Saturday, January 28, 2006

Work on your Foundation

Work on your foundation.

This is my new concept for building my game. Makes sense. If I have a better foundation, I have set myself up for the future. I have thought about what I am doing, my results, and where I want to be 6 months from now. I have experienced disappointing results lately and have seen this displeasure spoken of in other blogs. In my mind, it came back to this: If I cannot consistently beat the lower stakes games, what the hell am I doing in the higher stakes?!? Putting aside my old enemy variance, I should be able to consistently beat the low stakes Limit Hold Em games before I move into 2/4 or 3/6.

Why? I am bankroll “sensitive” right now. Simply put, I am tired of it shrinking!! How do I remedy this? My thought right now is play the lower limits to keep improving my game and rebuild my confidence. The swings will be much softer relative to my bankroll (~$200 right now). Case in point was the other night when I managed to get some hands in. I fired up PP and sat down at the lowest limit available (.50/1 I think) and I played well. I was never down more than a few bucks and ended the session up a little over 2 dollars. More importantly, I felt good about my game, reads, laydowns, lookups, aggressiveness, and positional play. That was more important to me than ending up 2 bucks. We all want to end our sessions up, but that is not always plausible.

Once you have had a taste of the action at a higher level, I think it is tougher to self impose yourself to the lower levels. You feel that the good decisions you make should be worth more (as they are at a higher level) but if you are not capable (yet) of making good decisions consistently, then I feel you are better served working on that at the lower levels. You must harden yourself to the annoying suckouts that seem to occur with greater frequency at limit, especially low limit, and be glad that you are playing with such speculative players. You should be able to get their money.

It is easier to write this than it is to employ this. I may change my mind in a month, but for now I will not play above the .50/1 on PP or .25/,50 if I transfer my bankroll to another site. (Pokerstars is looking promising right now).

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lotusphere 2006

No poker (although there was some hold 'em going on at the kick off party... but it was just for fun) but great weather and an interesting conference ahead of me.

I attended my first Lotusphere session, a jumpstart session for the Domino Administrator for Lotus 7. It was pretty informative and it seems like I will get a lot out of my time here. My attitude was also buoyed by the third road win by my Steelers!! I tried to warn Chipper, I suspect he did not heed my prediction. Sorry dude, but the Steelers are going all the way this year. I watched the game in the ESPN sports bar at the Boardwalk in Disney with 100 of my close Steeler fan friends, there was a lot of cheering and high fives. Way to go Cowher and Pittsburgh, the first 6 seed in NFL history to make the Super Bowl, and the second team to win three road games to make it to the big one. Personally, I think they are unstoppable. It was all downhill after the Colts (IMHO).

I have been playing some poker recently and things seem to be the status quo. I have not posted about poker because it has not been a priority or a joy in my life like it has in the past. It has been more vexing than pleasurable and I have had precious little free time in the past month. Add that all up, throw in husband duties and a wife and you have a recipe for little poker and less blogging. Sorry for the lack of new content if anyone checks this piece of the web out with any frequency. I have to admit I was a little surprised when HighOnPoker was so startled to see me railbirding in the DADI Omalympics and told me he was ready to remove my link because he thought I was done posting! Not a big deal, and I can't argue with his logic, but this blog is not dead yet.

It has been interesting to read some of the same feelings I have experienced with poker in GCox's and other blogs. He has been having a rough time and I can totally empathize. I wish I could assure him it will turn around, and I believe it will, but I cannot speak from experience. It seems to be a paradox: I was a winning bad player and a losing better player?!?! But so it is, perhaps it is a stage or plateau that I must breakthrough and learn from. The end result will be a better player and a better understanding of the game (or so I tell myself).

What have I learned? I could easily start with Donkeys Always Draw, but that is not an entirely correct statement and it is probably copyrighted by TripJax and Jordan. The truth is, donkeys don't always draw and budding poker players don't draw enough. How bout dem apples? I have learned that I need to loosen up my game depending on the table conditions. That makes sense right? I probably even read that in one of the many poker books I have consumed in the past year. Easy to say, harder to do correctly and profitably. I think my game has progressed from maniac, to tight passive (with flashes of aggressiveness), to a more well rounded neutral aggressive. It is still a work in progress.

I read these fantastic strategy posts and concepts in other blogs and I don't fell qualified to offer any of that in my blog. Who wants to read about strategies that seem to cost BB/hr? Perhaps that will come, but right now I can offer some company to the struggling players out there and some understanding. If I stick with it (and I will), the insightful strategy posts will come.

Good luck to all of you out there struggling to develop your own game and continued luck to those of you who have found it. Your mission is keep on developing and share some breadcrumbs of wisdom that are still following the path you have traveled.

Hopefully I will get a little free time this week to play, but the schedule is looking packed from 7:00 AM to 9 or 10 each night. Wish you all were here, the weather is fantastic and the scenery at The Swan in Disney is a welcome change of pace from the frozen gray Cleveland landscape. I can see why DNasty moved here!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Here We Go Steelers!

Warning, no poker content.


What a game.... and what horrible officiating. It has been pretty poor during the entire playoffs, but today took the cake. I have never seen a game officiated so poorly with incorrect and missed calls playing such important roles!! The saddest part? The Steelers or the Colts might get a letter next week apologizing about the incorrect call, but what solace is that?

Why are officials blowing whistles on possible interceptions when that is the exact opposite of what they are supposed to do? If there is even a chance it was intercepted, they are directed to allow the play to complete so they can make the correct ruling, not end any chance of the play being reviewed or correctly called. That interception was close and a tough call in my admittedly biased opinion, but it was stillborn...never given its proper chance.

Riddle me this... A defender touches a offensive lineman in his stance, a whistle blows and another lineman stands up. The officials basically call "do-over". When did the playground accepted call of "do over" become NFL policy? There should have been a flag on that play. Either the Steelers had a false start or the Colts were guilty of encroachment. No such animal as a "do over" in the NFL unless there are offsetting penalties.

I am not even going to get started on the pass interference no call early in the game against a deep Randle El. I might be to biased on that one, but it looked like interference to me. I must have been seeing things today, because I also a sack in the endzone that would have been ruled a safety by any other officiating crew in the world. (Pop Warner officials included)

Finally, and perhaps the most outrageous blown call, is the overturned interception by Polamalu that would have for all intents and purposes ended the game. That was pure unadulterated bullshit. If I believed online poker was rigged, I guess I could make the logic leap that perhaps the officials were "gotten to" by someone who wanted to influence the game. However, I don't think online poker is rigged and I really don't think that the game was "fixed". I do think that those officials should be reviewed and their future in the NFL should be seriously considered. I also think that the NFL needs to have a more open policy about their review process for officials and their calls. I know they are only human, and they will make mistakes.... but that many in a game of such importance is simply unacceptable to the players, the league and the fans.

If the Steelers had not managed to hold on and win, I suppose I could be called a sore loser. They did manage to avoid the ass pillaging the officials seemed intent on handing them so that must make me a sore winner. So be it.

I felt that both teams came out and played great football. The Steelers caught the Colts off guard with their aggressive play calling and unusually high percentage of passing plays in the first half. The Steelers D played as good a game as you can ask of them and found ways to pressure Manning. Kudos to the D and the Dick the D Coordinator. Coach Dungy was classy in his loss and I felt bad that he had to lose something else precious to him this year. (stark contrast when compared with his whining primadonna QB that called out his O Line in the post game press conference. Good luck with that next year Manning. Both of you are little primadonna bitches in STeelerJosh's book and you both got your just desserts in the playoffs)

The Steelers dominated the Colts on the field and on the stat sheet....despite being apparently being outnumbered on the field with 11 Colts and several officials playing against the 11 Steelers.

I will be in Orlando Florida next weekend for Lotusphere and will be looking for a place to catch the AFC championship game at 3 PM on Sunday. Anyone know any good bars near The Swan in Disney? Here We Go Steelers!!


Poker news. I won $50 playing with 7 friends last weekend by playing 3 $10 SNGs. I got it all in heads up with a favorite hand of mine, "Bah Fight" (heavy Boston accent required). KJs vs 89s. Both hearts, both all in pre flop. I am excited but the 6 on the flop opened the door and runner runner gives the villain a 10 high straight and I take $20 instead of $60. I won the last game for a nice $50 profit overall. I have another live game this Friday night. Online, I was holding my own, but went on a slight tear tonight by losing three heads up matches and two six person SNGs. Net for the night? -60 and over half of my bankroll. At least the Steelers won.