Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend This -n- That

Before anything else, wanted to mention that a fellow blogger inside the circle is going through some trials, some tribulation, some weeping, some wailing, and some gnashing of teeth. Most of you know who I'm talking about and those who don't, well, it's probably better for you ;) Anyways, hope everything works out for you, man. I really do.

Notwithstanding that, there's mostly good news in this post, and that's not a phrase I've been able to say a lot recently.

Firstly, poker: Lately I've been playing more Double or Nothings on BCP, usually in the $10/20 range. The low ranges are just too random for my tastes and there's not quite enough action to make it worth my while.

I think DoN's fit the strong points in my game and avoid the weaker: I think my shorthanded game needs some real work so being able to avoid it is pretty cool, at least in the short term. DoN's also tend to reward ABC poker, with perhaps a nod towards more patient play than you otherwise would. It's almost like playing at the bubble for an entire game. BTW I'm not suggesting that my brand of play is often described in terms of patience but I can play quite patiently if I'm convinced that that's the way to go.

The single most important thing to remember about DoN is that you don't need to win; just don't lose. It is to some counter-intuitive but if you can vibe to that philosophy it becomes an easy game. So I think I'll be playing DoN's with regularity.

One hand I wanted to mention was, I think, the direct result of my respect for, and gratitude towards, the poker gods.

Early on, blindss 10/20, as UTG+1 I looked down to find pocket 8s. UTG folded, I raised to 60, it folded down to the SB who called. The flop came 8JJ. I flopped a big, beautiful boat, and although I didn't have it stone cold - I was vulnerable to JJ and J8 - it's safe to say I liked my chances. I checked the flop and he checked behind.

Turn comes a 10. Now I'm also vulnerable to J10. Villain bets 140, which is about a pot-sized bet. I call.

The river, if you can dig it, showed me the case 8. I was staring at a beautiful set of quads. Woo, and might I add, hoo. Now I had the second nuts, vulnerable only to JJ. Villain insta-shoves and of course I have no real alternative but to call. In fact it's kind of bad form to do any thinking there; anything but an insta-call would almost certainly be construed as a slowroll. And if indeed he has JJ, Buddha bless him; he'll have earned my chips fair and square.

He turns over AJ - that river 8 that gave me quads gave him Jacks full of eights. I watched with glee as the chips danced their way into my pile (virtually speaking). My opponent was crippled but later chipped back up off of someone else's tuckus, and my monster stack was easily enough to glide me through to victory, as victory is reckoned in DoN land. So: to the gods of poker, once again, please accept my thanks and supplication for your gentle mercy. I will not forget your awesomeness.

Speaking of poker, congratulations to my sistah from anothah mistah for scoring yet another pile at Foxwoods recently. Awesome job Auntie Jo! And thanks to Hoy for taking good care of her and providing her with good advice and counsel.

One other matter that I'll call good news: I got my heating oil bill today (For those of you not familiar with the Northeastern United States, most houses here are heated with #4 fuel oil, delivered into a 250-gallon tank by a fleet of trucks). Last month I got a bill that covered 33 days of fuel, that set me back - gulp! - $608. SIX HUNDRED BUCKS!! That's for one month of heat. Holy shit, thought I. This can't be allowed to continue.

So we turned down the thermostat to 58, threw on sweaters, bought a little space heater, and saved ourselves about $200 this past month. We actually used almost a full gallon less fuel per day in a month that was way colder than the one previous (and at $4.60/gallon, that ain't hay). I'll call that good news; hells yeah I will.

So I guess that's it. I'll close with a joke you can tell a kid: Guy walks in to a podiatrist's office. Says "Doc, you gotta help me; I think I'm a moth."

Doctor says "but...I'm a podiatrist. Why are you coming to me?"

Guy says "well, your light was on."


  1. Everyone really seems to love the DoN's now a days instead of the old fashioned SnG's.
    I'm assuming it's because it pays out the extra two slots, less variance.

    I'm tempted to put some money on BCP in order to start playing a little here and there just haven't gotten around to it.

    Mainly, I wanted to comment on your heating bill with a big ole W T F.
    $608? 33 days? Egads man. That's enough to drive people into poverty right there. Congrats on surviving it.

    When I lived back east I was a big fan of letting the place run cold and just throwing extra clothes on as well. Space Heater is key obv.

  2. Nice story about the quad 8's!

    Since the siren Josie has seduced me into getting on BCP, I guess I might start playing some DoN's. Never played them before so your comments are useful. Not even sure I understand how they work. I guess you play down to five players and then it is a essentially an automatic five-way chop?

  3. I hate to bring this up but when I was a mere whippersnapper up in Yo-land, it was less than $40 to fill up our 200 gallon tank. I remember heating oil at 19.3 cents per gallon. If I had to deal with 4.60 per gallon to heat my home, I'd be burning the furniture before I turned on the heater.

  4. CS - Yoiks! Oil heat is the scourge of the devil. I am impressed at your heartiness bearing up with 58 degrees (really?!?). I get pretty chilly and we keep it at 66 during the day and 62 at night. And I carry around a lot of my own insulation to boot. (We use natural gas.)

    My brother, who lives just west of Worcestah, had a situation similar to yours, though with propane as the culprit. He installed a pellet stove in the living room and they have saved TONS and TONS of money. He recouped the cost of purchase and installation almost immediately. Pellet stoves might even be on sale now, here at the tail end of the heating season.

    I used to play DoN's on FTP (or was it stars?) and loved them because they were quick. No endgame to deal with either, which was one of my weak suits, so to speak.

  5. @Grrouchie - I played the DoN's at PokerStars but there was some sort of collusion thing going on that not only made it less likely that I'd win, but also it made the play incredibly slow and boring. And re: the heat, it's pretty bad. My man-cave is in the basement and every time I hear the oil burner kicking on, I die a little inside.

  6. @Rob, that's exactly right. As soon as the fifth person gets knocked out the game is over and you get double your buy-in credited to you. One thing I should mention, there's always one or two idiots at every table who will play it like a normal table, so hang back a bit and let them bust themselves out. Then it becomes an 8-player thing and it's a lot easier to eventually cash.

    Good luck my brother! Let me know if I can help.

  7. @Neo, how right you are buddy - but you know what they say: the definition of nostalgia is remembering how much things cost without remembering how much you made.

  8. @Crankston, one energy-saving measure I'm considering is to install an electric hot water heater (my oil burner provides on-demand hot water now), but that will have to wait for the summer, I suspect. And my experience was that the DoN's on P-Stars were anything but quick; my recollections were that they were long, dull, and long and dull.