Kicking and Reaming
Commence poker content:
I feel like my game is coming around. It's not there yet, but last night I avoided one of the common pitfalls of my recent play and it allowed me to hang around long enough to cash again in the Crazy $11 Re-Buy on Stars in a field that featured both Moneymaker and JohnnyBax, the latter being at my table when I finally did go bust with a pocket pair of 9s. And though I was the only one in the three-way all-in with outs--the others both had TT--I did not improve and went out in the 90s, recouping one-and-a-half times my investment.
So, the play. We're in the third hour and I have a below-par stack, though am not hurting M-wise just yet. I open-raise with AQo and get called by one of the blinds. Flop comes jack-high and I continuation bet when it's checked to me, at which point I get check-raised all in. I had not been at the table that long and had no read on the guy. At best, I figure I have two overs with two to come. If I fold, I'm left with 8K in chips, less than a third of par and dangerously low. In recent times, I've called that bet. Less an "Aw, fuck it" call than a "frustration" one, from lack of cards (certainly qualified last night) or from being out-flopped or from just plain not believing I can do any actual damage in the tourney with that small a stack.
Now, we all know that thinking is errroneous, chip and a chair and all that. But the even curiouser aspect is that I play a good short stack. Or I used to anyway. Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of that. And it's become a bad leak, 'cause when you make that dumb play, you're out, which, by definition, makes your chances of winning the tournament less than your chances with even the tiniest stack. The other night, in the $9K on FT, I ended the first hour with T880. I ended the second hour with T20K. Good things CAN happen when you still have chips.
So I folded last night and held onto my 8K. An orbit later, I doubled in the SB when I won a race with 99 v. AJ (The Drizz > The AJ). A couple orbits later, I called a button raise (3x) in the BB with 8h7h. I flopped the flush--Ah6h5h--and checked to the raiser who pushed. AsQs no good sir. Further insult when I made the straight flush on the turn. And suddenly I'm back to par. And a short time later, I'm in the top 20 in chips when QQ outruns AK, and I very much appreciated the Q-high flop, Lee.
That would be my last real hand. I soon got moved to JohnnyBax's table where the trend of me having a deuce in every hand continued. I lost a bit when my KJ got out-flopped by QJ, though I figured it out by the river. I might've been there an hour or so and played only that one hand, at which point, I was down to an M of 5 and went down swinging with The Drizz.
A humerous aside: Being at Johnny's table meant a lot of railbirds, one of whom called out Moneymaker, who happened to be keeping an eye on Bax, as well. Money's got rabbit ears. Posturing and heads-up challenges ensued. Good times. Thanks alot to all my lovely sweaters, even if I did have to beg nearly all of you to lend your karma.
Yesterday was AJ's first soccer practice. I can't even stand it. It began too early for me to go, but we did try on his gear on Tuesday night and if someone could die from exposure to cuteness, we'd be ordering flowers and choosing pallbearers for me today.
I have been asked by several people if I think about coaching him. I think that's a bad idea. It's tough being the coach's son, for one. I'd rather not hang that albatross on him. Secondly, in my nearly dozen years of coaching, I tended to run on the excitable side...let's call it passion, much better word. I was always so invested in my players. I so badly wanted them to do well and I so badly wanted to win. It's how I was raised, in a competitive environment where winning is important. And while I think there are some advantages to that, it's way too early in his development to have that be a focus. I remember being sick from nervousness at age 13 before a State Cup quarterfinal. So there's a downside to all that pressure, too. And I can only guess at my...er...passion...when my own son is involved. I think these first few years, I'll simply concentrate on reining in my wholesale desire to scream at crooked, incompetent referees and become one of those Stepford suburbanites who screams wildly and positively at the kids regardless of the level of play. At least until I can no longer take the ineptitude of all around me and seize control in a bloodless footy coup and whip these 5-year-olds into shape.
Fifteen straight against the Mariners (or, as we used to call them back in my A's message board days: The Seamen). Fewer things in life give me more pleasure. Yes, I'm petty. There are a couple real solid blogs about the Mariners. One of 'em is USSMariner, headed by the provocative and entertaining Derek "DMZ" Zumsteg, who you may have read on ESPN once or twice. The other main contributer is David Cameron, who is the crappy yin to DMZ's yang. It's not that I disagree with Cameron all the time, it's that his rigid analysis and arrogantly pedantic manner in delivering it often fails to see the forest for the trees.
So, in my pettiness, I'm compelled to point out this steaming pile from six weeks ago, which ends with this gem:
There’s no reason to be afraid of the A’s. The Mariners are a better team, even if the national writers will take months to figure that out.
Oh, that's gold. Pure spun gold.