Sunday, February 28, 2016

Not Having to Be Faster than the Bear

Two guys were hiking in the forest, when they stumble upon a mama grizzly protecting a couple of cubs. She looks at them wild-eyed and starts posturing for a chase.
One of the guys frantically reaches into his pack and starts putting on his sneakers.
"What the hell are you doing?" says the other. "You're never in a million years going to outrun that bear."
"Don't have to outrun the bear," he says. "Just have to outrun you."

I went back to Twin River yesterday with Yosie, because last time I was there I made a few hundy and was feeling my oats pretty, um, oatily. We had breakfast at a local greasy spoon (not the coffee milk place), and got there early enough so we could sit together without a wait.
Last time there were really no table captains, no bullies (besides the one I destroyed, and subsequently wrote about), pretty much no really strong players at all swimming in the shallow waters. So this time I got there and decided I would ratchet up the aggression just a little bit, maybe try to take control.

Because I have stumbled upon (or rather, finally come to) the realization that informs the little parable above and provides the title of this particular missive: I don't have to be the world's best poker player. I just have to be better than the schmucks I'm playing against.

And lordy lordy, were there a bunch of schmucks at our table. Way more often than not, the big blind would be called all around. There were often six or seven people to a flop, with a pot of perhaps $16! I've never seen the like.

Now I have for a long time lived by a simple rule for pre-flop action: Don't just call an unraised blind. If a hand is worth one blind, it's worth three, and if it isn't worth three, it isn't worth one. A fairly simple rule, and one that has saved me my share of misery and dollars over the years.

But, as the old saying goes, the only absolute rule in poker is that there are no absolute rules.  I quickly made the decision that if these jabronies are going to let me see cheap flops, and let me outplay the shit out of them post-flop, well, then, by god and sonny jesus, that's what I was going to do.

I would have been up nearer to $1000, but I lost perhaps $300 when I went all in with AA when my opponent had 77, and caught his two-outer, but after everything was said and done, including guesting at a home tournament that Josie frequents (and winning it), I was up the better part of $550 for the day, which is still a hap hap happy day for me. Happier still I can feel when my game starts getting passive and I start missing opportunities to take pots, and can correct my behavior and get back on track.

Things are looking up for The Kid, my friends. Having a poker room eleven minutes or so from my house is doing wonders for my game.

Expect more posts of a pokery nature in the coming weeks. The Crafty Southpaw is back!


  1. Congrats on the ca$h. Looking forward to more pokah posts.

  2. what are the rules regarding button straddles in twin rivers? now that u and waffles are posting trip reports in ur blog, how about getting Josie to do the same.

  3. Thanks Mojo. Tony, I've only ever seen utg straddles there. And Josie has done a fine job making her own decisions thus far in life; I trust she can make this one without my help.

  4. As always, it was a blast, though the food sucked. Breakfast was good, except that I had to wipe drool off the table every time our waitress walked by. According to Gary she had the "perfect ass" and it was in yoga pants!

    As for me, after being up $400 within an hour of sitting down I had two horrible bad beats in a row. Holding K-J and flopping Q-10-9 rainbow, was the first one. You'd think that shit'd be good right? Nope.

    Anyway, I left up more than a hundy and for that I'm happy.

    Tony, I'm playing more poker now than I ever did when I blogged (once Full tilt went kaput anyway) but I was just saying to Gary, that blogging wasn't something I was jonesing for.

    Yes, Gary, why don't you tell me what to do. Let's see how that goes! :P