I've played a little better lately. At least, I assume that's the case. As I've posted before, it's hard to objectively measure the level of one's play. So let's say this, I've won more money lately and that's always a good thing.
However, in lieu of an actual post, I offer you this...random crap I've been thinking about.
You know, stuff like this:
Did you ever realize that the movie "Rocky IV" has the highest montage/real time ratio of any film in modern cinema. The last 45 minutes of the film are three great montages in the following sequence:
1) Rocky runs through snow carrying a log. Ivan (Look at the size of that RUSSIAN!) Drago runs on a treadmill. Rocky chops down a tree with an axe and, as it falls, we cut to a scene of Ivan knocking a sparring opponent down.
2) The lovely Mrs. Rocky is waiting for our hero on the porch of the Siberian chateau. She kisses him hello. We immediately begin montage #2 which features the great lyrics "HEARTS ON FIRE... STRONG DESIRE!" while Rocky lifts an ox cart and does upside-down situps.
3) The fight begins, the boxers fight for 2 rounds, and a 12 round montage begins. The fighters go back and forth. Rocky falls behind. Rocky gives "If I can change... you can change! We can all change!" speech, which singlehandedly ends the cold war.
It's all montage. Screenwriters can't do better. It's the cinematic equivilant of "yada... yada... yada."
That's where I'm headed with this post....
Another Title of some sort
We all know our ego can kill us at the table. But I wonder if ego isn't still one of my biggest flaws. I talked about this with a blogger friend the other day. I think the people in our regular "Medium" game are, on whole, pretty good. In fact, several players are decidedly better than me. BadBlood, Otis, The Mark, etc.
I also hate the whole anger thing. Otis posted recently about the variety of bad beat stories. The moral, of course, is he's sick of whining. I am too. But I'm even more tired of all the ill-tempered tantrums. Really. I can't stand to look at the chat box on Poker Stars. Not 4 hands go by when the loser of a particular hand isn't SCREAMING IN TYPE about his opponents bad play.
Now, that said, why are most players STILL this awful?
Beyond the medium game, which is good, there are always other games in town. I credit TheMark with finding most of them. We've played in Embroidery shops and duplex living rooms and, of course, the great Underground Rake which Otis has written about a few times. The vast majority of the players at these games aren't just bad, they're HORRIBLE.
I wonder, at what point does a person who always loses become a gambling addict. There are people we see each week at the undergound game who lose a few hundred each time. None of these players seem like they have millions of dollars in disposable income. Why not hone the skills and THEN come back? It's some form of denial I suppose. I'm glad they show up. But it's really amazing to watch.
That said, it's deadly to sit down at a table and KNOW you're a better player than most of the other players. I find myself not giving people credit for potentially making a smart move which is, in itself, stupid.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO ANOTHER SEEMINGLY RELATED BLURB
Does it seem the player at the table who spends the most time chatting about his poker acumen is always one of the worst players?
Here's a one hand example from a game a few weeks ago.
Stakes are $200MAX NL with $1/$2 blinds.
UTG raises to $15. MP1 calls. MP2 calls. Button calls.
Flop is K, 3, 5. Rainbow.
Initial raiser bets $30
MP2 re-raises the rest of his stack... about $65 more.
Button calls the $95
Initial raiser re-raises the rest of HIS stack for ANOTHER $75.
MP1 goes DEEP in the tank and says, "Well, if I'm behind it isn't by much."
Then he re-re-raises the rest of HIS stack... ANOTHER $125.
Button, the biggest stack at the table, insta-calls.
Now given that action... can you guess what the players had?
I'll take a stab, and say you're totally wrong.
Initial raiser had a set of 3s.
MP 2 had a set of 5s.
Their actions make sense, and it's tough luck for initial raiser.
MP1, the guy who re-re-raised?
I kid you not.
As it happens, the button catches his straight on the turn and scoops the $855 pot.
So, MP1, a guy who NEVER stops talking, spends the next 3 hours discussing the rationale for his call, after THAT action, with top pair and second kicker. He had a whole host of reasons which included pot odds, great reads, a tell on the button, and a gut feeling.
Badblood and I might have offered another view, but we were speechless. It was a pure clinic in amazing bad poker. But at least we understood his motivations. In short, he has no understanding of poker whatsoever. The next week he pushed with AA against JJ and 22. The 2s flopped a set and our player, the mouth, stormed out. I haven't seen him since.
A THOUGHT ON BLOGWARS
Normally I stay out of this sorta thing. I think there are millions of VERY good reasons to hate me personally. Thousands of people have already picked a personal favorite. Trust me, I read the e-mails. I don't need to pick sides in most blogwars because, if anything, despising me is the one thing both factions can agree on. I do what I can to bring people together.
All poker bloggers have two things in common: they play poker and they blog. That's about it as far as UNITY goes. As those gigantic Vegas gatherings prove we are an otherwise diverse group. It's natural in any large group for people to break into smaller groups of those most similar to themselves. We make individual friends. It isn't a slight against OTHER bloggers. It's hard to maintain a REAL FRIENDSHIP with 200 strangers.
I do read the VAST majority of poker blogs I'm aware of. I like the diversity of skill, opinion, and perspective. I don't like the idea that A) there is some sort of Blog community that dictactes our posts or behavior, B) We should get involved in petty squabbles among those that like to draw negative attention, C) I should have to wear pants when I play poker.
(C) is off topic, but I deeply believe it to be true.
I have no grudge against any poker blogger.
I'm sure there are some with a grudge against me.
I assure you, it's impossible for me to care about said grudges any less than I currently do.
I love my I-Pod enough to marry it. Luckily for them the person to whom I'm already wed GAVE my the Nano for Christmas last year. I've got 386 songs loaded up, and most of them are those really long ones that only Daddy, Pauly and I enjoy. I like to pop the buds when I play poker. It helps me focus. But when is it rude to listen?
I never wear the POD on the Thursdays of the "Medium" game. Those are as much a social occasion as anything else. There IS some pretty good poker played there, but I'm pretty good friends with many of the players and enjoy actually talking to them.
On the last trip to Tunica, I wore them almost the entire time I played. I played pretty well too. The ear buds solve the above referenced problem of listening to people chatter about meaningless poker nonsense. Plus, I really don't care to be friends with anyone I meet at the "Gold Strike" casino.
What about other home games? Is it rude to tune out the chat and plug into the buds at our underground game? I actually don't mind the chatter there and it sometimes provides a tell or two. Still, I wouldn't mind hearing a little live Oysterhead while I fold garbage for 2 hours.
I wonder what the ettiquite is?
Honestly, is there a better food than cheese? I doubt it. If there is, I'd prefer that you not introduce me to it. I have enough problems with cheese.
This post is over.