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

April 16, 2006

Poker? I Don't Even Know Her

by Luckbox

I tried to get the itch back today.

I knew there would be some overlays in some of the day's biggest tournament so I figured I'd risk large chunks of my bankroll in an effort to get back in the MTT groove.

Raise your hand if you think that's a good idea?

Tonight it all ended during EasyCure's charity tournament when I got all my chips in preflop with KK vs. SoxLover's AK. I suppose my first mistake was being ahead. My second was suggesting in chat before I called that his Aces were gonna knock me out. The Ace on the river did.

And I was really hoping to impress the one and only Poker Babe with my advanced play. So much for that.

There Were Highs

I think by now most people heard about the streak last year. I had a pretty good run of it the last few months of 2005 leading up to the WPBT. January made me believe that perhaps the streak would continue. I chopped in a big live tourney at the Coushatta and scored some nice online cashes. When I got back from the WSOP Circuit Event in Tunica, my bankroll had never been higher.

Then February happened.

The Pacific 50K

There was a $9000 overlay today in Pacific's big tourney. On the very first hand, I more than doubled up when I turned a flush. From there I found ideal times to chip up and got myself into the top ten with less than half the field remaining.

70 places paid and I was no lower 30 for most of the tournament. I was feeling really good about my play.

Then a combination of card-dead-itis and an unwillingness to use my big stack during the critical third hour found me near the bubble. I barely scratched my way into the bottom rung before completely misplaying pocket 8s (that would be a preflop limp and a post Q97-flop push into the BB's Q7). It was a disappointing result.

February is a Cold, Cold Month

I guess I'm lying a little. The temperature here probably never dropped below 50 during the day and barely cracked freezing a few times at night.

Perhaps just the cards were cold. Of course, it's hard to blame the cards when you're barely playing.

February wasn't the best month for me. If you don't know, I work in television news. In fact, someone was crazy enough to put me in charge of a newsroom. Four months out of the year, my performance is measured by what a few hundred people each week write down in a diary. They are ratings months, and February is one of them.

I think my bosses have expected more out of me and this was a tough month. My contract was going to come up soon and I could do nothing but hope I got an offer. I wasn't ready to go and I didn't feel like going through a job search. When you're never in one place more than 3 years, it grinds on you. If I fulfill my contract here, it'll be a record 4 years in one place.

Not only were ratings weighing on me, but I was going through an extremely delicate negotiation with a top news talent in the market. The president of the company sent an email telling me to get it done.

Needless to say, my mind wasn't on poker. I manged to lose 2/3rds of my live bankroll in two brutal sessions at the Coushatta and I played very little online and dropped another couple hundred bucks there.

More than anything, I didn't want to play.

The Poker Stars $1 Million

There was an $80,000 overlay in the Stars Million today. I decided to buy-in directly to try and take advantage of that. Things started slowly, but I doubled through with QQ vs. AK after I flopped a set and rivered a boat when the second K gave him trips.

I was feeling pretty good about my game here, too.

Then I fell into the same funk I was in over at Pacific. Maybe I tighten up too much in these levels. Whatever the case, I found myself quickly moving backwards.

Then I violated one of my own rules. Never go bust on a hand in which you check from the big blind. Okay, so maybe it's not a hard and fast rule to follow, but it's as close as it gets in my "It Depends" world.

I'm holding Q7 and the SB just completes. The flop comes down Q93. He bets out, I raise, he calls. I guess I could have figured he had something at this point. The turn was an A. He made a nice sized bet, but I didn't believe he had an Ace, I'm sure he would have raised preflop. However, once I eliminted the Ace in my mind, I decided not to think about what other hand he would make this move with. I push, he calls, and shows Q3. Ugh.

The Barren March

When March rolled around, I had my top talent's name on a contract and the bosses were happy. I then got my name on a contract that keeps me in Lafayette for a couple more years. Then the ratings from February came in and they were a mixed bag, at best.

The work pressures have been greater than they were when I got here. I thought it would have been the other way around. And the pressures make me come home from work and not want to face any pressures at the virtual poker table.

Apart from my play on Stars, I played in a total of four online events in March. It's the least I played in a month in a long, long time. I hit the live tables again, this time in Vegas (bookended around a brief trip to the Playboy Mansion, if you hadn't heard). I managed to lose the rest of my modest live bankroll. I just didn't play well, and, frankly, my head wasn't on the cards.

April is only half over and the bankroll's not looking good this month. I've been playing more, but probably not with the right mindset. I'm jumping in events I shouldn't and playing bad tournament poker.

It's Time for a Change

I've consolidated my bankrolls down to three sites: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Pacific. For some reason, I've played in just two events at Pacific since February. Part of my plan includes getting back into those soft tourneys more regularly. I also plan on playing more token satellites at FTP and using those to enter guarantees. Finally, I'll likely be playing more SNG's at Stars than anything else. I've had success there and I enjoy them.

I want to start liking poker again. But, frankly, I have to play well to like it. And I'm not gonna play well if I'm not playing.

Let's see if I can turn it around the rest of this month.

| Luckbox's Thoughts