Posts Tagged ‘High Stakes Poker’

I have a wonderful river tell I now watch for in certain spots.

It applies to average to slightly-above average players, and how to respond to a big decision they put you to on the river.  It relates to mannerisms and behavior.

I’ve looked for it 4-5 times over the past year, and picked off 4-5 big river bluffs in the process.

I’ve never read about it, at least not specifically, in any poker book, and I’ve read my share.

It is so completely great that I am not ever going to share what it is here.  And nobody is even reading this!


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Every time I am forced to deal with some company-related bullshit (something that pretty much defines my existence these days) I can’t help but rue the fact that I should be sleeping.   Because, as the thought process goes, I should be resting and recovering  from yet another monster session at Lucky Chances the night before (free of any stress, losses, bad beats, or other unpleasantness, of course).

And this would certainly beat trying to mollify vendors who we are past due with, or squeeze retailers who are past due with us, or absorb lectures from people who have no clue about our business.   Or deal with the justified  frustration of my wife, who can’t understand how a fairly intelligent and capable guy is not making money.

I imagine that Tommy, however, would caution that those who are overly desperate to play are really not in a good frame of mind to play.  I suppose he’d suggest that I would be at my best if I really didn’t care one way or the other.


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Some random thoughts and events since my last post for my legions of followers:

My Q1 run of play was certainly positive.  Unfortunately, all the MASSIVE profits quickly went toward bills and expenses, extinguishing my temporary roll.  I think I know this song.

I’ve played only one session in the last couple of months.  Was in Vegas for a trade show a few weeks ago, and scrounged enough money together for a 2/5 no limit session at Bellagio.  For what its worth: ‘scrounged’ is an excellent word choice here.  I remain undefeated in this particular game over the years, which, no matter how incredibly awesome a player I am, is a statistical improbability. It helped that when down to my last few hundred I flopped quad 8s, and got matched up against Aces full AND a guy intent on calling everybody no matter what.  Another statistical improbability.

Speaking of statistical improbabilities: why is it that while I played high stakes all of the statistical improbabilities I encountered seemed to benefit my opponents?

My wife suggests that we find a way to get me playing more.  Assuming I do, will I be able to cope with this kind of pressure?




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Not playing now, and when I stopped playing a few weeks ago I was farting around with a short stack and no bankroll in relatively low stakes, my mind in 20 other places.

Which is a bit of a change from playing 20-30 hours a week of high stakes just a few years ago.

And, at some point a few years ago, I thought I was committed to really transitioning into “professional” play.  I worked on the ABCs, I worked on my mindset.  I had a bit of money behind.  I was ready.  Somehow it didn’t happen.

And I realize that this same scenario describes any number of key “career” moments in my life.  I worked for a foreign government tourist office and made contacts throughout the industry–an industry I really like–but decided to go off to grad school to do something completely different.  I came back from grad school–a name school–and worked my way into an investment bank.  On the verge of a promotion and the opportunity to really learn something and build a career, I left to start a random company with no real model.  I’ve started or worked at three random start up companies, and each time the opportunity presented itself to take some chances and work and take things to the next level, and I never really did.

I’m trying to figure out why.  I do love my leisure time and freedom, but I don’t think its laziness, I’ve been known to put a lot of sweat into various projects when motivated.  I’m wondering if my behavior has something to do with not wanting to be on some kind of ladder, corporate or otherwise, where you climb and climb and eventually hit some random point…and then you are that much closer to being old and dead.

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Watching the new season of High Stakes poker, great stuff, as usual.  Gabe Kaplan is the best, but the banter between he and AJ is missed, Kaplan is far better with the neophyte partner, and the genuine rancor between them was excellent.

Taking nothing away from Tom Dwan’s talent, its staggering how many free turns and rivers he gets to see, free cards received, obviously, because people are so afraid of what he might do.  Hard to bet into Durrrr with one pair.

What can one do?  Be as good as he is, I suppose.  And be a billionaire.

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