Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Rainouts and Shutouts

Saturday night had rolled around and G-Vegas was still damp. My son's baseball game got rained out on Friday and then the bad weather continued into Saturday evening, cancelling the local Greenville Drive's game as well. We had tickets to go and miniBlood's baseball team was going to get to spend some time in the dugout with the players before the game. I was stoked to see the Drive's current manager and former BoSox player Gabe Kapler, he of the '04 Championship club. Alas, it was not to be. We got the news that the game was cancelled as I was driving to the game. mini was disappointed too.

With nothing really going on that night, I flipped a coin to determine if I'd go to the Gaelic Game or not. I said "heads," and although the silhouette of George Washington appeared before my eyes, I'd hesitate to say I "won."


As a player, sometimes you go through one of those nights where you can't do anything wrong. The good cards come, they hold up, and you build a nice stack. The confidence grows and you find yourself making the proper play time and time again. It's at this point you think to yourself "Poker is easy."

Well, we know it isn't. For each of those sessions where the wins seem to come effortlessly, there are nights when you can't do anything right. You make proper fold after fold, and then when you finally wake up with AJo in early position, it seems like GOLD.

What the cards seem like and what they truly are can be clouded by your previous hands and previous sessions. It's all relative. I bet you can fold AJo in EP at a 10-handed cash game if you were re-raised pre-flop. Unless of course that's the first Ace you've seen in 3 hours.


I arrived on Saturday and saw two full tables going. I hate waiting for a seat. My worst sessions usually follow a period of waiting. Perhaps it's feeling anxious, a need to get in on the action. You know, makes some plays. That's why we show up. Anyone can play ABC. But to make a play on someone is what feeds the competitive juices.

I'm not good at waiting.

Finally, after perhaps 40 minutes or so I sat down.

I never won a pot that night.


I could have drove home in that bad mood that I've patented. But I simply chose not to. I still hate to lose, but what I do and feel after the loss is entirely up to me. I didn't go broke. Nobody died.

Sure, I played rather horrifically, but I've done that before and will most definitely do it again. In my quest for "perfect" poker play, I've found that simply playing well more often than not is truly the holy grail. I used to think that for every hand I lost, there should have been something different I could have done to win the hand. A raise on an earlier street, a lead out on a scary turn. Whatever.

But there are some hands you're just not going to win. Some people will still call you down and you'll simply lose a bit more than you would have otherwise. So rather than dissect my play mercilessly, I just resolved to do better the next time.


Last night was the next time. It didnt' go well either.

It took me four hours to just chop my first pot. Nearly 6 hours of live poker play and all I had to show for it was a chop.

To be fair, I played much better than I did on Saturday; but still made some mistakes. Sadly, there were really no hands I could have won had I played any differently, save perhaps one. My cards were just second best all night, if that.

It took a bit longer, but I lost the cash I brought again.

While harder to do, I still chose not to dive into the pit of poker despair that opens up for me after each significant loss.

I didn't go bust. Nobody died.

And because of that, there'll be a next time.

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