Poker Blog of a Young Poker Guru

Not old enough to be legal, but old enough to be a gambler. The musings of your average everyday high school poker player/student.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Friday Night Poker.....Mess

My Friday night poker game was a mess...well, kind of. It was more...shitty, than expected, to say the least. Per the necessary (I said this on accident on the way home tonight and it kind of sounded good, so it's my new phrase), I'll digress to early Friday. I got out of school at 1:40. I went home, got all my stuff ready for my rugby game, and went to pick up my girlfriend. I left the house at 2:30. If you're a regular reader (rofl, all 4 posts), then you'll know that I'm having some home issues right now. My stepmother called me on my way to my girlfriend's school (she lives 30 minutes away) and asked where my game was and at what time. She informed me that she wasn't going to be there. This made me very happy, as she didn't know I was going to get Hillary and that she would be at my game. Enter rant:

My parents...are weird. Not as weird as my girlfriend's, but I'll save that for another post. When she's at my house, we can be in any room with the doors closed, lights off, they just seem to not care. However, if I'm going to Hillary's house or if we go anywhere when she's here, they give me 20 questions. They never check up on us at my house, so even if we were to have sex, why would I leave the house to go do it? They just have alot of problems, and one of those is realizing that I'm a senior and I'm going to be going to college soon. I know they don't "care about me" and are "worried I'm leaving." If you lived here, you'd understand that. Ever since I moved to Ohio from Louisiana in 7th grade, they've always been like this. I had a bedtime until 1 month into my senior year. I have to call EVERYTIME I go somewhere. It's extremely frustrating, and I hope if there's any parents out there that are reading this, don't do this to your kids. Coming from a kid, it just pisses them off. I can honestly say I've drank once in my life and I hated it. It was stupid, so I don't do it. I'm a rare breed, however. Most of my friends who have controlling parents do anything and everything to get out of the house and go drink and smoke pot. If you let your kids have fun, I promise they'll end up making the right decisions. Controlling parents lead to rebels, but hey, I'm just a kid, how could I know more than an adult.


End rant.

Anyways, we get to my game, I warm up, we win 52-0. I have a great game, having 7 assists and stealing 8 scrums, but I injured my thigh slightly in the first 5 minutes of the game after I kicked the ball and this kid ran right into my thigh. It's still a little tender, but I'll get over it. During my game, my friends kept calling my cell phone and Hillary kept answering it; they were trying to get all the details of the game straight. The game ran extra long, and I didn't get out of there until 7. It was roughly an hour drive, and poker was supposed to start at 8. So I'm driving home, and Hillary gets a phone call from her mother. Hillary forgot her cell phone in her gym bag at her house, so her mom had called my cell phone. Apparently there had been a wreck on the intersection of the 2 highways we had to deal with, and 2 people had died. Hillary's psycho-mom thought it was us and since she couldn't get a hold of Hillary, she was double-scared. It turns out Hillary's mom called my stepmom, who in turn found out that I had brought Hillary to the game. With them already pissed off at me, I thought this was the end of my free life until I go to college.

After dropping Hillary off, it took me another 30 minutes to get home. It was already 7:50, so I was definitely going to be late. Aaron called me while I was driving and informed me that 8 were already at the house, and there were 18 (?!?!?!?!) on their way. He told me I needed to bring another card table. Uber sweetness. I get home, don't bother to shower, grab a drink, make small talk with my parents to make sure I can do something, and inform them that I'm going to Jeremy's for the night. They're fine with it. I drive to Lindy's house who lives 2 minutes away from me, which is where the poker game is. Enter discussion: I can't tell them I'm going to Lindy's house, because she's a girl. They think that for some reason I'd go to another girl's house and have sex with her or my girlfriend, which involving the former would ruin my 17 happy months with my current girlfriend and involving the latter would suggest that I'm giving my stepmom free rights to call Hillary's mom to make sure she's still at the house. WHAT ARE MY PARENTS PROBLEM? End discussion. Then, the epitome of all poker games...drama.

When I pulled up to Lindy's house, I saw alot of people in the garage. When I got to the garage, however, there were only about 8 people seated at one table. There were 4 other tables setup, with a Playstation 2 hooked up playing episodes of Chapelle's Show. Aaron was passing out chips for people and Jeremy was writing down everyone's buy-in and collecting the money. Aaron had made a nice list of everyone that has ever played poker with us/is interested in playing with us, which had their name, number, and then a column for amount of buy-in and what time they were going to leave. Enter discussion: We've yet to establish the best way to do buy-outs in our home game. Most of us are trying to use the game as a means of income, especially me. I like to have fun, but the money is what I need at the moment. We've had an issue several times where a person would buy-out after they won a huge pot, which left the rest of us with very little left in the overall kitty to win later in the night. It's different than a casino where anyone can just jump in after someone makes a hit and run. We've been experimenting, and have come up with people say what time they absolutely have to leave, and when that time comes they can leave with that amount. However, if they leave earlier than that, they can only double their money. We argued about this for several minutes, until we finally decided that this was how it would be for the night and if things didn't work out, then we'd try something else next week. Aaron is probably always the biggest advocate of playing poker, getting the game going, etc. After everyone has all their chips, he goes inside. 6 people go sit at another table and get going. Ralston, his g/f, and I are all sitting at another table, and we're waiting. Turns out Aaron is inside cooling off as him and Ralston had been arguing all evening, so we were sitting there for 15 minutes not playing. We all joined the other table, and began playing.

I bought in with $20, but I borrowed $5 from a friend because all I had was $15 and there were several other people who had bought in with $20 and I didn't want to be left out of the loop. I sat to the left of a complete calling station. He's only played poker with us twice, but he's always shuffling a deck of cards in school and dealing himself poker hands, and he thinks he's really good. I watched him one time make a raise with 1/3 of his chips with 94o, and yet I knew he wasn't exactly bluffing. He just thought it was a good bet at the time.........He always turns over his cards with low pairs, expecting to win. He put in $20, so I was feeling very happy about being able to take his money. Sitting to my left was my best friend, but complete rock. When he bets, he has something. He knows he needs to open up his play more, but he doesn't care; he's there to have fun. So when he raises, I'm out of the hand unless I know I have the nuts, and when he bets on the river, I'm out, regardless. Overall, I wasn't too upset with the seat I had picked, and we ended up squeezing 10 people at one table. Aaron was a genius and decided to have the game outside, so that we got eaten alive by bugs and sweated due to the humidity. On top of all that, I had no ball room since we had to squeeze 10 people into the table, and I'm sure some of us guys know that when it's hot and we have no room for our package, we get feisty.

The night literally went horrible for me. I saw 33, 44, 55, 66, and 99 once a piece, the entire night. I saw KJo 4 times, and A10s once. These were, literally, the only hands I saw the entire night. And usually these got cracked. I had around $10 left when we finally moved the game inside. 3 people had already busted out, so all wasn't lost. I was just hoping to make it to late in the night when I could split. Once inside, the madness continued. I had 72s in the big blind, which was .50 at this point. There was a raise to 1.00, and there was no way I was going to call. I folded, and showed my hand to our dealer who was already out of the hand and said, that's a monster. The flop came deuce-deuce 10, rainbow. All I could do was laugh. Turn came a blank, and the river came a 7. There had been several people betting at this point, and it was roughly a $10 pot. The eventual winner had pocket 7's, and I kind of shrugged it off. Later on in the night, I had 49s UTG, and I had to fold that nonsense. Can you guess what came on the flop? If you guessed the nuts, you guess right. A full house, 499 rainbow. I wasn't on Full Tilt (Poker) at this point, but I was approaching. I had started playing every horrible hand I got, hoping for these monster flops I kept missing out on. This was horrible poker, and my bluffs quit meaning anything and I quit trying to read people, and my stack had gotten down to about $7. I picked up Q8o in small blind, and with no raises before, I raised to 2.00. I picked up 2 callers. Flop came Jxx. Checks around. Turn came a 10, checks around. River came a 9. I checked, only to see a bet, then a raise. I called the raise, and the bettor folded. The raiser had a straight, J to 7, and I turned over my Q high straight, and he was furious. My friend then called me a river rat, which was fine, as I deserved it. I got my stack up to about $20 after that pot.

We've had a sort of problem with people continuously busting out at our game. We had a pretty decent size pot, around $170, I think. One kid who hasn't won in probably 2 months picked up $60. Another guy who rarely plays with us but is really good friends with us picked up $15 after only buying in for $5. Lastly, Mike was probably the most deserved winner. He had one good hand which got him the most money. He raised the pot, got 2 callers, and the flop came Axx. The turn came another A. He bet, got called through again. The river came a blank, and he bet again and got called again. The others had turned over their hands before he did, one person show 2 pair, the other showing a full house, and the full house started raking in the pot until Mike showed bullets for four of a kind! Mike has been playing with us for several months now, and he finally got a $42 win. I'm really glad he stuck through it. He is nowhere near making up for the amount of money he's lost, but at least now he'll be more confident, and he's a really good guy.

Now, with 3 of us left, Ralston, Aaron, and I, we decided we'd play for awhile. Ralston was up somewhere around $30, and if he lost any money he would've been put on mega tilt. He played, got tired, and when he got around $20 and wasn't about to quit, I just proposed a 3-way split since I was already starting to get tired. Aaron mulled about it somewhat, then finally decided to. Ralston took his $20, which broke him even. Aaron and I both got $20.60. Aaron had put in $16, and I had put in $20, and any money to me is a win, but Aaron was all pissed off. His car just broke down, and he's living with Lindy at the moment, and he was pissing and moaning about how he's used to winning $70 and was bitching about the buy-out rule. I don't know what to do about it. The only thing I can think of is to start earlier once the summer starts or to start organizing tournaments. Nonetheless, I had fun, but it was still a frustrating night.

I guess I have many things to learn still. I have gotten over the fact that I'm going to lose/break even some nights. I can't win every night. I suppose I tend to go on tilt when I get shitty cards, then the community gives me the nuts. It's just double frustrating when I didn't get any power hands to play all night. Another thing I'm doing wrong is when I'm trying to buy a pot, I don't raise enough. I have chastised Ralston for doing this before, and I haven't listened to my own advice. One thing I'm glad I've been doing, however, is realizing how people react to my play. Usually when we're just starting and I've had a couple of callers with me to the river, and I'm pretty sure I have everyone beat but I still want them to stay in, I bet 1.50. If everyone folds, I will sometimes show my hand if I had 3 of a kind or top 2 pair or something of the like. This in turn, leads to alot of stolen pots. I can now bet 1.50 on the river, and people are beginning to think out loud, "He usually bets 1.50 when he wants people to stay in the pot with him, so I'm not sure I should call." This works unbelievably to my advantage. I wanted to experiment more with switching up my style of play, but I didn't get a chance to. I had to play tight all night or go on tilt, one of two. Overall, though, it was an awesome night.

If I'm ranting too much, let me know. If you like hearing all this, let me know. If you want to hear more about this kind of stuff let me know; I don't mind typing out my day. E-mail me at picktownrugby2@yahoo.com, PLEASE!

At the moment, I'm listening to Nena - 99 Luft Balloons.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Play Money Putting Me On Full Tilt

I wish play money mattered when considering in people's ability and skill at poker. However, it tends to not mean anything. I've been playing on Full Tilt Poker for almost 3 weeks now, and I've got to say I'm in love with it. Granted, it's still a beta, and I've raved about it before, but I just love playing on it. While playing on Party Poker, people would go all-in on every single hand and would bet anything and everything to the flop not only in real money, but also in play money. Hey, it's not real so I might as well, right? Well, things are different on FTP. I'm not always continuously getting sucked out. The people tend to be friendlier. One can finally being to test their wits on a play money interface. Still no word yet on the possibility of free rolls, but I am still hearing people speak about them. Who knows about that, but one thing I do know is that I'm very happy with FTP.

As luck would have it, most of my poker plans have officially been bailed on. Probably playing on friday night, but nothing Saturday and no tournament Sunday, and I STILL don't know if I'm skipping on Monday.

Such is life.

People, this is a techy blog! I plan on posting AT LEAST every other day, if not more. Most other bloggers have a job/or some other form of a life, but I'm a high schooler about to turn college kid, and there's always good poker content/amusement here, so let all of your friends know!

Boy Genius and his brother made a kick ass poker table. I plan on making one in the near future when my money woes go astray. Here's the link. Go all the way to the bottom of the page to find the actual article on it.

For those of you wondering, I will always have my opinions and things I would like to rant about, and I will because this is my blog, but I will never go on and on about politics, or will I carry on a feud between myself and someone else through my blog. I know there has been alot of strife between Iggy and StinkyPants, and I will stay true to my new friend and fellow peer and not post the link to his blog, nor will I acknowledge his blog anymore.

Enter rant/discussion:

I am against many of Bush's decisions/plan and also the people that he's surrounded himself with who are helping him make these decisions, but through and through I have to admit I'm glad we had Bush in office instead of Gore when 9/11 happened. Please, don't get pissed off, but I just really believe that Bush didn't put up with any of that shit. He declared war the first opportunity he got and went and kicked their asses. I believe Gore would've been much more patient, and he would've asked for help and all that. I'm an independent at heart, but if I had to pick a party I'd pick Democratic, simply because I agree with many more of their viewpoints than the Republicans.

My problem with Bush is everything else that is going on in our country. Forgive me if some of these arguments sound ignorant, and please explain to me what I'm saying is wrong. Gas prices have SKY ROCKETED. I'm not an analyst so I don't know if this is good or bad for the economy, but my Economics class taught me that inflation is bad, and if gas prices rising isn't bad for the economy then it sure does piss ALOT of people off, especially high schoolers.

He is also against gays, period. Not just gay marriage, but I'm sure if he had it his way he's ban gays from the US of A. My birth mother, of whom I am no longer in contact with due to my own personal reasons, turned lesbian after her 2nd failed marriage. I really enjoyed her company much more when she was with this woman, and she and I (her ex-partner) still keep in touch. My views on the gay community are probably not wanted here, so I'll leave them out, but I just can't see the big difference between a guy and a girl as opposed to a man and another man. It's the same thing, just 2 penises. I'm not real sure on Kerry's stance, but I'm pretty sure he's not anti-gay, just against gay marriage. Seriously, let's think about this from a financial standpoint. Married couples pay more taxes, I think...Regardless, they pay taxes, and if they can't marry in America, then they'll move to Canada where gay marriage IS legal.

Bush is anti-environment, and all for fucking up land for a piece of the pie. My father has been a member of Greenpeace since he was out of high school, and I've always been raised to respect nature and animals, so I do. I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I don't view pets as a punching bag when I'm frustrated and I never have. I have two dogs and a cat, and all 3 of them have made me smile when I've been through rough times. I also realize that nature can be a beautiful thing if one bothers to put all things aside and just look at a sunset, or to view a waterfall. If this qualifies me as a softie, then good. I just have no tolerance for people who litter and refuse to take the extra 5 seconds to walk to a trash can. They're put there for a reason. People who hunt for endangered species, and those closely approaching the list, are assholes. Actually, hunters in general are assholes. Well, let me rephrase. Hunters who use a pussified gun to kill other defenseless animals are assholes. I've never fired a gun (other than paintball) and have no desire ever to fire one. If hunters would kill these deer, pigs, and whatever other animals with their bare hands, I wouldn't harness such hatred to these people. But as it stands, I hope all these hunters die just like the animals they kill.


As for traffic school, I got that rescheduled to Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. If I can't come up with the $68 by playing poker this weekend, I'm just going to sell my Playstation 2 and borrow some money, hopefully. I hate borrowing money, especially after play poker, but my friends all agreed that it's probably best if I try to win money, which will probably happen, as opposed to borrowing it. That sounds like a good plan to me.

Sorry I don't have much poker content at the moment, I'm still new to this poker blog thing. That's it for now, though. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to e-mail me at picktownrugby2@yahoo, or IM me on either AIM at Buy Scoobysnacks or on Yahoo! IM.

At the moment, I'm listening to Bloodhound Gang - Boom!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

How Much Poker...

I'm not sure how much poker content will be in this post, as I don't get to play much poker during the week. However, I must say that somethings in my life are going great, and some are going horrible. I'll entertain you all with what little poker content I have at the moment, then I will go on a tangent, but I will let you know before I do so if you aren't interested in a high school teenagers life, you can go elsewhere.

I've been playing alot of poker on Full Tilt Poker. I really enjoy the interface, if not for a couple minor bugs, like not being able to figure out how to turn off the fucking sounds (wait, I just figured out how). It's still in beta testing, so that's why there are some bugs. I really like the colors. It's extremely easy on the eyes. I haven't taken the time to look and figure it out, but I've heard some rumors that the more you beta test the product, i.e. the more play money you get, when you sign up for your real money account you get so many points toward free rolls. This sounds like a helluva good deal, especially for those of us who can't play for real money! They let you play on more than one table, which is gassy. I still don't get Pacific, in that respect. They have NL and Limit tables, plus Omaha and Stud, but there are very rarely anybody on those tables. There are usually around 50 or so people in the Hold 'Em section. The coolest thing about FTP to me, however, is the ability to play with the pros. Every pro that endorses the product has a "Table" with a reserved spot for them. When the pro logs on, his name is in red as opposed to everyone else's in...either Navy Blue or Black, I can't tell the difference between the 2. Overall it's fun, with the exception of no SnG's yet, but it will be an awesome product in the next couple months.

I am really excited about this weekend. Poker, poker, girlfriend, and then some more poker!! I know I told you all about this last post, but I'm having that home game on Friday after my rugby game. I hope I don't get hurt, but I'm confident as we're playing the team that we beat 52-9 earlier in the year. That should be fun, then on Saturday I'm going to a poker tournament with my friend, and I also get to hang out with my girlfriend all day/night. That's the plan at least. Then, on Sunday, we're having the tournament. Our senior skip day kind of got re-scheduled due to some rumors about only accepting doctor's excuses or something, but nonetheless, we're having the $10 buy-in with a $10 add-on or re-buy. It should be a shitload of fun, and I'm expecting ALOT of people.

I know I play a little too loose in my home games, but it's my style. With so many people just limping in, I'll bump the pot up, not even necessarily trying to steal it, just to get money in the pot in case I flop a monster. I know this is against the poker religion in most cases, but I enjoy it. It's not like I play ever hand, but I tend to play alot of aces, low pairs, connectors. I'm not sure if I need to stop this habit, but I want to digress to a conversation I had with Iggy awhile back. I explained to him how I LOVE to play loose, always jamming the pot and playing MANY hands. He told me I need to stop that and start playing as tight as possible, and that I'm not going to be the next Phil Ivey. It took me a moment to understand this, but then he explained; Phil Ivey plays every single fucking hand. When he doesn't hit something, he can sometimes bluff like crazy. But he has mastered the art of reading people, which allows him to tell if he's beat/if he can bluff at the pot. I totally understood then what he was trying to explain to me. Everyone I've played with at my home game is nowhere near as skilled as I am at the game, simple because they only play the cards and practically refuse to introduce theory into their game. I don't discourage this, but I also try to explain that they need to start taking it more seriously. I mainly want them to do this because I want to get better, and I also want them to be more willing to put money into the pot. I'm not sure if I should continue to play so loose in order to make a real quick tip, or if I should start playing like I'm going to play once I get a bankroll going and start playing in more live games/online play. Part of me thinks I should do both, and be able to change gears. If anybody has any comments as to this, let me know.

Anybody know of a really good way to entice more people to come to a home game? LOL! We currently have around 12 regulars, but only 8-9 can show up on a given night. We desperately want 18-20+, but I am having a hard time convincing people that our game is worth their time. I've made flyers that I've passed out to my friends and adults that I know are interested in the game for our tournaments, but I still have a hard time getting people out. Could it have to do with my being underage/in high school? I just thought of that.

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After getting all excited about ALL the poker I am going to be playing this weekend, I have to come back to reality. This is the part of the post where I get really bitchy, pissy, and upset. So, if you don't feel like reading my rants, feel free to go elsewhere now, there's nothing left here for you.

I have a horrible tendency to forget/put things off when I think I have other things to do. I received a ticket for doing 40 in a 25 (should've been 20. It was a school zone but the officer cut me some slack). I should've had traffic school, but I came down with the flu the day of my first class, so I had to reschedule. My stepmom fucked everything up by putting my doctor's note in the wrong person's office. They lost my note, so I have to pay a $25 rescheduling fee that my stepmother refuses to pay for me. Not to mention, I'm supposed to serve my class time before June 1, and there's only one class left between now and then, and that's next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I've been trying to contact the traffic school clerk, but naturally she won't answer her phone. On top of all this, the school is about 30 minutes away, and I have one of the shittiest cards, i.e. broken muffler, oil leak, gas leak, and soft brakes. ON TOP OF THAT, I only have around $19 to my name.

I slacked off in school last six weeks, and I got 2 D's, 2 C's, and an A. My parents told me they would pay for my insurance on my shitty car if I maintained an A's and B's GPA. I was sick on the day they passed out report cards, so I never went and got mine. However, my stepmom decided she was going to be a bitch and call the school and find out my grades. She informed me that in the next couple of days I have to pay her $68. No big deal, aside from my not having a job and having an extreme case of shyness when it comes to going to stores and asking for applications/interviews with the managers, on top of my lack of will to go out and look for jobs by myself.

I have this Stafford Loan thing due to college soon. I haven't filled it out because I know nothing about the form, but my parents insist that it's my responsibility to get it filled out. Such if life. I'm also getting a little worried. I was banking on getting some scholarship money from my college from a video I did, but I guess I misinterpreted the requirements. You see, I'm planning on majoring in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, which is doing stuff like the Matrix and Kill Bill in the movies/tv media. I did a hack and scratch video, which was basically just a bunch of random clips that had nothing to do with each other, all jumbled into one. The cool thing about it was that every single camera change or hit matched exactly with the music I had playing (Outkast - Hey Ya! and Counterstrike Theme Song - Techno Overdub Remix). I got a letter saying I got nothing, which got me to thinking...If I received no money doing that, then is what I see myself doing different than what AIP sees me doing.

Going to college also involves me leaving my girlfriend of 17 months for longer than I ever have before. We're more than attached, to the point where if we can stand this whole college thing and when she finally goes and gets out, we are talking about marriage. Pittsburgh is roughly 3 1/2 hours from Columbus, which is rough. She lives 30 minutes away from me right now as it is, so maybe it won't be as hard as I think. I also have been thinking...I'm going to invest all this money into college, and what if I don't like it. I mean, it's not my forte (pronounced phort, forte is an Italian music term, look it up). I do computers. That's what I basically am good at. I'm not good enough at poker and won't be in the near future to the point where I can play it for a living. I can fix any computer problem in town though. There hasn't been something that I haven't been able to fix or haven't been able to figure out how to fix. However, I also don't want to go to a technical college where I'll spend 4 years getting just an Associate's Degree. I've thought about starting my own business when I get older, but that would probably require me getting some kind of an MBA and a loan. The bottom line is, I'm not real sure what I want to do now, and I'm not real sure I've made the correct decisions up to this point. I've always been a believe that what happens happens. Nothing was meant to be, and never will be. I wasn't meant to become an amateur poker player which has bought me out of some jams and kept me from having to get a job. I just stumbled upon it by chance and found out I was good at it. So what?

That's it for now. Sorry if I rambled on a little bit too long, but I got some stuff off my chest, and I feel much better about things. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, e-mail me at picktownrugby2@yahoo.com.

At the moment, I'm listening to Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up!

Monday, May 10, 2004

School...Bored...

All I ever daydream about these days is my girlfriend...and poker. I'm sure she'll be real happy to hear that, but that's life. I'm sitting here in my third period Literature IV class, while also writing snippets in my Advanced Cable Broadcasting class, and yet some more at home, all while being bored out of my mind, but thinking about all the scheduled poker I have this weekend, and how I made ammends with my friend. You might recall me being concerned about our friendship as he got knocked out on a very bad beat. To recall the story in a somewhat abridged way...

Ralston had been losing ever since I had joined his home game. He finally was up, somewhere around $40 worth of chips, and was excited because he was finally about to pull down his first big win in a long time, and he needed it. He was on his last $20 that his mom had lent him for gas money. He was with another friend and I, so the next person to get knocked out probably wouldn't finish with any money at all. He went all-in with A6, and Aaron had A10. Flop came Ax6, and Jeremy was as happy as could be. Turn came a blank, and the river came a 10. Ralston was so frustrated at this point that he got up from the table, didn't shake anyone's hand, didn't go say goodnight to his girlfriend who was sleeping upstairs, and most importantly didn't join us for the after hours Waffle House goings-on that he had so diligently planned earlier that evening.
I had felt bad, in a way, because all Aaron was doing was laughing at Ralston's extreme misfortune, once again, and at the fact that Ralston had lost self-control, once again. I couldn't help but smile at Aaron's nagging, but it didn't seem to phase Ralston, so I started to laugh because I thought he was going to take it like a champion and be back at it the next week. However, he got up and left and I thought he was not only mad at me, but also mad at Aaron. So I saw Ralston today at school and he seemed generally happy. I asked if he was pissed off with me, but he wasn't in the least. He said he was just so angry at himself for losing focus. He has worked extremely hard to maintain focus during the beginning and mid portions of the night, but once 4 a.m. rolls around, he's ready for bed. When gas money's on the line, you just can't have that mentality. He is also beginning to have relationship problems with his girlfriend of 4 years. He's about to go to college and things are starting to get rocky for him. Ralston: I wish you the best of luck with all your endeavors, my friend. I'll be there for you whenever you need me. Needless to say, after Ralston left, Aaron and I weren't in much of a mood to finish a winner-takes-all-heads-up match, so we split the pot, which ended up being $63 a piece because one person left early with a $10 cash-out.

Onto some more cheery matters ----- 14 days of school left (13 if you count senior skip day) and do you know what comes when Summer hits? Poker, every single day. I've found alot of home games to attend, and alot of people who are interested in getting in some of my games. ----- My girlfriend and I will have been going for 17 months on Thursday. Each day that passes by makes me fall in love with her that much more. ----- School is going much better for me this 6 weeks. I dicked around a whole lot last semester, not giving a shit about anything. This 6 weeks, however, I have to take much more seriously because if I skip ONE class or fail to turn in ONE assignment, I have to take EVERY exam. If I am a good kid, though, I don't have to take any exams, and that's 3 free days for poker. ----- I'm taking my step-mother to dinner tonight because I didn't want to get her anything for Mother's Day to begin with, but my dad made me. We'll probably go to Pizzeria Uno, as it's one of my favorite sit down restaurants. ----- I have 2 more league games left for rugby. I'm captain of the Pickerington Marauders, and we're doing real well this season. We placed 15th in the Midwest tournament out of 133 teams, and we're 8-6 for the season, the first time we've had a winning record going into the home stretch of the season. I'm really proud of our team, so if you live in the Columbus area, you should come check out some of my games.

Enter rant: "I find this sort of enjoyable; people have actually come up to me in the hallways and said "Hey, aren't you the really good poker player?" At this, I always digress and pick a different topic. If I believed I was really that good, then I'd bask in this new found popularity, but the thing is, I haven't played against that high caliber talent yet, and I certainly don't believe I'm ready. I think this is a lesson to be learned for alot of people. Don't let things get to your head. For instance, I know that I'm better at fixing computers than reading my opponents in poker, so when there's an opportunity to fix computers rather than going to play poker, I do the former. I think people tend to believe they're a "god" at something as soon as they hear one person say how 'good' they are. There was a senior in my high school who was the biggest jock ever. He got drunk every night (yes, every night), has fucked many girls in the school, and yet still had everything going for him. He was a decent running back, but an unbelieveable kicker. He played soccer when he was young and played baseball until his junior year when he quit because things got to hard for him. As his 2nd semester approached, Ohio State began to scout him to be the starting punter. He turned 18, graduated early, and started playing for Ohio State in the spring to get warmed up for the big season. Every person that he's ever been around has projected him to be this behemoth of a human being. He just got arrested the other night for underage consumption and possesion, though I think a couple of the charges were dropped. My whole point to this story is such: Don't take things for granted. Just because a few people who are "close" to you and who want a piece of the pie tell you how big of a star you're going to become doesn't mean that's what you were meant to be. I think this happens alot in poker. People have one really good session, then they believe they were meant to play in the NL games in Vegas with the $10,000 buy-in's, and then they lost their entire bankroll. Stick with what's tried and true, and then build up experience slowly but surely. The games will still be there." End rant.

After talking with several people, I've begun to understand that beating the people in my home game is not so bad. I also believe that their time will come as well. It may or may not be against me, but it will come. I can't feel bad for beating them; they're gamblers, just as I am. They put their money up for grabs, and whoever comes out on top will end up winning it. I am just worried about friendships being ruined. Then I think some more, and I tie in my rugby team more and more with poker and friendships. During rugby games, everyone is an enemy. If somebody gets in my way, I stomp on their head and I run right through them. After the game, though, if somebody laid me out or was an exceptional scorer, I will walk over to that person and carry on a conversation with him. Of course, there are some players I hold grudges against, but I have begun to tie this into poker. Everyone who is playing is there to win money in poker games, just like everyone is trying to score and win the game during rugby. We are also playing to have fun, but everyone has alot more fun when they win. During the poker game, somethings are probably said that shouldn't be, but after the poker game it's almost as if they're forgotten. I usually don't remember anything anybody says after the game because I'm too focused on what's going on during the game. I suppose another moral I've learned is that I need to separate real life with poker life, while tieing the 2's everyday morals together. This has definitely helped me mature in a very short time.

I'm probably going to have a $15 buy-in home game on Friday. Our prom is on Saturday, which means most of my friends won't be able to join any games I put on/attend, but I have one friend who enjoys going to the Ohio Charity Gaming place, so we'll probably go there for the 2 p.m. tournament. I'm going to try and get a little bank roll and hit the $2-$4 game for a couple hours. On Sunday, I hope to find a game somewhere, but nothing is showing so far. And then on Monday, we're having our Senior Skip Day, and what better to celebrate 9 days of school left with a little poker. I'm scheduling a tournament, $10 buy-in with a $10 Add-on OR a $10 re-buy. My friends tend to like this setup, with everyone getting the same amount of chips. Blinds will raise every 45 minutes, to make sure the game doesn't go on for forever. Should be a large prize pool. Pending what amount we get, 3rd will probably get 10%, 2nd will get 25% and 1st will get 65%. Everyone seems to like this setup, so that's probably what it will be.

Enter rant/discussion. "Many people claim that I'm obsessed with Poker. Just yesterday, on the news was a story about how high school seniors are going to college and flunking out because all they do is play poker. First of all, I don't see this as being worse than becoming obsessed with drugs, or getting drunk every weekend. Parents should be happy their kids are playing poker. While it's still an obsession and if it gets too gluttonnous, then that's bad, but the fact still remains that poker is no game like "Tic-Tac-Toe." Poker, should one choose to play this way, involves much more mathematics, psychology, and social aspects than any college will ever be able to teach. Taking a final which determines whether you pass for the semester is no where near as exhausting as competeing in a heads up freeze out for a $2.5 million prize over a 5 day period. Parents just don't want to bother and try to understand because they are afraid of the truth; that it's actually better than what their kids COULD be doing. I know I can quit whenever I need to, because I have. When I don't have the money, I don't play. When I don't have enough money for some limits, I don't play that limit. I've never been late to an appointment, and I've never ditched family or friends for poker. My girlfriend has never once complained about me playing poker. However, my parents think I'm obsessed because they don't take the time to ask me questions about poker. My teachers don't know that a full house beats a flush, and all my peers who have never played a game of cards other than "Bullshit!" and "Egyptian Rat Screw" can all just piss off because they have no fucking clue. If I need to quit, I will, plain and simple. I'm in love with the game. I don't walk up to the starting basketball player who works out 6 times a week because I'm glad that he's doing something that he enjoys. I could give a shit whether he's obsessed with the game and that's all he thinks about. People need to realize that EVERYONE is obsessed with something in one form or another, and just because their views on something differ from mine doesn't give them the right to force them upon me." End rant/discussion.

That's it for now. I only got 4 hours of sleep last night, so I have some catching up to do. I'm not sure if these posts leave my e-mail, so just in case it doesn't hit me up at picktownrugby2@yahoo.com.

At the moment, I'm listening to Lil Zane feat. 112 - Callin' Me.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Beginning again...For a long time coming!

Well, you all might remember me from my original TWO posts, but this time I'm back for awhile, I promise. I suppose that last time I never got into posting because I can't play all the time like most people can play online, but I can still post about my weekly home games and how my poker skills progress throughout the week. I also hope to amuse people with rants and how immature high school/soon to be college life can be, so please stay tuned so you can get your laughs in for the day.

First of all, Iggy deserves mad props. He not only is the poker blogging pimp, but is also a good, all around person. He helps out the poker community immensely by finding obscure poker news and posting it on his site. He also helps out people, not by explaining what they should do with each hand in what position, but rather by explaining overall philosophy and strategy. I have only spoken to him several times, but everytime I do, I learn something new. The first time I talked to him I learned that Phil Helmuth's new book, Play Poker Like The Pro's should be thrown in the trash, and David Sklansky's book Theory of Poker is a must-buy, read, and re-read twenty times. I have also explained to him my strategies, and he has assessed them just through our talking and I have learned MANY things which have helped in improving my game. So, to Iggy, I thank you immensely and when I turn big, I won't forget you, as you have been my first real mentor on poker.

Possibly the biggest lesson I've learned from Iggy is the value of going "all-in." The first book I ever bought was Doyle Brunson's Super System, which I read rather religiously (at least the No Limit section) for a month or so. He always spoke about going all-in and hammering pots, but once I got into my home game I could never bring myself to say the words. He explained to me that this was very wrong, and that going all-in is one of the biggest threats we have that many amateurs don't realize they have. I have begun to implement this in my game, and it's made me a stronger player by far. When I have the nuts and am in the process of check-raising, I go all-in now. When I have a sub-par hand but pick up an excellent read on a player, I hammer the pot, putting them all-in and putting them on a decision. I usually pick up a lot of pots throughout the night, so if I face a failed all-in, I'm definitely still in the hunt.

At the moment, I have no job, and I rely on the weekly $60 or so income of the weekly poker game for gas money to see my girlfriend who lives 30 minutes away. I'm planning on getting a job soon though, because a) I have to pay for college, b) I have to pay for shit that goes wrong with my car and possibly insurance soon due to my decline in grades, c) I have to pay for my girlfriend...Enter rant: I don't mind paying for my girlfriend. Usually, when I get money I spend it on her. Sometimes I'm left looking for spare change, but it's one of those things that I really enjoy doing. I've never loved a woman so much before in my short life, and right now, after 17 months I'm not looking for anything new, nor will I be in the near future. Most of my friends don't understand how I can just spend what little money I have on her, but they don't understand that I really think I'm in love, as this is the first girl to ever show me love and affection and to be happy with what decisions I choose to make, whether they be ones she doesn't like, as long as I'm happy, she's happy. Which makes me playing poker very, very nice. End rant., d) I have to pay for poker.

There is a poker house in Columbus called Ohio Charity Gaming which hosts poker tournaments every weekend, plus limit games afterwards. The actual event is hosted by Louis Asmo, who you might recognize from his multiple WSOP money finishes or that he may be the man who was in trouble with the law regarding his false charity poker events run out of Cleveland, but regardless, it's poker, and I'm there. The tournaments are EXTREME crapshoots. You pay $20 entry, and get 40 chips. You can pay your $20 add-on/rebuy right then and there, and get 80 in chips, or you can just wait until you're knocked out and get a rebuy, but you only get one of the 2. The blinds are raised every 15 minutes, and tricks are impossible until the final table! You have to survive all-in and get hit in the face with the deck in order to win it, but the prize is nice for an hour and a half or actual game play. The last Sunday tournament I was at (with considerably less people) gave a $665 first prize to first place. After the tournament is over, they start hosting limit games, usually $2-$4 and $3-$6. I want to save money for these games, but I know that's a month's worth of work to have the bankroll to play there once and be able to survive a big downswing. Thus, I shall wait it out and play in my home games.

Speaking of home games, Poker Meetup is an awesome place to find home games in your city. There are 634 registered cities across the United States. I've already found 2 home games in Columbus that I've attended, so it's a pretty good site to find new people to play poker with.

Enter discussion:I think sometimes my home game can get pretty frustrating. I play with a general group of around 5 to 6 players every weekend, and we introduce new players every 2 weeks or so. We've grown to a usual 9 people a night, with around a $100 pot at the end of the night. There have been few nights where I haven't finished with money in my pocket, and when I lost I stormed out of the room and went and layed down and sulked. I've learned to take my losses in stride, though, and am glad I have learned that lesson. However, now that I've stepped my game up a level against the fishies at my game, I'm consistently winning (splitting with one of my friends because we're usually the last 2). This is a very good game and a good source of income for an up and comer, but I'm not sure how healthy it is. I'm afraid relationships will be lost, bad blood will boil, and people will begin to quit playing poker due to losing so much. All at the same time, I'm a gambler, and more importantly, I'm a winner. I know that once I go to college I won't have a relationship with most of these people. I also know that I need the money, and if they thought they didn't have a chance to win, they wouldn't play. However, they still do play, and they still keep losing. There have been some times where I've put people on tilt and not felt bad. Is this healthy? Should I not be playing every weekend? Should I find a different home game? End discussion.

The home game I organize but don't host usually ends up being a fun night for all. I want to discuss how it works for us, so perhaps you can implement it into your home game and hopefully it works as well as ours does. It's played at one of our regulars house or his girlfriend's house (who also plays). There is enough room for as many people as we know are going to show up, with the maximum number we've ever had being 13. We have 2 poker tables and a 500 11.5 gram aluminum chip set, Vegas Style, and a 300 8 gram clay chip set, which makes enough chips for everyone to be happy with. We let everyone buy in for however much they like, providing it's a reasonable number. The most popular buy in amount is $15, but lately people have jumped up to $20, which suits me fine. People have bought in with as much as $2 before, and turned it into $30, so I say if they want to buy in for a little bit and turn it into a massive profit, that's more profit to them and shows skill in the game. That rarely happens though. People usually sit wherever they'd like, but if we are doing a tournament style game then I'll draw for seats. We usually play .25-.50 antes all night until the entire group (whoever's left in the game) decides to raise the antes. I usually play dealer the whole time (at the group's discretion), but sometimes we pass the deal. The biggest problem with our game has been the buy outs, but we believe we've solved the problem. Basically, it's not a casino. When you win a big pot at our home game, it's not fair to the rest of the people to just leave with all those chips and the money and leave the rest of the hard working high schoolers left out of the money. If somebody absolutely has to leave at a certain time, they designate when that time is, and when that time comes around, they can leave with whatever amount of money in chips that they have. If they win a big pot and sit on their chips until it's time to leave, then that's fine, but they can't just leave. This is to prevent people from "all of a sudden" having something to do. However, if they absolutely have to leave before designated a time, then they can only leave with double of what they bought in with, then the remaining chips are then distributed evenly among all the remaining players. This is a house rule and we always make sure the new players understand and agree to this rule. Just a couple of thoughts as to a home game style that you might enjoy.

I'll start posting details on my play and my home games tomorrow, but right now it's almost midnight and I have a 7:30 Astronomy class. I only have 15 days of school left (14 if you count senior skip day), so all is good at least in that respect. I start college on July 12, ugh.

At the moment, I'm listening to Hilary Duff - Come Clean.