Monday, June 19, 2006

Impellitteri, 1988

How’s that for an obscure title?  I predict perhaps two readers know what it means.


They say that you have to take your family to Disney World at least once in your life.  Well I did, and I’m done.  ‘Twas a test of endurance the likes I’ve not seen in years.  If you enjoy being on your feet for hours at a time and waiting, then Disney is the place for you.  I confess to enjoying myself immensely at the Wet ‘N Wild water park.  It would have been twice as fun if my daughter didn’t insist on crying before EVERY water slide then reluctantly admit she had fun after we hit the bottom.

My room in Orlando had no wireless access, but surprisingly had a 100baseT network cable protruding from the wall.  My 3-year old laptop didn’t have built in Ethernet and I had left my PCMCIA card home.  What to do, what to do….

I drove to Walmart, which was five minutes away from the hotel.  I took the 45-minute route there because I had no idea where I was going and managed to purchase the cheapest wireless router I could find.  Unfettered network access within my Fairly Oddparents suite was, for lack of a better word, sweet.


So I did get to play some during my week away.  When all was said and done, I finished down $36.

I have this to say about my poker experience in the past seven weeks.  I stink.


There are specific ingredients to the recipe for losing large portions of your bankroll.

  1. Adopt a more aggressive style by betting and check-raising draws on the come.

  2. Miss your draws.

  3. Have your opponent hit their draws.

  4. Slow play your 90% favorites so that your opponents catch up, pass you and then pay them off.

  5. Failing to put your opponent on inside straight draws.  Calling pot-sized bets is now de rigueur for 4-outers.

  6. Have AA cracked by 99 within the span of 10 hands at the same table.  Be sure to double up your opponent.

  7. Wash, rinse, repeat


This down swing has definitely put cracks in my confidence, and in that I have no doubt.  I’m both too stubborn and too ego driven to admit I can’t beat the $100NL game online.  But the stats say different.  I’m down about 10 buy-ins for the year at that level.  Strangely, I’m up at the $200NL game.  To me, that indicates one of two things:  First, the sample size is not large enough to make any accurate assessment.  I could be a winning player who’s currently showing losses through variance.  I could be a losing player whose results are indicative at one level, but is getting lucky at a higher level.  Secondly, it could mean that my play style works at one level but not at another.  But is there really that big a difference between the games at $100NL and $200NL?  I just don’t think there is.

My sample size is about equal for both levels, probably only about 7000 hands each.  I play a lot of hours, but very few table hours comparatively speaking since I’m not a very effective multi-tabler.  I know there are winning players who go through similar downswings over such a period so perhaps I shouldn’t be overly concerned.  But this is my worst losing streak of the past two and a half years since I began playing with earnest.  (Who the hell is Earnest and why would I be playing with him?)


At the core of my being, there lies an ever-burning ember of self-doubt that grows more intense with each passing losing session.  I’m not sure what it would take to douse it forever.  Perhaps it is my fatal flaw.

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