Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

"The A's are ruining my life."
--Me, September 2004

They used to say I had an "addictive personality." And it was true. So, what happens to an addictive personality when he grows up a little and learns to control his impulses, but still has a genetic desire for the adrenaline rush? He becomes obsessive. Or I do anyway.

I don't mean it in a bad way. I AM obsessive. But only about a couple things. And it used to be only one thing: The Oakland A's. The team has the ability to alter my mood. I forage far and wide for tidbits of information on the club. I watch or listen to 150 games a year. From April to October, they consume my thoughts.

I uttered the above quote a few months back as the team went asses up down the stretch, which was a new experience for them and me. For the first time I could recall, I just wanted the season to be over. Put me out of my misery. Which they did, in excrutiating fashion, butI was thankful they spared me further pain. Of course, like it always does, it went away after a week or so. It's not debilitating. I'm not one of those who needs to be reminded by pontificating newspaper columnists--or family members--that it's just a game. But it IS important to me.

This is my long-winded way of getting to the point that the medal stand is now a little more crowded. Because now I'm obsessed about poker, too. By the time I hit the shower every morning, some poker thought has already entered my head. The previous evening's result, while not exactly setting the tone for my day's mood, certainly has the ability to move the needle a few ticks either way. More, if it's a dramatic (traumatic?) session.

My A's obsession caused me to seek and find like-minded souls on this here internet and I found a place where my emotional instability is shared, along with so much A's minutiae. And now I find myself wading into the poker blogosphere in search of same. It's all just a little bit of history repeating...


Another bubble finish last night in a $10 SnG when I folded about 70 hands. If that's an exagerration, it isn't much of one. Just a bunch of completely unplayable hands.

Which made my subsequent win in a $20 SnG that much more surprising. The deck repeatedly pummelled me about the head and shoulders. Caught the pocket rockets on the third hand and managed to get 600 chips from a guy who called me all the way down with second pair (and an Ace on the turn). God Bless that guy.

Took a dominant chip position early by busting pocket 7s with my AQ. Upped it even further by calling a short stack all-in (about a fifth of my chips) with Big Slick and catching two aces on the flop to bust his Hilton sisters. Put out another with the rockets--AGAIN!--topping his KK. See what I mean?

Coasted to the money, picking up chips here and there to get me to 5500. Then, the coup de grace.

Got JJ on the button, raised both the others all-in. Both called(!?). SB shows AA. BB shows QQ.

Uh oh.

But a Jack spikes on the turn and it's over, Johnny. A Party Poker Special.

I also played some $25 NL. Hopped around a bit from table to table, but couldn't really spot any fishy ones. Ended up with a loose/passive group. I REALLY need to play more $25 NL. The experience of the single-table SnGs is invaluable here. Didn't see a check-raise in over an hour at this table. Every time it was checked to me, I bet regardless and took down some pots with overcards. Even made some pot-building bets on draws--something I don't do very often-and induced folds. Just got to make sure to avoid the blogger table.


Back to baseball, arbitration deadline passes, winter meetings beginning, trade rumors flying. Usually a fun time of year for baseball fans. For me, not so much. Seems a foregone conclusion that the A's will deal Tim Hudson. Will be a sad, sad day (or eight). It will be easier to take if the A's get Marcus Giles in return.


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