Saturday, February 04, 2006

Pre Game Rituals

Beyond drinking beer and getting nervous I don't know if I have too many. Usually, on a Sunday I get up and get my gear on:

Steelers socks: Check
Steelers T-shirt: Check
Terrible Towel: Check
Steelers G String: Just Kidding
Steelers Jersey: Check
Steelers Hat: Check
Hurtin' Helmet: Check

In addition to the traditional "Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet, & Watch" checklist, that is all a guy needs on Sunday morning. Then, properly attired, I get nervous.

Oddly enough, I am not nervous this weekend. I was nervous through the tough run in the playoffs, but the Super Bowl..... dare I say it...... seems anti-climatic. I am pretty sure the Steelers will handle business. I am oddly detached and calm. This is in stark contrast to the maniacs I am enjoying Super Bowl weekend with.


My brother in law has decorated his apartment, it is impressive. One entire wall of the living room has been covered by Steelers pictures and newspaper pictures clippings. It is very "Serial Killer Stalker-esque". You know the look, the detectives arrive on the scene after the regular cops and get called into the room - "Johnson, I think you better take a look at this". I hope no Steelers are murdered this weekend, Eric would be a prime suspect.

If you are looking for a song to get stuck in your head, try this.

You can download the song here:

It really gets stuck in your head. You can't walk around Pittsburgh with out hearing someone mutter, "Puh-lah-mah-lu".

I got some poker in last night. Played very well on a .10/.25 NL table on Poker Stars. I was feeling good about my games and my reads. No big pots either way and I was hanging around even for quite awhile. I was slowly losing chips (max buy-in is $25) but kept clawing back to around $23. Then, the maniac sat to my left. Raised before every flop and caught cards to bust most that looked him up. The table of 9 went to a table of three in about an orbit. I played one pot with him. I was on the button with K5o and raised it to .75 to get the blinds. They both called. Flop comes 57x and I bet $1.50 continuation bet. Maniac calls. Turn is a 9, I fire again $2. He makes it $4 and I have to think. I fold because I am pretty sure that I will need to get it all in to win and he probably has me beat anyway. During this hand, the last person leaves and it is me and maniac heads up. I would prefer this because I consider HU a strength of mine.

Lets see what we can do about getting some of those chips back. I fold the first hand and then pick up KQh in the SB and figure this is a good hand to test this fool. I raise it to a $1.00, he calls. Flop is two hearts, A high (not a heart though). I bet $2.00 and he calls. Hmmm, I don't think this guy would have just called with his A two times. I think I am ok here. The turn is another heart. Jackpot! How can I keep him on this hook. I have about $16 left and I want to double up through this donkey. I am a little afraid of the Ah, but I don't think he has it. I bet $5, not pot committing myself (not that I think he would notice that) and he jams all-in over top of me. Sweet, I don't know what he has, but I think he has me on the A. The river is a blank and he flips 48h for the second best flush. My K high flush is good and $40 slides towards me. He types "nh" and I just smile.... and close the table.

I was happy with my play. I had about 80 hands and was playing pretty loose (33% Saw flop according to the PS stats, but that counted the hands I saw in the BB for free.. which were quite a few before maniac). I wasn't afraid to release a hand and that is a positive change for me. What I learned from the session is that patience may be rewarded, you really need to pick your spots. I used to have trouble surviving a NL session, but I think I may focus on them more. Limit can be tough, especially at the suckout prone lower levels I play at.


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