involved in a big hand immediately before the break and get a bunch more chips, but can't do fuckall with them after the break. -$120 so far.

Move to the cash game and start to believe that I remember how to play this stupid game. I play tighter that a frog's rectum for a while, then make a couple of moves when I've got decent cards in position. River the nut flush a couple of times to get me ahead a little and get some breathing room. I probably spend 6 hours at that cash game, and when I cash out I've made back my tournament buyin plus a little. Total for the night: +$250.

Sunday - New Year's Eve party at Em's, small game to go with it. I drop my first $40 buyin, then try to remember how to play this stupid game and play my cards rather than the players, because as we all know, YOU CAN'T BLUFF A CALLING STATION. One guy at the end of the table seems to know how to play a little, but never gives me credit for a hand. I pick up JJ at one point, pop it to 8xBB ($4) and he reraises me to $10. I think a lot about shoving in there, and probably would do so in a more formal game, but it was a party, all that jazz. I call, he misses, my Jacks are good. Suzy gets tired, everybody else gets drunk, we go home. Total for the night: +$40.

Monday - My trip to G-Vegas to defend my BadBlood Series of Poker New Year's Tourney title. My starting table is the stuff of Greenville nightmares: CJ, Otis, Me, BigPirate, Teddy BallGame, Uncle Ted and Tim the Dealer. Every player who cashed in last year's January 1 tourney is at that starting table. This is going to get ugly. I have position on CJ but Otis is on my immediate left. I pick up no hand better than AT, and get it like 4 times before the first break. It holds up once, I think. Maybe. I'm pretty card dead and after the break and we consolidate to two tables, I decide to call CJ's push with 86h, thinking he's on high cards (we both had an M of around 4) and both my cards would be live.

His pocket 7s are exactly what I get for thinking. He makes a thoroughly unnecessary set and I'm bounced. I move over to the cash game and manage to lose $40 playing $.25/.50 NLO8 with The Mark and Stan, most of it on a hand where Stan calls my ridiculously large bets with a low draw and a gutshot that gets there on the river to give him a scooper.

We eventually switch to 1/2 NL when G-Rob arrives and my quick descent in brokenness begins. Note to self - if any two of the following aggro-monkeys are on your left, you must play tighter than the aforementioned frog's rectum - Otis, G-Rob, TheMark. With both Mark and G-Rob to my left, I felt like the retarded virgin cousin at a West Virginia prom. I don't really remember much of the fucking, I just know I woke up bowlegged.

There weren't any really notable hands for me, other than running into G-Rob's Aces. You can't give him credit for ever having a legitimate hand, because he reraised me the exact same amount with 83o earlier. Regardless of what he says, motherfucker can play some cards. Now, he went broke about as many times in that game as I did, because Dealer Tim can also play some cards, and he was the resident cardrack du jour. TheMark took a fuckton of my chips, but that's only fair, since he is now at least partly responsible for both my largest winning day in poker and my largest losing day in poker.

I still love those boys and love hanging out with the G-Vegas crowd, but it was a loooong ride back to Charlotte after having my live bankroll reduced to a whopping $25. Special K gets a consolation prize for listening to me whine, although since I played too poorly to have any bad beat stories, I don't owe him $1.

So I'm now pretty much in that place where a lot of poker players find themselves: busto. I ran the year-end math, and I really, really should give up internet poker. I made about $2,800 off of poker last year, but that number would have been about $4,000 had I not played any online poker. I lost enough playing online to counteract any bonuses that I cleared, and drive me another $1,200 in the hole. Now I did show a profit, so why am I broke now?

Because I use my bankroll to pay for trips and toys, as well as poker. My digital camera - poker. My new Birkenstocks - poker. July trip to Vegas - Poker. You get the picture. And I'm not crying because I'm busto, because I'm not really busto. The kind folks over at Pokerworks continue to give me work, and that's where most of my roll came from in the first place. So that money comes in next week and I'm back in the game. After I spend a little time looking at my game, that is.

Because there's no question that my game has issues right now, and they're not just crises of confidence from running bad. I need to take a little time off from playing and refocus on learning. I'll probably go back through and re-read Harrington, and Phil's Little Green Book, and see if I can't take my game apart and put it back together. It's a sobering thing, losing most of my bankroll, but there's more coming in, and it gives me a chance to fix my game before I get really broke.

But if you love me and wanna help me out, you could go visit my new project, Full Shill Poker, and sign up for something if you're not already signed up for the stuff I've got links to. Or buy something from my Amazon links. There will also be a shameless shill posting from Pay Per Post coming soon. Oh, and since Amy said that she got a shitoad of traffic from mentioning cheerleader crotch shots on her blog, I'm gonna throw in random pornographic terms from time to time to build traffic. Frankly, Amy's got a cute post up about blogger orgies that's definitely worth reading. Mmmm....blogger orgies. Daddy'll bring the bacon if Gracie brings the Crisco!


BigPirate said...

great to see you again. Hope to see you in the Queen City again soon (or colatown).

Short-Stacked Shamus said...

At least you got a great post out of it. So yr readers' saw a profit . . . . Good luck moving forward.

Oh, and here, lemme help out: redheads, threesome, spreadeagle, Gerald Ford.