Thanksgiving, tilt, and rebirth

Well friends, it was a rough Thanksgiving. Your humble narrator nearly gave his whole bankroll, thanks to a little too much Budweiser, combined with several shots of frustration. I thought I was immune to tilt, but I found myself playing like a maniac on a drunk Thanksgiving afternoon. Here are the gruesome statistics:

Date Game Hours Return ($)
11/27/2003 3-6 1.05 158
11/27/2003 5-10 4.78 -452
11/27/2003 15-30 1 -126
11/27/2003 15-30 0.5 -258
11/27/2003 15-30 0.16 -311

It hurts just to look at them. However, I did learn a valuable lesson, and although the cost was high, I think it was worth it. As you can see, I took a shot at the big game. Actually 3 shots, and all 3 missed the mark by a longshot. Yes I was on tilt, but I was also very unlucky.

I can’t stomach a hand by hand analysis of these awful sessions, but I will give a general overview. The most painful loss (and I can’t get this one out of my head) was a 300 dollar loss when I flopped a flush with a straight flush draw, and was beaten by a full house on the river. That hurt. Amazingly, in all 3 of these sessions, I was dealt AA in the big blind on my first hand. All 3! I thought this was some sort of sign, but apparently it was only a sign to take my money and run. If I had only taken my rockets and went home… anyway, those 3 hands only netted me a paltry $190, and unfortunatley I was trying to win back what I lost in my 5-10 game…

What are the odds of getting dealt those 3 pairs of aces? Well if we use the simple 1/220 calculation, we get one in 10,648,000! One in 11 million! The poker gods smiled on me, and then punished me brutally with a few bad beats when I decided to be greedy. Ah well. The good news is that the 15-30 games were considerably softer than the $5-10 games. Considerably. Lots of bluffing, lots of loose play. Tight play still gets the money at this level, and there were many multiway pots… I know, the results look bad, but I was on tilt and playing way too loose, and suffered 2 or 3 really bad beats.

Anyway, the lesson learned was that the games at $15-30 are not much different than those at $3-6. Which says that you should try to sit tight in these games as soon as your bankroll is anywhere near 300 big bets.
After getting punished for my careless play and playing over my bankroll, I was forced to take stock of my relationship with poker. Was it worth it? Was I wasting my time? Shouldn’t I be doing something other than moving chips around a
table? I decided to take a couple days off while I tried to answer these questions.

I had time to come up with some answers on the 4 hour bus ride to Vegas on Friday. I have confidence in my poker skills… I know I’m not great, but after a few months, I’m pretty sure I can win a couple big bets an hour on the average table, as long as I can hold some cards (and I’m not on tilt). The grand I just dropped on the tables came out of my profits, and may sting now, but in the long run is not a big deal. I’m still learning, and I still like to play. But do I want to spend every waking hour playing poker? There was a time when I thought I could do this for 8 hours a day, and I might even enjoy the grind. But now I realize that although there is a lot of variety in poker, it’s just like any other game… like a computer, you follow your algorithms– you develop a general strategy for each starting hand, and stick to that strategy. Except in the rare case where you pick something up that tells you to deviate, such as a tell or an opportunity to bluff. Although these deviations from normal strategy are what keep the game interesting, most of the time you’re just following a set of rules that your brain has picked up with experience. That’s why they call it the grind.

I thought about my dream of being a writer. I wondered if I was ready, ready to face long sessions in front of the keyboard, waiting for the muse, hoping that the creative spark would be there. Was this so different than poker? Can writing become a grind as well? Is the feeling you get when you get that creative spark so different from hitting your flush on the river and raking a big pot?

Poker is great. But our options are limited, very limited. Given a starting hand, a flop, and a set of opponents, the number of possible optimal plays is very small. Finding that optimal play is fun, but the choices are limited by the board and our opponents. To write is to express your unique perspective, your unique view of the world. The options are unlimited. And when you’ve finished a book, you’ve given something to the world. You’ve taken a shot that your view might comfort others and might give someone out there a sliver of happiness.
As the bus rolled on, these thoughts flashed through my head, and I felt a slight giddiness that the time to start writing had come. I’d always felt that when I was ready to write, I would know. And I hoped that this terrible poker Thanksgiving might have pushed me over the edge and prepared me to start that first book.

The Nevada border came into sight, and welcomed me like an old friend. I tucked away the internal monologue and got ready to win some money. After waking up at 4:30 and sitting on a bus for 4 hours, I was hoping the tables would shake me out of zombie state. After getting killed yesterday, I resolved to play conservatively, and set my trip bankroll at a meager $400. This was plenty for the 7 hours we would be there, but wouldn’t allow me to win much. The thought of trying to win back what I lost yesterday flitted through my head, but I figured a big loss might knock me out of commission for a while, so I remained conservative.

I picked a bad day to be conservative. We started out on the $2 craps table (ya gotta love the state line) and after an hour, I had slowly built up a $50 win. No big hits, but a slow progression of 6s and 8s grew my stack of red chips. On to the blackjack tables, where I suffered through a couple of cold shoes, but managed to stay afloat long enough to hit a couple big hands when the shoe turned positive. Card counting finally paid off, and I came out slightly ahead after being down $60 in the first 20 minutes.

This particular casino was the only state line casino with poker, and every hour or so I’d hear “Joe, your Texas hold em seat is open” on the PA. I was tempted, but knew that the game was $1-4-4-8 spread. I didn’t like these spread games, and wanted to avoid poker, since the LA poker rooms are 20 minutes away, but blackjack and craps are at least 2 hours away (the Cali indian casinos have blackjack, but no craps). So I resisted the urge, and found myself at the deuces wild video poker machine, where I quickly hit 5 of a kind and cashed out $20 ahead. So I had completed the trifecta– 3-3: small wins at all three games. There is a first time for everything.

It was time to try to hit for the cycle. I sat down at an empty roulette table, and tried out a simple strategy. $4 on black, and $4 on inside bets, usually $1 or $2 on 4 corner bets. Black was hitting, and I managed to hit a couple of the $2 corner bets, and walked away after 20 minutes $20 up. So I’d hit for the cycle, but was only up $90.

The rest of the day was spent playing blackjack, and had its share of ups and downs. The highlight was a pair of sevens I was dealt on a positive shoe. I had $15 on the table (playing too conservatively!) and the dealer showed a 5. I split the 7s, and got another 7. Another split. A 4. Double down 11. Dealer gives me a 5, and now I need her to bust. I get an ace, and am forced to double again. This time I get a face card for 17. So there’s $75 on the table, and my heart nearly breaks when the dealer turns up a 5, and I wait to see the face card. But it’s a 2, and the face card comes next, as my heart pounds in relief. Whew, a nice $75 win.

The whole time I’m busy counting cards, I’m also dealing with the worst casino patron I’ve ever seen in my life. This swarthy bald guy, maybe about 50 years old, is playing armchair quarterback and second guessing my blackjack plays on every single hand. In his Indian accent, he’s telling me to stay on my 14 against a dealer 8. This goes on for an entire shoe, and he hasn’t played a hand the whole time. Finally the shoe ends, and I have to take my money elsewhere to prevent myself from punching him in the face. He asks “Where you going?” and the only thing I can answer is “You’re the worst blackjack player I’ve ever seen!” and he seems shocked. Never seen anything like it.

Anyway, I got on the bus home with $160 in my pocket. Not much, but better than losing. The bus ride home was endless, and I am not planning on EVER doing a turnaround trip again.

I got some rest and spent Saturday reading Paul Auster’s “The music of chance,” which is sort of about poker. I definitely recommend it– Auster’s style is kind of annoying, but he hooks you with his characters (maybe because one of them is a young punk poker player). After about 70 pages I felt my poker mind coming back to me, with a new appreciation for the game. I resolved to take the day off from poker, and take another shot when I was ready.

So what did I do with my day off? Write, of course. I finally started my book, and the sentences slowly, but at least they came. It was tough, but after a few hours, I had a few pages and my main character started taking shape. It felt good to get something “on paper.”
I woke up today feeling pretty good. It felt kind of like a serious relationship– you get in a fight, get frustrated,and think that it’s not worth your time. But then you reflect, and realize how much you care about the person, and you find yourself back where you started. In this case, the poker table.
So I found myself back for one more shot at the $15-30 this morning. Luckily this story has somewhat of a happy ending. I’ll leave you with the hand history:

15/30 TEXASHTGAMETABLE (LIMIT) – SUN NOV 30 15:16:48 EST 2003
Table Card Room Table 2700 (Real Money) — Seat 6 is the button
Total number of players : 10
Seat 1: Redfish ( $1941)
Seat 2: chibikiko ( $750)
Seat 3: jogman ( $306)
Seat 4: Etowah ( $738)
Seat 5: hirtme ( $382)
Seat 6: hdouble ( $570)
Seat 7: bcm252 ( $539)
Seat 8: heelhook ( $1243)
Seat 9: patientone ( $1477)
Seat 10: coonz ( $160)
bcm252 posts small blind (10)
heelhook posts big blind (15)
chibikiko posts big blind (15)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to hdouble [ Kd, Kh ]
patientone folds.
coonz folds.
Redfish calls (15)
chibikiko checks.
jogman folds.
Etowah folds.
hirtme calls (15)
hdouble raises (30) to 30
bcm252 calls (20)
heelhook folds.
Redfish raises (30) to 45
chibikiko folds.
hirtme calls (30)
hdouble raises (30) to 60
bcm252 calls (30)
Redfish calls (15)
hirtme calls (15)
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 7s, 7d, 6d ]
bcm252 checks.
Redfish checks.
hirtme checks.
hdouble bets (15)
bcm252 folds.
Redfish calls (15)
hirtme calls (15)
** Dealing Turn ** : [ Ad ]
Redfish checks.
hirtme checks.
hdouble bets (30)
Redfish raises (60) to 60
hirtme folds.
hdouble calls (30)
** Dealing River ** : [ 4d ]
Redfish bets (30)
hdouble raises (60) to 60
Redfish calls (30)
** Summary **
Main Pot: $552 | Rake: $3
Board: [ 7s 7d 6d Ad 4d ]
Redfish balance $1746, lost $195 [ 8h Ah ] [ two pairs, aces and sevens —
Ah,Ad,8h,7s,7d ]
chibikiko balance $735, lost $15 (folded)
jogman balance $306, didn’t bet (folded)
Etowah balance $738, didn’t bet (folded)
hirtme balance $307, lost $75 (folded)
hdouble balance $927, bet $195, collected $552, net +$357 [ Kd Kh ] [ a flush,
ace high — Ad,Kd,7d,6d,4d ]
bcm252 balance $479, lost $60 (folded)
heelhook balance $1228, lost $15 (folded)
patientone balance $1477, didn’t bet (folded)
coonz balance $160, didn’t bet (folded)

Down the ladder: like a young man coming in for a quickie

I couldn’t take “Josie and the Pussycats” on TV, so I sat down and signed on to Party, while my wife watched that terrible movie. I really wanted to take a shot, and found a juicy $15-30 table and thought I would sit for a couple orbits and try to win a single pot. I downed my coors, and took my seat, and I was next for the big blind. But I forgot that you can’t post immediately, so the button passed me by, and I sat and waited. Of course my feet got cold, and I left the table for more comfortable (and less risky) pastures. All of the $5-10 tables were filled, and I don’t like to play there if my wife is around (harder to focus), so I found a couple of $3-6 tables, and figured I’d check out my old stomping grounds. Figuring this is equivalent to a Friday night due to the holiday, I knew the games would be juicy.

I felt like I was back in the wild games of Hollywood Park– 5 or 6 callers sometimes, just beautifully bad plays and lots of money on the table. Both tables were pretty loose, so I shifted into “ram and jam” mode, getting ready to raise my four flushes and big draws. A player to my left was very loose-aggressive, and I couldn’t have picked a better seat at one of my tables. Anyway, I played tight, folding everything for an orbit, when I picked up AQd on the button. An early pre-flop raise, and I just call, hoping to suck in the blinds. Loose-aggressive girl in the small blinds raises me, and BB calls, along with the early raiser. I happily call, and we’ve got a 4 way pot. Flop is Q 7 5 rainbow, and I’m ready to roll… I bet the flop and get 2 callers, and the turn is the 8 of spades, putting 2 spades on the board. I bet the turn, and loose-aggressive reraises, and we trap the caller in the middle. I pop it for another reraise, sure that I have the best of this one. Both call. The river is Kc, and no straights or flushes are on board, but I fear AK from the trapped caller, so I check it through when the river is checked to me. Loose aggressive had QJh, and the trapped guy has 99, so I pull in a $66 win. You gotta love $3-6.

Two hands later I pick up 88 in middle position, and happily call an early raise, 3rd into the pot. We get 2 more callers, so it’s a 5 way pot. I get a dream flop of 8 J 7 rainbow, and I’m hoping loose-aggressive will do her job and help me trap the fish. Early raiser bets, and I raise, but this time loose-aggressive just calls, along with one other player, building a big 4 way pot. The turn is a 3, and with all 4 suits represented on board, the only thing I fear is 10 9. I bet the turn, and get 3 callers, and the river is a Queen. I know that I’m money here, and bet for value on the river, but get only one caller. The caller shows J 10 suited, and it’s $85 in my pocket.

I later pulled in a $44 win when I flopped Aces and Tens in a pot that was 3 bet preflop, and was called to the showdown by a player with KQ, after the flop was A Q T. At least this guy had outs.

My final $28 win came when a King flopped to my AK suited, and somebody drawing to spades (I think) didn’t hit his flush card.

So that’s $190 win in 30 minutes on a $3-6 table. Amazing. That’s 66 big bets an hour! Maybe I should move back down. Yeah I held some cards, but man, these players are awful.

Not so lucky on the other table: Ended up down $31 bucks after not getting many hands… besides the two $10 pots I took, the only pot I won was a $33 one when my pocket nines tripped up on the turn. Turns out I didn’t even need the third one, as a guy with AQo called me down to the showdown. He actually called my river bet with Ace high! The losses came from rammin and jammin with a couple four flushes that didn’t hit.

So a win of $158 in 30 minutes of play on 2 $3-6 tables. I probably could have doubled up with a single pot in $15-30, but there was a lot less risk swimming with the fish.

So total poker profits are hovering around $1800… a few more sessions like tonight and the bankroll will be in excellent shape.

Off topic notes:
–Knocked out some Christmas shopping today. The wife and I actually bought a fake tree (ugh). My first Christmas tree. Man, you know you’re getting old when you find yourself buying ornaments at Kmart. What a capitalistic holiday… minimum you’re spending is $500 bucks, and that’s just for about 10 gifts at $50 a pop. The total spending on Christmas per capita has got to be through the roof.
–Sportsbook: I agonized over taking Favre and Green over the hapless Lions tomorrow, giving 6.5 points. I ended up taking the Pack, but one of the reasons is because the game will be on TV and my wife is working tomorrow, so it will give me something to do. The guy has a fractured thumb, and scares the hell out of me, but the lions defense is so horrible I couldn’t resist.
–Hats: my old poker hat fell apart (the little flex band on the inside broke, so I was getting these elastic black gummy balls in my hair), so I broke down and bought a nice hat today. $40 bucks for a baseball cap! Definitely the most I’ve spent on a hat… and it’s got a stupid Kangol logo on it, but it was the only one they had that fit my noggin.

Happy Thanksgiving, may your heart pound when you hit your flush on the river.

Death, poker, and tilting

Yesterday was a rough day. The day began with an emergency meeting at work, and the entire department listened in shock as our director announced that one of our coworkers had taken her own life. It was a complete shock to everyone… I was not close to her, but in the past few weeks, had started to get to know her. She came out to get drinks a couple times after work, and seemed smart, fearless, and attractive. Our team went out Thursday night, and she seemed pretty happy. She even said she had lost a few cents playing penny hold-em when her pocket Aces lost to a flopped flush. She was 39.

I sat down at my desk and reflected on the depths of pain that one must feel when the decision to take your own life becomes attractive. The fact that I have been a few steps away from her cube for 2 years, and we only had 3 or 4 conversations in that time made me sad. LA is a strange place, and people rarely come out of their shell, especially in a professional environment. But the fact that no one could penetrate her shell was depressing.

For some reason this depression brought a quote from Rounders to my mind: “Life is on the wire. The rest is just waiting.” Spoken by Papa Wallenda, a great high-wire walker. The banality of everyday life is nearly unbearable, but waiting for the things we enjoy keep us going. In my case, I’ve always been waiting to get on the football field, but now I’m waiting to get on the poker table.

After sitting at home depressed for a while, I decided to play some poker, hoping that would lift my spirits. 2 nights ago I had won $150 in a 40 minute session by hitting a couple hands and playing solid. After seeing my stack up 15 big bets in such a short time, I realized that this could be considered a good win for a 15 hour session, not to mention a 40 minute session. At this point I decided that a win-limit might be a good thing… i’ve never believed in them, but if you assume that the table has a reasonable number of good players, 15 big bets is a huge swing beyond standard deviation, and you will be extremely lucky to swing beyond that. Yeah, yeah, each hand is independent of the last, but still… So I’m debating an experiment in which I cash out as soon as I’m up 15 big bets.

Anyway, back to last night. I started strong, and was immediately up $100 after hitting a flush (I’m at work now, so I don’t have my PokerTracker hand histories in front of me). It felt silly to think that I’d cash out after one more pot… I don’t play as a source of income, so I’ve always had the luxury of playing until I got tired, win or lose. But I’m trying to build the bankroll… anyway, the tables were of the usual composition… a bunch of tough players, with a couple fish thrown in. A lot of heads up action, and not much easy money on the table.

You can guess what happened. As the button when around, I slowly loosened up, and slowly lost focus. My mind wasn’t on the game, and I paid for it. I gambled too much, and after a 2.5 hour session, I ended up down $320. My biggest online loss to date. I was on tilt. Not in the sense that I was playing every hand, but playing borderline hands that I wouldn’t play if I was focused. J9 suited from middle position, or blind-stealing with K8o. Just bad plays. Tilt is a subtle thing for me… I’m not going to go over the edge, but it’s easy to lose a couple big pots when you play those borderline hands.

I guess it could have been worse. It’s easy to put things in perspective when you’re surrounded by tragedy. I will have a lot of time to win it back over the Thanksgiving weekend, as the wife will be working a lot. I think I’m going to take a one-day “turnaround” bus trip to Vegas/State Line on Friday with a buddy. Clear the cobwebs out of the brain, shake things up. Hopefully make up for the last Vegas abberation (although my buddy is a craps player, so I may not reach the poker room).

I’m glad I didn’t do it, but I found myself watching a $15-30 game, debating whether I should “take a shot.” It was super loose-aggressive, and looked like easy money. $300 pots… but I just don’t have the bankroll. Too risky. Luckily my wife came home and saved me from losing my entire bankroll, but man, those games look soft. Someday…

I’ve added a subscription feature at the bottom of the page (scroll down). If you sign up, you’ll get an email in the morning if I’ve posted to the site.

See you on the wire…

How I learned to stop worrying and love Party Poker

Well friends, yours truly got crushed at Hollywood Park again. A brutal loss of $350 in 3.5 hours on the $6.12 tables. That’s 8.3 big bets an hour! Just painful. And I didn’t even play badly. On the drive home I vowed to stick to online poker. After last night’s beating, my records show that I am down -$1,150 at Hollywood Park, and up $2,700 at Party Poker. Yet I keep going back to that hellhole. The place has some evil power over me… the horrible players, and the opportunity to get out from behind the computer monitor is what draws me. But it’s too much to give up– I can play nearly 4 times as many hands online, and it’s less of a gamble, since there are usually 5 or 6 players seeing the flop at HP. Last night was the last straw– I’m not going back to that place until I have the bankroll to sit in the top section games.

So here’s how it went down:
Driving through LA traffic after work yesterday, I looked forward to getting back to the green felt, the feel of the chips, and the dirty looks after check raising an unsuspecting fish. It had been 3 weeks since I’d been there, due to travel and the visit from the wife’s family. After a winning session on Party the night before, I was ready to roll… ready to hit my big rush, to finally take 5 racks off the table after the deck hit me in the head like it never has before. I got a seat immediately, and I recognized a few of the players at the table as decent, but saw none of the solid players that I try to avoid. To my surprise, cards flew into the muck at a rapid pace, and the table was extremely tight for a Friday night… usually the drunks and weekend warriors can’t get their chips in the pot fast enough.

Anyway, after trying to get a bead on the table, I pick up 99 in late position and everyone folds to me. I raise, and the button calls, and the blinds fold. Beautiful… the caller is a solid player, so I put him on big cards. He had just finished telling me he had spent a few months in Vegas playing 12 hours a day at the Horsehoe, and staying at budget suites for $200 a week. It sounded like a nice life to me, but he told me it was so incredibly boring that he couldn’t do it again. 12 hours a day at the Horseshoe does sound like quite a grind, and the boredom comment served as a good warning to any of my hopes of ever playing professionally. Anyway back to the hand– the flop came 2 2 7, and I was feeling good about my hand. I bet out, and the semipro called, which surprised me a little bit. Immediately I put him on a big Ace, AQ or AK, and resolved to keep betting until one of those big cards showed up. The turn was a Ten, and again I bet and he called. When the Ace hit on the river, I sadly checked, he bet, and I called. I wasn’t too happy that I was right– he turned over big slick and raked in the $92 pot. I know it’s a coin flip against AK, but if the Ace or King had just come on the flop, it would have saved me at least $24 bucks. Not a good start.

My luck continued when I raised with AQ suited and only the big blind called, making it heads up. The flop came A A 8, and I bet out, bb calls, nd I put him on a smaller ace. I didn’t have a good read on this guy, but he seemed pretty loose, and I felt pretty sure I had him outkicked. The turn came an 8– bet, call again. River is a rag, and I bet and he raises me. My stomach sinks, and I now realize his kicker is an 8, but I make the crying call anyway. Aces over 8s it is, and he rakes the $116 pot. Nice catch in the big blind.

So after these two hands I’ve thrown away $104, and I’m not real excited about that. Not terrible beats, but the cards were definitely not falling for me. I pick up a medium size pot from the small blind when my flush hits, and now I’m ready to roll… I pick up Q9s in the big blind, and call an early raise, since there are 2 other callers before me. The flop is 10 8 5 and I have to figure out if I want to draw to the gutshot. I check, early raiser bets out, and one other player calls, a limper mucks, and there is one call ahead of me. So 5 big bets in the pot, I decide to gamble on my 5 to 1 gutshot, since I think that early raiser will bet out if the Jack comes. The beautiful Jack of spades hits on the turn, and I’m licking my chops. Everything according to plan– bet, call, and I check-raise, licking my chops and wondering the last time I ever hit a gutshot. Early raiser says “I thought you might do that”, and calls the raise, but the other player folds. The river comes a 5, putting a flush on the board, and the possible full house. I fear both (this early raiser is very loose), but bet out in frustration. Of course I am raised, I make the crying call and he turns over pocket 10s for the full house. Ouch. I sadly watch him rake the $174 pot and realize that in 3 unlucky hands, I’ve lost $170 of my money, and should (probabilistically speaking) be up around $250. Poker gods, have you forsaken me? To rub salt in the wound, the full house clown says “Hey, I was 50-50 to hit the full house.” I say, “Not quite.” He gets angry and says “I was 50-50!” I say, “Not quite, you had 11 outs, and there were 44 cards left.” He gives me a “whatever” and I feel like vomiting on the floor.

I quickly down a jack daniels on the rocks, hoping that somehow the alcohol will change my luck. I glance at pocket rockets in late position, and think about ordering another. A loose, horrible player limps in from middle position, I raise and the guy who hit the full house calls from the BB. The flop is K J 6, and I’m watching out for K J, but feel pretty happy about the flop. They both check to me, and I raise, and both call. The turn is a 7, and I figure I’m in good shape. One of these clowns may have K7 or J7, but I’m don’t play scared. Loose horrible calls, and I am clueless now. I want to raise, but I’m sure both of them will call, and I may be losing at this point. So I just call, and the river is a 4. This time full house guy checks (missed a draw?) and loose horrible checks. I’m baffled at this point, and don’t want to risk getting check raise, so I show my rockets. Full house guy says something about me being lucky and a good draw, and he turns over K Q. Amazingly, loose horrible turns over… 7 4 OFFSUIT!!! I look at full house guy and laugh and he smirks and says “Well, you can’t beat 7 4 offsuit.” $84 pot.

I can’t go on recounting this, it is just too painful. There were several more bad beats, and although I wasn’t on tilt, I definitely wasn’t playing my A game. But I will tell you that the night ended the way it started. Down to my last six chips, I pick up 99 in late position, and raise all in. The big blind calls, and flop is A 2 2. I figure he’s got the ace, and I get out of my chair, and the turn comes 7, river 8. BB turns over Q2! and I hear the poker gods chuckling in the background.

So, that’s it. No more gambling with players that can’t be read. The “any two cards can win” is beating me up, and I know in the long run I should come out ahead, but I just can’t take losing to people who don’t even know what outs are. I’ll stick to online play where the long run is much easier to reach, and although the players are better, the bad beats come less often. The swings of no-fold-em poker are not for me, so I am cutting way back on my live play until I can get in the bigger games. The rake at HP is also ridiculous, so I need to give up on the horrible players and just play my A game online against tougher opponents.

Possible leak in brick and mortar game: I played a lot of middle aces, because it is a jackpot game, and people will play any ace. This is dangerous because if you’re against two other aces, and the ace flops, one of them has a decent chance of hitting their kicker. I never play these hands online, but I don’t think it is a horrible play in a play-any-ace jackpot game. But I did lose a lot of money on these hands…

PartyPoker here I come…