My absolute favorite part of any Douglas Adams novel is the "Total Perspective Vortex". It's the most fearsome device inthe galaxy. In short, a victim steps inside and is shown his or her own value in relation to the universe as a whole. It shows everything, every planet, every form of life, spread out over a vast expanse with the smallest of dots marked... "You are here."
I love it.
Perspective makes us better people. It's also sucks a fair amount of ass.
I'd fallen into a rut at Stars. This is mostly because the site is totally rigged, but partially my fault too. I'd settled into the $100NL game with regular $200 swings. My bankroll was in decent shape. The real addiction was those 180SNGs.
A fairly tight aggressive player is almost a guarantee to make the money there. I made my share of final tables. But I found my live game was falling apart when I tried to use that same online moves at a real table. Strange huh?
I've torn the whole thing apart, piece by piece, and I'm building the foundation again. I think I came a long way in my first 2 years of semi-serious poker, but I'd hit a wall of my own design. The semi- loose aggressive style I'd honed could only take me so far.
All styles have limitations, weaknesses, and most of the homegame folks had figured mine out. A good player has other maneuvers to apply. Until now, I didn't.
Actually, I don't have any other solid styles just yet. Thus, the rebuilding.
Wednesday I think I played pretty well. That's a big change from two straight explosions of awful. Here are the two biggest hands :
I'm in the SB with 56d. The Mark straddles the blinds to $2 and there are a few other callers, so I complete to $2.
Otis calls. Mark bumps it to $13. One MP player calls, so do I, and Otis does the same. Flop is :
7c 8d 10d giving me the OESD and a flush draw. I have $84.50 left and push.
Otis calls. Mark goes over the top all in. MP player and Otis both fold.
Mark has top 2 pair.
The turn is a 4d giving me the straight and HEY LOOK AT THAT, the flush too. I figured, with 15 outs twice I was possibly ahead and, at worse, a coin flip to win.
I like the push there. I tripled up.
Hand 2 :
Same position with Mark straddling again, and I have 44.
I call, so does Otis, and Mark makes it $12. We both call.
Flop is 2d, 3c, 5d. I have a second pair and OESD so I lead out for $20.
Otis calls, Mark RAISES to $50. Otis and I call.
Turn is Js. I check and so does Otis. Mark bets $175. I think, put Mark on an Overpair, and fold. So does Otis.
I think the fold is correct, but I wonder if I should have played the flop harder. Hard to say.
I'm back on my weekend workshift for the first time in a month. During the Olympics the good anchors took over and sent me back to the bench. Management hoped the stellar Olympic ratings would give viewers a chance to "connect" with the "best we have to offer". First of all, it didn't work. The games were a ratings bomb. Second, I'm no longer the "best we have to offer" which isn't much of a surpirse.
Even local news types get a small taste of celebrity. I'm just a weekend guy in a middle market in the South. It isn't much. Still, I'm recognized around town and there are some folks who describe themselves as "fans". That's fairly hard to get used to. I'm not much to look at and am, at best, a mediocre anchor. Recognition is good for the ol' ego anyway.
Anyone with an ego needs a reality check. Everyone needs an ego to function in the world. Perspective keeps us humble, but reality is kinda depressing.
So, I'm back at the big desk tonight. I've already fixed my famous hair and I'm wearing "Almay" makeup. I went with "Cover Girl" for a while but that was, itself, a bit offensive to the ego. We have a new weathergirl on the show, starting tonight, she got the job because she's really easy on the eyes. The old one, in management's eyes, was not.
The old girl was an expert at predicting weather.
The new girl is not.
This counts as perspective in the business I'm in.
I'm making the best of my poker do-over. I think I'll be better on the other side. I withdrew the vast majority of my money from Stars and left only a few dollars. I'll try to build it back in a better, more focused, way. It's my way of enforcing dicipline. So far, I've more than tripled up.
The rest of the life is always harder. I offer Joe Speaker as "Exhibit A".
If you've been reading his blog (and if you don't read "The Obituarium" you're missing the best written blog on the 'net) you know what he's going through. I can't imagine. Frankly, I'm humbled by the knowledge that I'm not as kind or as sensitive as he is, and yet I've been more lucky in love.
Joe, from the very beginning called his soon-to-be-ex wife "the dear and patient" on the blog. His poker content was always filtered with those cute "Family Circus" style stories. Then his wife went nuts and his life fell apart.
How's that for reality?
I took this away from his last post :
" I think it's a fucking waste of three lives that will never be as vital as when we were one. My wife and I were married nearly six years. In that time, we missed hundreds of chances to show, to prove, our love for each other.
Please, please, don't miss yours."
So, dear reader, where is your poker game right now?
Hell, where is your life?
We all need a dose of good ol' reality sometiemes. Our lives will never signifigantly improve without it.
But sometimes reality sucks.
That's the first lesson to learn.