The Ides of March - How to Be Breakeven
I had my latest poker career session this Wednesay. It was a lot of fun. I think the reasons I play poker now can be boiled down to three items.
I am really a fairly sociable guy but I need to be in situations where I can be social in order to talk to people. I have worked with people for over a year and not spoken a word to them.. and then something opens open a conversation and all of a sudden I will not shut up. At the poker table everyone at the table has something in common -- they are all poker pros. So you have something to chat about.
I enjoy the mental aspects of poker. Now I will NEVER be they guy who calculates his chips vs pot equity and folds because it's the 1% edge thing to do. I am just not that into the maths. I have a good basic fundamental basis in poker math.. but I play a MUCH MORE read oriented game. It is fun to let my mind roam and figure out what people have and how I can exploit them. Knowing what my image is.. and manipulating people into paying me off.
Show Me The Money
This is the least of the reasons I play. I have a decent job.. and while a lot of my money goes to my kids (ya ya some day it will be Free Waffles), It is kind of nice to get a little extra. Right now my rate at poker is around $25/hr.. and that is with very little evidence that that will be maintainable.. It really does not excite me that much to be making advanced McDonalds mobney. The cheapskate in me loves the cash though. Also I LOVE winning beyond all things in this world... so there is that.
Remember the old days when we wrote real poker blogs? We would report on all the people at the table. I am not bringing that back.. but here is a slight blast from the past.
Seat 2 - The Poker Pro.
This guy played poker every day. I immediately recognized him as a regular. I think it is important to know who your against.. and I kind of weaseled it out of him as we talked. He was a solid player. He had one bad point in that he ALWAYS sort of complained about peoples play.. but then he would take it back "Oh I did not mean any offense.. I was just commenting on the hand.. good hand".
Seat 3 - Gung Ho
This was your normal craisian but he was not a bad, crazy, aggressive player. He was very solid too. His craisian side came out in his banter.. He was non-stop talking. He was a regular too. He cracked me up a lot and we chatted and became buddies at the tables.
Seat 4 - Waffles
Seat 5 -The Super Star
This was the classic guy who thought a hell of a lot more of himself than he deserved. He was your classic glasses wearing tough guy at the table. He sits down next to me and first words out of his mouth "Oh I play 2/5 usually.. I am just slumming with you guys while I wait for my tourney".. I knew he would be fun to play. I have more to say about him later but he pretty much donked off.
Seat 6 - Kojack Maguire
Just a friendly bald guy who played the stock market. He was fun to play with also. He had recently bought stock in the company the guy who died in the car crash was from. The stock had skyrocketed.. not sure if it's going to plunge now.
Seat 7 - The Bookie
This guy was fun too.. he was telling all sorts of stories about naked chicks which I liked. Apparently back in the day in New York him and his brother ran a bookie business. Pretty fascinating stuff. He reminded me of Dr. Pauly (Only because he was from NY) and Don Wade. We had so many good times at the Red Rock driving the people betting the favorites crazy!!
These were the major guys I socialized with on my side of the table. We immediately setup a code system for if we had the High Hand. Basically the high hand promotion going on is Boat or better, have to use both cards in your hands, every 20 minutes the highest hand in that 20 minute period wins $600 for the entire month of March. Also there HAS to be $20 in the pot.. You can not verbally communicate that you are on the high hand either. So we whispered "I will kick you under the table".. I would not have a problem helping someone get the needed twenty in the pot.
My table was pretty tame initially. I started off the game playing solid, tight. My strategy is to buy in for $100, and see what I can do. I bring $300.. and allow myself to lose all three buyins. I think I could maybe make more if I bought in for more, but I am not all that interested in going home after 5 minutes on a bad beat.
I stayed between $100 and $150 for a long time. Had a few close shots at the high hand but nothing really fell for me there. We got a really hot Asian dealer. Gung Ho was teasing her. It was obvious they knew each other. Somehow he got on about how she smelled.. and she was like "Well I took a shower".. and the whole table got wood.
She actually kind of fumbled the deck once and said "I don't know whats wrong I must be nervous".. so without missing a beat I put on a classic Waffles move and said "Hey, don't worry, I have that effect on women.".. We then had a bonding laugh together.. and I would have slept with her but HEY I am here for business people!
My only really big hand of the day came against the Super Star. He donked off a few chips with a top pair vs some nutty two pair hand. So we were pretty even at around $125 each. I look down to see the dreaded Aces. I raise to $7. He re-raises to $21. The rest of the table falls. So I say "ALL IN". I do not look at him at all. He calls. We flip and he is behind with Kangs. Flop is a nice rainbow, and the river did not fuck me. So I double up to $250. I would stay around there for the rest of the night ending at around $111.
All in all I think I played pretty well. I called a few hands for a bit too much when they had high hand potential.. and folded a few hands I maybe should have stayed in on.. I also paid one guy of with trips vs a T7 straight that I sort of allowed him to get... Was a small pot though.. I probably should have folded to his $21 river shove.. but it was marginal.
So according to the rules I play again next week. I am currently $25 in the red for poker.. but since I started at -$300 I think this is okay. My friend is having a friendly game tonight I am going to. I am on the fence if I should count it as poker winnings.. I probably will.. but these games are not really what I want to track.. I may keep a separate sheet for SNG/Tourney/Home Games just for the hell of it. My routine is working decently though.. Grab $300, go up to Rhode Island for work, Wednesday nights hit Mohegan, then when I get back pay my child support with the original $300 and any profits.. either that or buy groceries, or anything else I can spend cash on.