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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

December 27, 2007

God needs a Devil

by G-Rob

Nobody ever became a better poker player during a winning streak. I'm trying to remind myself of wisdom like that while I watch another of my favorite sports teams get crushed again. I'm sure there's some glory to gain from all this misery.

Note : The Bengals would be much better if they could actually tackle. When I was growing up we called this full-contact football "Tackle football" to distinguish it from two hand touch. I don't think the Bengals play "Tackle Football".

Anyway, nobody ever became a better poker player during a winning streak.


After a year or two of convincing myself I was the single greatest poker player alive, I had a difficult summer with the game. I've played a lot less with my new work hours and the times I did play I didn't play very well. I think many of the other players caught up. That, or I stopped getting lucky.

It's worth noting that for a long time I did not get better. When I took up the game I remember BadBlood and Otis and I would have long talks about poker theory. I used to write big ol' posts about it here. Haven't done that in a while. I think I stopped thinking about strategy. I think I thought I knew it all.

Why would a consistent winner need to improve?

The Mark (Not that one!)

About 8 weeks ago I was on the set when our super-duper weatherman cam back to the desk and did that whole point and gawk thing. The issue, as it turns out, was a giant swollen hive on my cheek. In the center of said hive was what looked like a spider bite. I went back to the bathroom and applied a second layer of Cover Girl hoping that would fix the problem.

On the bright side, it didn't hurt.

About 2 weeks later my boss pointed to the same cheek. It was swollen again and that "spide bite" was bigger and darker. He and another friend at work suggested I see a doctor. I didn't. I did go home and apply some benadryl.

Then about 10 days ago my co-anchor became the third person to say, "That thing on your cheek is swellingup again!" It was.

This time I called my family doctor, Dr. Joe. He got me in that day. After a good many harrumphs, it turns out that my "spider bite" is, in his professional opinion, skin cancer.

That kinda bummed me out. He scheduled a visit to the dermatologist the next day, which was last Friday.


My sister was about to graduate from law school when she had to get a lump examined. The week after her finals they scheduled a biopsy. They'd remove the lump and check to see if any other work was needed.

My family, and I, were somewhat freaked out.

They scheduled the biopsy for this past Friday.


While the job keeps me from most poker play ( I go to bed at 7:30PM) I couldn't resist a game at BadBlood's house. I knew I'd be tired. Frankly, I didn't care.

I only played 3 hours. I doubled through Otis with AJ against his JJ. I stacked Cardone and Backman. I had a friggin' blast. Not bad for the only guy who couldn't drink.

I left moments after telling Badblood about the biopsy the next day. I'd already told Otis.

It feels better to share that stuff with Friends.

I won three buyins by the way.


My appointment was at 10AM. I saw more than one doctor. After some poking and scraping and much long discussion....I got another appointment. More importantly, while he isn't ruling it out, the dermoatologist thinks it PROBABLY isn't cancer. That's the kind of thing a man likes to hear.

I drove home happy like I haven't been in a while.

One year ago I was pretty sure I didn't have cancer and it didn't give me much joy.

Today I think I'm cancer free and it feels friggin' GREAT.

I came home and took a nap.

Later that same day the word from sister's lump was safely removed. She's also cancer free.

How was YOUR Friday?!

I'm happier today because I was unhappy last week.

And, I think I'm getting better at poker.

| G-Rob's Thoughts