Saturday, January 29, 2011

Taking a Break

I'm going to take some time off from poker, from this wonderful, frustrating, horrible game.  I'm just tired. That also means I'm probably going to stop blogging, more or less, as if my output were anything close to regular to begin with.

My head isn't even close to being in the right place - I wish I could tell you about it but some things just need to stay private. Suffice to say that things need to change for me.  I don't know how to best go about it - I made a few very painful changes already that I suspect will ultimately work out but in the meantime it's like I cut off my arm and lost my best friend and fell through a plate glass window all at the same time. I'm angry and sad and bitter and I am in no condition to play poker for money.

So, to my friends who read this blog, to the friends I've made at the Mookie, at the Very Josie, and throughout my travels, this is not goodbye, but it is so long for a while.  Think of me every so often; I'll be thinking of you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Casting about for a moneymaker

So I'm looking for a consistent way to use poker as a means of making money.  Not asking too much here; a couple hundy a week would suit me just fine.

A while back I tried the PokerStars Double or Nothing strategy. That worked ok at the ten dollar range but it's just not an efficient way of stockpiling money.  At the higher levels one is susceptible to collusion (proven) by which you get whipsawed to death.  I spent three months and amassed the princely sum of $300 before I decided I'd rather take a swannee off the Tobin than play one more game.  Sure, it beats getting beat, but a hundred bucks a month isn't gonna get it done.

So now I'm going to try a different tack.  This time I'm going to try 1 table 6-person five-buck SnG's.  I know two days is a small statistical sample but in five games played I won twice and placed once.  So for a $25 investment I'm at $49.50 - so I'd need to play seven or eight of those a day to make my goal of $40 a day.

The five-buck tables have the advantage of being chock-full of the stupid.  And really, they're the only ones I can consistently beat.  I know just how they play!!

So: off I go.  I will keep you all posted as to how I do.  Also, if you guys have a suggestion as to how to consistently make $40 a day playing a specific type of poker, I'm all ears.

Until next time, wish me luck.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Beat Poem for Lightning

Today's tribute to Lightning36 comes to us from Tom Waits, mad genius, eccentric, beat poet, chamption of the downtrodden  and the two-time loser, author of some of the most interesting music that I am personally aware of.  BTW if you want the song, let me know and I'll figure something out.

So let us now picture Lightning in some seedy railroad station bar, staring at the world through the botom of a shotglass, making conversation with some barfly and remembering What Might Have Been.  Lightning, hang in there buddy!

"Bad Liver and a Broken Heart"

Well, I got a bad liver and a broken heart;
Yeah, I drunk me a river since you tore me apart.
And I don't have a drinking problem
'cept when I can't get a drink;
I wish you'd have known her, we were quite a pair...
She was sharp as a razor, and soft as a prayer.
So welcome to the continuing saga,
She was my better half, And I's just a dog
So here I am, slumped
I been chippied, I been chumped
On my stool-
So buy this fool
Some spirits and libations
It's these railroad station bars
And all these conductors and the porters
And I'm all out of quarters...
And this epitaph
Is the aftermath
Yeah, I choose my path
Hey, come on, Kath,
He's a lawyer,
He ain't the one for ya...
No, the moon ain't romantic
It's intimidating as hell
And some guy's tryna sell me a watch
So I'll meet you at the bottom of a bottle of bargain scotch
I got me a bottle and dream
It's so maudlin, it seems...
You can name your poison
Go on ahead and make some noise
I ain't sentimental
This ain't a purchase, it's a rental
And it's purgatory
Hey, what's your story
Well I don't even care;
I got my own doublecross to bear
Well I see your Red Label and I raise you one more;
And you can pour me a cab,I just can't drink no more;
Cause it don't douse the flames
That are started by dames
It ain't like asbestos-
It don't do nothing but rest us assured
And substantiate the rumors that you've heard...

copyright owned by Tom Waits, no disrespect or anything else intended. If you want me to take it down just let me know, and can I have your autograph?

The Uncle Ben Spider - I swear this is not photoshopped

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Several Embarrassing Things About Me, Some of which Are Quite Funny

For some reason, Very Josie's post about Ursa Sucrosum getting swindled to the tune of $20 got me thinking about lessons learned, and how much those lessons cost. That in turn led me to a dangerous period of introspection - never a good (or healthy) thing.

For me it was how to handle money, and like most lessons of any worth it was taught to me by my father. I was 17, and in great wisdom or great folly he gave me one of his credit cards to me for my exclusive use. I in turn used it like a money spigot. I bought pretty much everything. I worked at a local gas station (for my old friends, the Rock and Roll Texaco, that's now a Pump -n- Pantry next to the Bel Aire diner) and would ring up a $50 transaction with the credit card and pocket the cash. All the time. I bought jewelry - and I hate jewelry. I bought things that were illegal for a 17 year old. I bought things that were illegal, period. And before I knew it, I was $2600 in the hole. That debt took every penny of my disposable income for three years to pay off, but pay it off I finally did, having gained an acute sense of the power and the peril of the consumer credit system.

I have been (voluntarily) unemployed for a year and four days, and we're still cranking along because we have no consumer debt - in fact no debt at all except for our mortgage - because my dad handed me a credit card with a smirk, knowing exactly what would happen. Thanks, Dad.

Anyway, that got me thinking about other embarrassing traits I have, and I thought I'd share them with both of you. Enjoy.

1. Except when preparing for, during, and immediately after a shower, I am NEVER barefoot. Never. I wear socks, all the time. I have sex with socks. Were I to have sex in Fenway Park I'd have sex with socks with the Sox. If I'm barefoot for any length of time my world starts to crumble. Long-time readers of this little chucklefest know this already.

2. I have learned many life lessons from the sitcom Scrubs.

3. In 2004 I bet a buddy a thousand bucks to his two hundred that the Red Sox would not win the World Series. That's right. He took the Sox and I took the rest of Major League Baseball, and we all know what happened there. He bought me lunch, though, with my G. Thanks, Sport.

4. After a long camping trip (during which I got mono but didn't know it yet) I met up with my girlfriend at the time and we went to Harold Parker State Forest and had some fairly nasty sex - after which we received an enthusiastic round of applause from about two dozen onlookers who saw every move.

5. I first broke the law in 1972, when I was four. I stole a pack of cinnamon gum from the local grocery store. It was the heist of the century. I got caught when I, um, chewed it in front of my mom, not thinking that without her giving it to me, there'd be no other means of me having any gum. She dragged me back down there and made me apologize.

6. My first crush, if you could call it that, was with a girl who grew up to be a lesbian, and not the kind you see in the movies.

7. I am afraid of babies. They are afraid of me. When they are offered to me to hold and vibe on their babyosity, I recoil as if I were being offered a fresh turd. Kids love me, all my nieces and nephews, and Ursa Sucrosum as well, but not babies.

8. On more than one occasion I have been "the funny guy" at a gathering so intensely and so often that someone will look at me with weary eyes and say, "OK, man, that's enough," and turn away with scorn. I stop being funny guy perhaps 50% of the time when that happens.

Well, I reckon that's about all for now. Until next time, remember: don't offer to have me hold your goddamn baby. It won't end well for anyone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Poker's Great Truth

And I think I have finally learned it.

Despite an ignominious early exit from the Mookie (AQ vs AK, which held up), I have discovered Poker's Great Truth, which is no more complex than this:

YOU DON'T HAVE TO WIN EVERY HAND. Even if you are fairly well convinced that you have the best hand.

If staying in the hand puts you in a position wherein losing would cause more damage than winning would be of benefit, just fold. It's not necessary to take down every hand. Just the gigantic ones.

Let me give you an example. Before the Mookie I played a $10 HU with a very polite gentleman who was cleaning my clock because I was playing my usual empty-headed brand of blind aggression and disbelief that my opponent had anything like a hand. So I took a deep breath, changed up my philosophy, and started winning. And biding my time. And eventually I had a great hand when my opponent had a good one. Boom. Ten bucks.

You don't need to win every hand. Even when you're fairly well convinced you have the best hand.

Until next time, please remember that patience is a virtue, except when driving in Boston.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Road Trip to Seabrook

Today Very Josie and I went up to the Seabrook (NH) Poker room for a $100 deep-stack tourney and a bitchin pistachio muffin.

I was almost completely card dead. No aces, kings, queens, or jacks, one pair of tens that got me the blinds, no AK, and two AQ, one of which I chopped with seat two who also had AQ.

I did what I could but you can only do so much with no cards. I did parlay pocket nines to nines full of jacks which got me to just about triple up, but the blinds got big, and I kept getting nothing after nothing after nothing. Finally I jammed with a medium ace with my last (I think) 7 BB's or so, and ran up against kings - and that was the story of me. 27th out of 60, not even close to cashing after three hours of poker.

I'll let Josie tell her tale but I'll just say that I was proud of her play. She caught a couple of bad beats in a row and was left with less than 1/2 of a BB, then clamped down and doubled up 4 times, buying her enough time to make the final table.

After poker was over we went to a Chinese restaurant we both like and were treated to a couple (think Murph the bricklayer and Barbie) having a serious conversation about their relationship
RIGHT UNDERNEATH THE GODDAMN TV WHERE THE GAME WAS ON. So watching the game felt like we were eavesdropping on their conversation, which we of course were.

So to sum up my snakebitten streak at Seabrook continues, but it was a lot of fun, as poker with my pal Jo always is.

By the way, if you perceive that the general tone of my last couple of posts lacks the usual vitriol, it does. Been doing some thinking and I reckon I'm done with "the needle." The people that read this blog are people I respect or like or love and I'm done insulting them for a cheap laugh, even if they know I'm kidding. No more room in my life for that kind of Karma. Nothing but positivity from here on out. If you don't like that, I respectfully invite you to stop reading.

Until next time, please remember that you can get more flies with honey than with vinegar - and it's certainly better in tea.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Josie is very sweet

...but that was not my opinion a few hours ago.

I won the most recent Very Josie, my second win there in as many months. I joined Memphis Mojo as the only multiple winner, which is honorable company indeed. When I won this most recent one, my first thought (after realizing that my nest had been feathered to the tune of eighty bucks) was that I would be getting a second Very Josie T-shirt. But apparently, nope. I got an email from Herself, stating "You ain't getting another Very Josie T-shirt."

Well, shit. I wanted to get a picture of me rubbing the two T's all over my body, but that was just one more dream denied. She said that instead of a shirt she'd buy me a cookie or something, some small sweet.

Wheee. I'm 75 pounds overweight and I need a cookie like I need a second dick. So I wasn't that psyched about the material end of things, until I showed up at her dining room table tonight (Thursday) and she drops me...

she drops me...

a bag of gummy bears.

I love gummy bears, really I do. I never have them because they're pure sugar and they're not great for my teeth, but I just love love love them. When I saw them, it all kind of went blank. I gave her a great big hug, and I think I cried just a little bit. She knew I loved them, and she got them just for me.

Better than a T-shirt. Josie, not only is all forgiven, but next time I see you I'm planting a great big gummy bear flavored kiss on you. So be ready for it. Pucker up, boo boo!

Until next time, please remember that t-shirts are overrated.