Monday, April 06, 2009

Random Chillin' On A Monday Night

I'm takin' a little brain-break tonight, no poker for Mikey. Besides, it's Opening Day, and I swear that I spent the entire afternoon overdosing on baseball. Of course, the Cardinals lost, but then again, they always lose on Opening Day. (Oldest joke in St. Louis--Did ya hear that they can't sell Budweiser at Busch Stadium anymore? Yep, the Cardinals lost the opener...) On the other hand, the Yankees lost, which is always nice, and Boston got rained out, so ESPN has to come up with something else to talk about tonight.

I turned on the Michigan State-North Carolina hoop game, but the Tarheels are putting a beatdown on the Spartans like I've never seen, so it's not a whole lot of fun to watch--it's kinda like seeing the Cowboys and the Bills in the Super Bowl again.

There ain't a whole lot going on around here today, though. On Wednesday, I start herding my shiat down to the garage, preparing for the move, and I'll be slowly migrating my possessions to my new place over the course of the next few weeks.

Oh, and I need to respond to some comments and questions I've gotten these past few days...

First of all, yeah, I used to keep detailed win/loss records from my poker playing. But that was more because I used it in my budgeting software on Microsoft money--it had a built-in doohickey that let me do it. Now, living on tips with no regular paycheck, I don't like using that software anymore, and the tinfoil hat-wearer inside of me doesn't like to keep meticulous records when I'm doing the all-cash lifestyle. I don't know why, but that's just me. The only thing I do now is put enough cash in my checking account to pay the bills and transfer to investment accounts, the rest of it, I keep stashed like Mike McD in Rounders. If I lived anywhere else, it would be a complete pain in the ass, but Vegas is a cash town, so it works for me. And I will admit, however, that after a particularly big win, I like to fan the bills out and dance in front of the bathroom mirror like an old-school stripper, but nobody wants to know about that...

Actually, once I get moved and settled, I *will* put together a new spreadsheet to track my earnings, but I'm not quite sure how I'm gonna approach it. Last year, I was on a tournament kick, and now, I'm all about the cash games. I'll merge the two somehow, because tournament season is just around the corner, but honestly, I blame my lack of record-keeping on a lack of space. My desk is tiny and always cluttered, and my current bedroom is just too small for a proper workspace. My new place has plenty of room and I'm going to set up a folding table next to my desk so I can spread out and be more organized. I know, it's a stupid excuse, but hey, that's just me. I haven't felt the need to keep records until recently, and my environment hasn't really been conducive to it, either. Will I share those records? I dunno, maybe...

Also, I want to answer a little criticism that I've been getting. It seems that some of my readers see the world in black and white, and I get some comments alluding to the fact that I'm 'bragging' about beating up on the hand that feeds me.

Well, that's a valid point, and it's one that I'm way ahead on. First of all, not all of my playing is in my own room where I work. I'm purposely vague about where I'm playing every night, and sometimes, heaven forbid, I do a little misdirection on my whereabouts when I write up my after-action reports. Too many weirdos out there, so while sometimes I *do* play in my own room, a lot of times I play in other places, too. However, I tend to see the same players at those places too, so I kind of lump them all together whenever I talk about them. And a lot of times, whenever I'm playing in other rooms around town, a co-worker or two is there, also, so it's just easier on the storytelling front to make it sound like all the action takes place in one location. But that's not the case.

And re-reading my stuff, it doesn't sound, to me, like I'm bragging about beating up on some poor tourists. First of all, it's a poker game--the players know what they're getting into when they sit down. If they lose, they lose, if they win, good for them. Also, it's not like it's head's up and I'm just pounding on the somebody all night and taking their money. Anyone who has ever spent any time in a poker game knows that money tends to move around the table in a clockwise rotation, and the better players may not win as many pots, but the ones they *do* win, tend to be bigger. So if I take $200 off of a table in the course of six hours, that's a small chunk of change from several players that come in and out of the game, and I've just used my advantage to maximize my wins and minimize my losses. It's not like I'm a blackjack dealer hammering on a solitary Clark Griswold all weekend long.

Also, I've mentioned it before, but I prefer to dress 'up' a little whenever I play in my own room--I act much more conservatively, I don't drink hardly at all, and I try to be gracious whenever I win. And as much as I win in there, every time I walk in the room at night and buy a rack, I get people from every table waving me over and saying Hey Mikey, come play over here! The hands that feed me actually prefer to have me in their game. The other night was a case in point--the table I was at had a waiting list for people to get seats in the game--it wasn't so much about the money as it was just a great time all around. We had a fun table and I know I was a driving force behind it. People wanted to play with me and my friends.

I can always tell whenever I get a critical comment from somebody who doesn't play poker, too. They're very easy to spot because they think like a blackjack player, or worse, a Let It Ride player. The psychology of poker is a different thing altogether, as in, it's a beatable game. Blackjack and other pit games are not. You just have to know your strengths and find a game where you can exploit them. That's exactly what I've been doing. And as cheesy as it sounds, the movie Rounders actually had a *lot* of wisdom in it. One that I think about all the time now is the one from Amarillo Slim: You can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin him once.

Yes, I play in a friendly cash game on a semi-regular basis, and yeah, I tend to beat the game almost every night. But that's a shearing--not a skinning. I keep it friendly, I don't do anything sketchy, and I certainly don't rub peoples noses in it whenever I take down a big pot (well, that guy with the three eights against my nut flush, he had it coming--and that created a *lot* of goodwill at the table, anyways). Also, whenever I lose on a suckout, I generally avoid saying "Nice Hand", which is just poker-code for "F*ck you, donkey!". I say something like "Ok, you got me this time, the next one is mine!" and I move on. I have learned that the people who irritate the hell out of you with their suckouts will generally call you down with losing hands, too, so patience is the key--getting angry is just being a poor sport.

Now, when I'm playing with a fun table and I have a few friends in the game, then the smack-talk gets cranked up a notch, and human nature dictates that other players want to get in on the fun, too, so the games become that much more lively, the pots become bigger, and the swings become more pronounced. Yeah, I may lose a big pot to a so-called donkey, but I know that I can out-play them, so I generally get the chips back, eventually. That ain't braggin', that's a fact. I'm not the one re-buying all night long.

It just amazes me that when I come here to report on my activities, I get some shallow-thinkers in here who don't know me from Adam, yet seem to think that I'm interested in their opinions of my character. Honestly, I welcome opinions and feedback, and I *love* getting comments to my posts, but if you're going to call me an idiot or insult me, then you're wasting your time, because your comment will never see the light of day. Disagreeing is totally cool, but keep it civil. And honestly people, if you don't like me, for whatever reason, why do you keep coming here? Is your life that empty and devoid of happiness that you need to post anonymous insults? Just do yourself a favor and move on...

Anyhow, anyone who believes that I'm bragging about beating up on tourists and biting the hand that feeds me, I invite you to sit down at the table and play with me and see for yourself. Oh, and bring enough to re-buy, too.


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