A Matter of Degrees
Oh, the weather outside is frightful. In my cubicle, it's not exactly delightful...
It is absolutely miserable outside. One of the bleakest weather days I can recall in my Los Angeles history. The much-ballyhooed rain isn't exactly torrential (edit: now it is), but it's falling sideways. Up to 60 mph winds have been forecast and it's a bitterly cold wind at that. It is days like these that riding the train to work is truly worth it.
Yet, through all the grayness and gloom, there is a bright, shining light on the horion, giving off considerable warmth:
I'll be in Vegas in a week.
Too bad I'm gonna miss this by a day. Having heard Eric Chavez interviewed on dozens of occassions, I'm reasonably confident I could bust him out inside a half hour. This is the guy who, when asked about Paul McCartney--who was playing a concert next door to the Oakland Coliseum--replied, "Who are the Beatles?"
Regardless, preparations are beginning in earnest. I'm fine-tuning the compilation CDs for the boring drive through the desert. The key to every disc is to slot the up-tempo numbers at a time when they are most necessary, during the flat wastelands south of the Mojave, provide a little giddyup to the monotony. I'll actually have a couple teammates in the car with me and that always helps.
After six-thousand e-mails and endless research, we're staying at Excalibur. Rates are surprisingly cheap for a holiday weekend (less than less illustrious and worse located properties such as Orleans and Stratosphere) and with all the blogger--and other--tales of the softness of the Excalibur poker room, it's a perfect choice. At least the dealers should show a hint of recognition when I drop The Hammer.
We got our schedule revised, too. No more 8 a.m. starts. Moved to 9 a.m. on both days and that hour seems like 10. Could be very crucial.
I have to say something here. A couple of my teammates, very good friends of mine and participants in many of our Vegas runs, are not coming. Their wives won't let them. Now, that's fine. I'm not one to judge. But it DOES illustrate how lucky I am to have a dear and patient wife who not only allows my frequent Vegas trips, but indulges my interests, such as soccer and poker (and, uh, other -EV gambling exercises). And I'll tell ya, when she comes along, those are the best trips of all. She loses her mind a little bit when going off on a bender. Not in a bad way. Just in a way where she doesn't remember much. One time, I was playing blackjack and she was peering over my shoulder (and sucking down whiskey sours). The table was lively and the dealer was very entertaining. So much so that my dear and patient wife felt compelled to shout, "C'mon dealer! Give my baby a BJ!"
There was about a 90 second delay in the dealing of the next hand, such is the extent to which hilariy ensued.
Playing has been a grind this week. The Bad Beat Jackpot on Party was up over 450K last night, so I was taking a shot at it (as I have all week). Alas, somebody hit it, somebody not named me. I did post a bit of a profit there for the week, however. A good thing considering my uneven week in the SnGs. Six out of 16 in the money, none of them wins. The latter is REALLY frustrating as I've been heads up 4 times this week and TWICE had my opponent all-in when ahead. Both times I got drawn out on. Now, I'm not one to complain about second- and third-place finishes, profit is profit. But I like to win. And if I don't win, I'm unfulfilled.
Which may explain my all-too-often bubble finishes. Four-handed, I'll take risks if I have a hand. I'm not content to wait for someone else to drop. Is this an error of aggression? Putting the cart (winning) before the horse (cashing)?
A good example of a bubble finish last night. I've got T1050, blinds are 150/300. A vulnerable position, but there is a lower stack (T800) to my left. I get Ad9d on the button and push. BB, and chip leader, calls and turns 10s and I don't improve. Right move? Seems to me I have to play that hand there. The result, and the possibility of being able to fold into the money, makes me question it. Should I?