Raise or Fold:  Learning (From) Poker

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I, Degenerate

Well, it had to happen eventually. I suppose.

After playing in a galloping-blinds turbo HORSE tournament at Green Valley and faring poorly, I naturally decided the sensible thing to do was to go to Harrah's and play the 4/8 HORSE cash game.

Of course. What else?

Never mind that Vegas's HORSE lovers converge on this modest stakes game. Never mind that they all know each other's styles backwards and forwards. Never mind that I was epically failing to heed the number one adage of table selection: PLAY WITH PEOPLE WHO YOU HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE ARE LESS SKILLFUL THAN YOU ARE.

Me, I consider losing at such a game as the price of a higher poker education. (Yeah, that's the ticket. Also, it's fun.)

Long story short, I commenced playing with this bunch at about 11pm, and finally bailed out at about 8:30 am this morning. Total profit for 9.5 hours of play: ONE DOLLAR.

But you know what? I count that as a win, and a pretty huge win, at that.

I battled back from a $240 deficit, and I did it after the table had become significantly short-handed. We played much of the night five-handed or less. That I managed to break even against this competition, playing games that are not my main strength... well, let's just say I'm entirely satisfied with the results.

Of course, getting some sleep and having anything left over for tomorrow ~ well, that's a whole 'nother question. Pulling an all-nighter was not part of the game plan. I have the discipline of a wet noodle. But I am a wet noodle who continues to learn how to be a better poker-player.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Gitty-up with the Grump

This evening the Poker Grump is hosting a private HORSE tournament on Pokerstars. The buy-in is a measly $10. Come play with the folks you've been reading about: you know you want to!
Learn all about it here.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

There may be something to this 2-4 business...

Pokerstars screenshot

It had to happen one day. I feel slightly ashamed. But I assume that the Master of the Deuce-Four is pleased with the progress of the postulant.

I went on to win the game.

[Nota bene: This is not an April Fools' Day joke.]

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A HORSE Tale: Or, Chivalry is Not Dead

…Which, I suppose, is the only possible explanation for the outcome of last night's best of five heads-up HORSE tournaments. This was a rematch to give your loyal correspondent a chance to redeem her pride after having previously gone down in shameful defeat.

Alas, I am not so vainglorious as to have taken screenshots of my brilliant plays/suckouts or victories. So you'll have to take my word for it that it went: win, loss, loss, win, win.

We can only conclude that Sir Rakewell felt very, very sorry for me and decided to throw this round of matches, having every confidence that he could win the next series handily (for best of three), or failing that, that he could come back and crush me the two after that (for best of five).

What could possibly go wrong?

[Postscript: I feel I should add that these games are so insanely entertaining that any right-thinking society would make them illegal just on the general principle that their citizenry should not be having so much damned fun.]

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 37: Life Tilt

Some days, life makes it hard to play good poker. Today was one of those days. Extraneous concerns clouded my head. I am preoccupied with people and matters that have nothing to do with cards.

Feeling gloomy and lonely, which doesn't help either. I'm lucky I have friends I can vent to, because ~ as noted earlier ~ the poker table is a pretty solitary place, and not a venue for exposing your vulnerabilities.

I played a lengthy session online tonight, all the while chatting with a friend and fellow poker-player on the other side of the country via Skype. Made me feel less alone with my angst, for which I was mightily grateful.

My online bankroll continues to grow back toward its previous full amplitude, which is encouraging, thanks in part to a HORSE sit'n'go. (Wouldn't it be INSANE if I ended up being a HORSE specialist?)

Poker is easy; life, on the other hand, life is hard.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Day 35: Finally, A Little Online Satisfaction

And I don't mean that in a pornerific kind of way.

Finally I won something on PokerStars. (Oh, and I'll link to them the moment there's something in it for me. Are you listening, PokerStars? You know, sponsorship, affiliate kick-backs, whatever...)

I've been running really, really badly in both the microstakes cash games and tournaments. My online bankroll took a harsh beating. Thank god for the recent successful AC trip, because otherwise it would have been getting really demoralizing. (This, by the way, is one reason why I think it's a good idea to have a variety of venues for your game ~ and I suppose a variety of games for your venues. It helps even things out, I find.)

All it takes is one decent score to put things to rights, though. A little thing we like to call the Three Dollar HORSE Tournament. In which I conquer 312 other aspirants to take down the game. Ship it, holla!

Screenshot of tournament victory

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