Thursday, January 15, 2004

All Over The Dial

This will go down as one of the more "interesting" poker days of my short but illustrious poker career...

Started out, interestingly enough, with a trip down the basement stairs...


Heading down the stairs with a laundry basket, I managed to somehow miss one of the steps and caught it square with my ass instead. Now, I've been navigating stairs for over 30 years, and I can't for the life of me figure out how the Hell I managed to do what I did, but I did...

And, you know, it hurt.

I should have known right there to just curl up in bed for the day and hide. I get a phone call from my boss.

Here's the deal with that. The airline I work for is contracted with another airline, and we provide regional service to, among other airports, Chicago O'Hare. Now, anyone who's familiar with O'Hare knows how much of a goat rope that airport is. There are just too damn many airplanes there. In any event, to confound the problem, we fly around 350 flights a day in and out of there, and we have gate space issues. The schedule for gates is extremely tight, and on a perfect day, we pull it off.

When things go to Hell, it's a completely different story. Last week things went straight to Hell. Around 11 AM it started to snow in Chicago. Not a lot of snow, but enough to necessitate deicing airplanes. Chicago de-ices airplanes at the gate, as opposed to some airports that have the airplanes taxi out to a "de-ice pad" where they de-ice there. This has the advantage of not needing to stop and restart the engines (you can't de-ice with the engines running, as if the engines ingest de-ice fluid it shortens their lifespan), but the obvious disadvantage that the airplanes is, you know, still in the gate.

Anyway, the airport itself had no problem keeping up with the traffic, but the gate schedule went right into the crapper, and so we had airplanes sitting in "penalty boxes" awaiting gates. Some of these waits exceeded 4 and a half hours. None of our passengers spent more then an hour and a half on the airplane, as we have a "dump and run" gate where we can drop passengers off, but can't load from there, but if you've ever been on a Canadair Regional Jet, you know that any extra time sitting in that thing is not a Good Thing(tm). To confound this, no one in Chicago was answering the phone, the radio and they certainly didn't feel the need to let us know what was going on down there. It was frustrating as Hell.

So, after two days of this (yes, Loretta, two days running), I posted a message on the company discussion board basically saying "hey, is there any way we can try to be creative and try to either band together other resources or something". Now, I in no way pointed fingers at anyone, nor did I "bitch and moan" which has been happening a lot on the board.

My boss lost his mind. My bosses boss, however, reportedly was impressed. Go figure. In any event, I got called to the VP's office, so I have to go talk with him this afternoon. Not sure where this is going to go at all. From what I've been told, the VP was "impressed" (for what that's worth), and I got the email equivalent of a pat on the back by the Director of Corporate Communication (the person who's job it is to put out fires we start), saying that I was right on the money and my comments started the ball rolling on a temporary procedure for when things go to pot.

So, either I'm going to get a big "attaboy" or a pink slip. Okay, probably not a pink slip. Film at eleven.

So, having swung two apparent strikes, I decided it's time for some poker. Now, I'm still stoked about my having run over the table the day before on 1/2, so I figure I've got game to be playing there.

The poker Gods laughed.

Now, I've gotten pretty good at admitting when I lose to shitty poker playing vs. when I lose to bad beats. Yesterday I was getting brutalized by the bad beats. It got to the point where I'd put my bets out there on hands like AQo KNOWING I was going to get sucked out.

And I hate when my instincts are right. After about an hour and a half, my $50 buyin to the 1/2 table was reduced to $6.75. How very unpleasant. The message was sent, however. Stay the Hell away from 1/2 until you have a little thicker bankroll. Perhaps I may even wait until I truly have a 200BB bankroll before attempting the 1/2 tables again... Not quite decided on that. In any event, I'm about $44 lighter at the moment, so what to do...

Off to the .50/1 tables I go. My luck sort of followed me there. It wasn't that I was getting sucked out, I just wasn't getting cards now. I'm bored with the incessant folding. Hmmmm...

Tourney time! I decide to fire up a $5+$1 limit Hold'Em tourney. I figured a limit tourney would take less concentration and I could keep running the cash table for a while while I sat in the cheap blinds at the tourney. Things were going quite well in the tourney, and quite stale in the cash game. I managed to make a couple of strong moves early and ended up around T1200. Sort of wallowed around at this level for a while and managed to finish the tourney in 3rd, for +$4, but I lost $6 at the cash table, so the end of the early afternoon session found me at a $45 deficit.

Brutal. I had lunch and decided I'd sit around at the 50/1 until the bride came home. Ended up at a .50/1 table full of terrible players and bluffers for about 1 1/2 hours, ending up +$15 for the session playing ultra-tight/aggressive cards. Wife came home and I went to the task of making dinner.

She went to bed sort of early as she had to go to work, and I have a battery of late shifts coming up, so I stayed up, and since I'm up, I might as well play some cards...

I log on around 10:30pm CST to find 31,000 people on Party! This has got to be a Good Thing(tm). I hunt around for a nice 50/1 table, and finally plunk down to a typical Party table. At least 6 people seeing every flop, and about every third hand raised pre-flop, with everyone calling the second bet. 6BB preflop pots are not uncommon here. Tight play will pay HUGE dividends here, so tight is what I played, and when I hit a hand, I hammered relentlessly.

It was beautiful. 52 minutes later I'm up $39.75. On a $.50/$1 table. The table started to break up, so I moved on to another table. This one was a little more conservative, with around 4 to 5 seeing the flop, but there were a couple of guys there that were pretty awful and would call middle or bottom pair to the river for you in the face of dominating boards.

42 minutes, +$9.75.

Total take for the day, +$19.50. Now, consider, I lost $45 on a 1/2 table and made it all back plus $20 on 50/1 tables. To say this ended up being a good day would be a gross understatement.

So, now I'm at a quandary. The bankroll is now around $305, or around 150BB for the 1/2 tables. Do I stick with the 50/1 tables until I hit the 200BB limit that the Masters suggest, or do I pull the trigger early and step into the 1/2 arena and gamble it up a little?


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