Friday, December 12, 2003

Better, Faster, Stronger

In light of the lethargic pace of posting on my usual circulation of poker blogs, I was forced to "expand my horizons".

I found a sortof poker blog by Chris Halverson. Though his blog isn't entirely about poker, there is still some good reading there. He's also a racing fan... Something I used to be, but as of late I haven't followed any sort of racing. I used to be a huge CART fan, but when the whole Indianapolis and IRL thing went down, I just lost interest in the whole thing. The IRL races are basically death watches these days. The cars in the IRL are now so fast that they've had to cancel events because drivers are starting to grey out from all the g-forces they're pulling in the turns. Another complaint often heard from the drivers are that they are routinely mere inches from each other. While this is great action, when you're in an open wheel race car going 230 miles per hour, it's not a matter of if an accident will happen, but rather when and how bad. Don't get me wrong, I love racing, but I don't think men need to face down death every weekend as a very real possibility so that I can be entertained.

Okay, sorry.. Tangent there.

Another great poker... well, it's not really a "blog" but rather a roundtable, is Felicia Lee. She's a poker player in Vegas, and plays in casinos rather then online. I haven't had much chance to dive into her writing yet. Let's try to convince her to start using something like blogger. Trying to make sense out of Yahoo Group's archaic setup might cause my head to explode.

A word about this blog too. Though I don't make it a habit to use the Seven Words You Can't Say On Television, I also do believe that:

a: quotes from other sources should not be edited for content... At all. He said what he said, and that's what I'll quote.

b: They're words, people. They convey meaning, and let's face it, the word "fuck" is the single most versatile word in the English Language.

Thusly, understand that I write what's on my mind. If I just got owned on the .50/1 tables, I've got the F-bomb on my mind.

And, no.. No one said anything about it.. I imagine if you're going to play poker, then ostensibly you've already pushed the edge of the Bible's meaning and thus, don't feel pre-disposed to burning in the 11th plane of Hell for letting a few colorful metaphors fly. I just sort of wanted to state where I am on the content of this blog.

Back to the subject at hand. As I am one to do, I often review my poker play during quiet times at work. Since, under most circumstances, my job involves monitoring things, I find that thinking about other things keeps me mentally agile enough to deal with any problems that might occur.

Anyway, I've noticed that, even though I'm now in better chip position late in the tournament then I was in the last couple of days, I still find myself at a significant deficit when heads up. Specifically, the last tourney I played this afternoon saw me in three way action with two players holding between T3000 and T3500 in chips. I was there wallowing between T600 and T1500, basically either going all in with anything decent or getting the heck out of the way when the big boys decided to duke it out. I, honestly, got lucky as the monsters went all-in with each other and one checked out. Though this put me heads up with the guy, it also saw me at an almost 6 to 1 chip disadvantage. With the blinds at 200/400 and climbing, it was pretty much all-in every hand. Pretty sad when you get 6s8s in the pocket and have to go all-in.. That's what I lost to. A total crapshoot, but I'm never going to bitch about 2nd. I played to win.

I ran into all kinds at the tables today. One table was a rock garden, which actually I was able to adjust to. I was able to make some steals and get myself comfortable for the middle game, where I usually go into hiding as the short stacks start making desperation moves. The next table I was at was interesting... It was a good combination of tight and loose people, but I noticed an awful lot of smack talking back and forth. I stayed out of it for the most part, but...

I'm heads up against a bigger stack (but not too much bigger). I've got something like AJo. I pair up the J, which at this point is top pair, on the flop, so I start betting out... The guy across from me is calling me out, so I check up on the turn, and so does he... We're feeling each other out.. Board comes something like J2346. Opponent makes a minimum bet. I sense weakness. I raise him. He pauses for about 10 seconds and says:

"You got the 5?"

To which I respond, "pay to find out."

He laughs and folds.

I love smack talk. Its a huge tell in an otherwise faceless world of online poker. Immediately from the chatter, I could tell who was passive, who was a bullshitter, who was the bully... It was great! On my last game, I ended up on a table with Mr. Bully again. Nice to at least have the read on one guy before the chips were even passed out.

There's been some talk lately on other resources about legalities and problem gambling. I'm one of those people that believe that any law passed "for my own good" should be immediately and irrevocably stricken from the record as unconstitutional. Making Internet gambling illegal is a perfect example of one of these silly, overbearing laws. By passing a law that makes wagering online illegal, the government is effectively saying to me "you are too stupid to control yourself, so we are going to keep you from hurting yourself". By this same token, the government should make alcohol illegal. Cigarettes too. At what point does the government move from democracy to totalitarianism?

I have absolutely no problem with credit card companies preventing their cardholders from funding internet gaming accounts. Credit card companies are private industries, and frankly, they can do whatever they want. They often do anyway. I can't believe some of the stuff I see in the credit card applications I'm sent in the mail. But that's another rant.

In other news... I'm trying to get a hit counter on this site.. Not sure how Blogspot is going to handle me putting a web counter on it. We shall see.. First order of business is to find one that is decent. It would be interesting to see who's visiting. Though, now that I've managed to piss off the Holy and the Democrats, I guess that number might dive significantly.


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