Friday, March 04, 2005

The First 100 Days

It's actually 99 days since I began this here blog, but I'm not going to take time on a Saturday to bang out this self-promoting and odiously ego-driven post. If you're a fan of VH-1's "I Love the..." retrospectives, this might be right up your alley. If you'd like to stab Hal Sparks in the eye, best just move along.

I'll try to keep the introspection brief. I started here to write about poker (mostly). I needed the catharsis. There's an acronym in the mass media biz invoked when a piece is just boring the crap out of people: MEGO. Stands for My Eyes Glaze Over. And it perfectly captures the look I'd get from my family every time I tried to engage them in poker conversation. Yeah, I thought I'd touch on other issues here, but since my poor brain is entirely poker-addled, it hasn't exactly worked out that way. Not that I think said development needs to be fixed.

My poker "career" encompasses just over 7 months. I am exactly the player that got hooked on the game watching the WPT on the Travel Channel. I downloaded Party Poker, bought Lee Jones and set off to make my fortune. When Iggy says you are "profoundly retarded" for not playing at Party, he means because there are players like the July 2004 me signing up there daily. I was terrible. I don't even exactly know how terrible, since I didn't track my play. Or my deposits. To this day, I don't know if I'm a winning player. If I had to guess, I'd say I'm within $100 either way.


Well nothing a point in the right direction and a couple hours won't fix (thanks to Glyph and ghost). I AM a winning poker player. And I had it pretty close. I'm up $108.17 online. Live, I claim $249 to the good, owing almost entirely to my smashing of the Exaclibur 2-6 game in January. It should also be noted that I haven't had to make a deposit into Party since Nov. 30th, right around the time I began the blog. And that I am up $617.52 online since that day. It also occurs to me that if not for my final table appearance two weeks ago, I'd still be a losing online player, so the jury is most definitely still out.

End edit

I don't know how many times I deposited into Party (Yes, I do: 11, $810 worth, along with 3 withdrawls worth $250.). Fifty bucks here; a hunny there. I played .50/$1 limit and did okay. I moved up. To $1/$2 six-handed. I liked that, probably because my not-exactly-stringent starting hand requirements were a better fit. I played the $2/$4 Bad Beat Jackpot. No, I didn't have the requisite bankroll for that. Or $1/$2. I started playing single-table SnGs for the no-limit rush. Deposited again. I signed up 4 friends and scored $200 in TAF bonuses. Crapped the bed with it.

In October, I'd had enough. Had about $10 in my Party account. Came back from a Vegas trip (where I played no poker, but was in the black from blackjack and craps) and decided I'd give it one more whirl. First, I read Sklansky. Then Super System. I discovered Iggy, HDouble, Izmet and Abdul. Value betting, raising for a free card, table image, reading opponents...hey, there might be more to this thing than just playing my two cards poorly.

I varied my games, playing the $25 NL tables, moving up in the SnGs. I started winning. I found other blogs (they're over there on the right), obsessively reading them on a regular basis. I soaked up the knowledge and strove to put it into practice.

Yet, at the end of November, I found myself down to $20. A bad run undeniably worsened by my uncanny ability to go on massive tilt. I threw another $100 in to my account. It was a Saturday. I vowed this would be my last deposit. I have responsibilities. I can't keep throwing money away at this effing game if I can't win. In the immortal words of Latrell Spreewell, "my kid's gotta eat."

Naturally, I went off. Took back that $100 two days later. Ground my way to a respectable 'roll. Started my blog. Danced through December on a massive rush. And I haven't looked back, even after enduring a thorough ass-kicking during most of January.

The best thing I can say about my ability as a poker player is that right now, at this very instant, I am playing about as well as I am able given my knowledge and experience (or lack thereof). I couldn't possibly compare or rank myself against others, though I can recognize when bad players sit at my table. Which leads me to believe I am no longer a bad player. At least according to Mike McD.

I've gained a great deal of satisfaction from this little blog. Writing regularly again has been a blessing. I've vowed never to get ground down by a mundane existence. Poker--and by extension this blog--has been a big boost at a time when my life was changing, as carefree days of yore fade ever further in the rear view and adult responsibilites (parenting, mortgages) rule the day. What a great thing. Passion, inspiration, curiosity. I've found it all in this game. And I've found it all over the internet, like-minded people going throught the same awakenings, the same down-turns; the simple and perfect satisfaction of a hand well-played, a post well-written. My sincere thanks to--and admiration for--all of you.

The following are my favorite posts that I've managed to crank out since Nov. 26. Please forgive the indulgence. But above all, thanks for stopping by.

Meeting bloggers in Commerce
Raking my first Hold 'Em pot in Vegas
The dear and patient wife as poker metaphor

That's right. Three whole posts in 100 days make the cut. Now I'm depressed.


At 11:18 AM, Blogger poker_ghost said...

On PP, they have the option that lists all your deposits. It should be under the cashier screen.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

You can also get Neteller histories or dig up your bank statements.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger April said...

Congrats on 100 days!

Here's to 100s and 100s more.


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