Monday, July 10, 2006

I guess I didn't hear the starting gun that goes off on Monday mornings when the employed world goes from zero to sixty and the unemployed world staggers to the bathroom and decides a shower would be too ambitious, pees, and goes back to the bed.  I slept through the usual checking of email, eating of oatmeal, and applying for the new hot job postings which appeared. . . which I'm doing now.  Something about an overcast day just takes the wind out of my sails.  If you don't look at the clock, the light level indicates that sunrise hasn't happened yet and if the circadian clock inside is synchronized to a weekend sleep-in cycle, it's hard to get the motor running.  Sleep inertia.  The only consequence was that my day started much later and I had to prioritize some things.  I did make it to the gym for a good shoulder workout.  I did cook for myself . . . I boiled some fresh spinach with garlic and some beef fat, which tastes pretty good, and I grilled some chicken with some lemon and italian spices, which I also love. 

For some reason, despite having slept in, I fell asleep playing poker online.  I was down ten bucks anyway.  I usually make between 10 and 30 bucks an hour, but I kept getting checked into decent hands and then getting drawn out on by slightly better hands.  The worst leak in my game, which I have identified and plugged, is my laziness for calculating the odds for drawing hands versus my break even percentage.  If you do the math, it's more of an investment than a bet.  I stopped paying attention to the "zzzzzzz" comments in the chat window and actually taking the time to do the math.  I now practice doing the calculations for betting rounds after I've folded a hand, so they don't take as long when I'm in a hand.  I have most of the odds memorized now.  I know when I'm 48% to win a hand and when I'm 18% to win a hand.  If the pot is $100, I can call a $10 bet if I'm 18% to win, because 18% of the time I'll make 9 times the money.  That's a great investment, you just have to be mentally and financially prepared to lose it 4 out of 5 times.  If you are patient and smart, which I am both, you can wait for the right situations at a poker table and it is most certainly not gambling.  I would say it is less of a gamble than the stock market.  The best advice I got from Phil Gordon about playing selectively aggressive is to never just call pre-flop.  If your cards aren't good enough to raise, you should fold them.  I started raising five times the big blind when I don't want the people to my left to call and three times the big blind when I have a premium hand and want the loose players to call.  I raise ten times the big blind if my raises are not being respected.  That simple formula has put me in the top 10 chip stacks going into the final two tables a number of times.  My only problem is that these are $4 sit'n'go tourneys and I'm not making as much money as in the cash "no limit" games.  I've played in some larger cheap tournaments.  I know that I need to educate myself about how to play the final few tables in a big tournament.  Finishing 29th out of 10,000 feels good, but when you only make fifteen bucks for over three hours of work, it's kind of a downer.  I want those hundred and thousand dollar top prizes.  I'm learning this game fast.  I have a positive expectation when I play now.  That's a good feeling.  Am I a professional poker player yet?  If I pay off my mortgage, the answer will be yes.  So far, it's only paying for itself.


  1. Wanna learn how to win tournaments?  When you're online, use the search for player feature to look for Rizen.  Rizen is Eric Lynch from Olathe, whom you were sitting next to the other night at Performify's house.  Eric has made over 400k this year so far playing poker.  All but the 100k he won out at the WSOP has been from tournament wins.

    He has strong game and a lot of online players fear him.  The rest is sheer volume.  He seeks out the biggest tournaments online... and plays six of them at a time.

    I asked him how he got his bankroll.  The first time he built it up to 8000 playing mostly limit cash games.  He ended up cashing that out to pay for surgery for his wife.  The second time, he started with 500 and played NL cash games and SNG tournaments to build it up to 5000, then he managed to win 60,000 in a single tournament and hasn't looked back.

    By the way.. the games on Paradise Poker are nice and you can see Rizen playing there quite a bit.

  2. By the way, I've moved my training blog to AOL.  Livejournal is blocked at work and that's the only time I have to do my entries.

  3. It is less of a gamble than the stock market.  You can't calculate odds on the stock market.  How can you calculate odds that Martha Stewart would get caught for insider trading and that you should get out of the position?  Or calculate that the entire company of Worldcom is lying to the public?