We now return to…

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When I was in high school, my senior English teacher told me my life was a soap opera. And you know, for an 18 year old who was in the midst of such HUGE life altering decisions such as who to go to the prom with (screwed that one up), where to go to college (picked ok, should have just…oh…worked harder once I got there), and what to do on the weekend (drive. smoke. club. Denny’s at 2am.), this was funny to me. Completely accurate, but funny. What’s not quite so funny is that in the ten years since then I have thought numerous times that it still is. I’m not sure why this applies to my poker game, but I feel like it does, because I haven’t had that thought in a long time, but tonight, it returned, and I feel poker is to blame. I guess because I’m facing my bankroll at a sad little level…lowest ever I do believe, I mean, since I really started caring about it. There’s more to it to – but it’s personal (but yet, still related to poker), and it’s not that I’m not willing to share (anyone who knows me will tell you I am plenty open), but it’s a freakin’ novel to give you the full backstory. (And I’m no Pauly). Hopefully it is sufficent to say that a lot of that soap operaness of recent years had to do with me not putting myself first in a friendship I had…despite many mornings, at oh, 9:30ish, declaring never again would I allow myself to be treated in such a manner…but as my assistant/best friend can attest to, by about 3:30, that had all gone to hell. And as we know as poker players, patterns are hard to break.

Anyway…let me try and write this before I toss my laptop off the balcony. Now it has added the inability to charge to the whole overheating and shutting down randomly thing. I suppose I should just take it in to the shop before something really horrible happens that forces the issue.

Tonight was a night of swings. Like the kind of swings you see in those TV shows where the kid goes flying off into the horizon and the stupid parents get that “uh oh” look on their face? Yep – that was me. And just at one table! I finished down $20 – not a lot, I know. I mean really, compared to Sir (my poor Sir) I have nothing to complain about really. But at the same time…I am so close to being right there with you babe. And as much as I love ya – I don’t really wanna!

I know swings happen…it was the way these came that affected me really. I was doing OK…taking small pots here and there, haven’t played a lot of hands, and then find As Qc. I limp in, flop comes 4d Ac 9s. I’m 3s, I bet .50. 4s folds, 5s raises to $2.75. Everyone else folds. I figure he’s paired the Ace, but I know my kicker is good. If he had Ace King, he would have raised. I call. Turn is 2d. I bet $5, he calls. River is 6d. He’s got $5.45 left in front of him…I bet exactly that. He calls. He’s got? A8…diamonds. So yea…my read was right, but it just cost me about $13.50 – half my stack.

A few hands later I get As Qs, pair the Q on the flop, and take in a net $5.95 pot. Build up continues with As Qh, flop of Th Kh 7d – bet is $1.35, and I call (remember your poll BSN? ;)). Turn is 7c. Check all around. River is Js, bet is $1, I raise to $3, and get a call. My straight beats his two pair, I win a net $7.2o (had to type it that way :))

So, ok…at this point my stack is at nearly $27, which would be a small profit for the night, but hey, it’s a profit, and after that beat down earlier…and it gets better, cause the deck is just hitting me in the face. The next few hands are AK, TT, AK. But do I win? No. It’s like the Poker Gods are saying, “That money you have there? Yea…don’t get used to it.”

I get Kh Ah…hell, apparently I limped, so I guess I deserved this. Flop is Tc Ks As. I bet $1.50, get 3 callers. Turn is 8s. Checkity check check. River is 5c. Bet of $3 to me, I call. Raise to $6. One out, first better calls, I call. Raiser has Jh Qs, better has Kc Th. Least I had one of them beat… [OK…why do we write these blogs? Partly to analyze our play. Mistake one – getting cute with AK. I suppose not really a mistake, just like getting cute with AA, it can be profitable at times – we’ll get to that in a moment. Mistake two – Two spades on the flop though, plus the straight “draw” (not knowing it was made for someone) – should have bet HARD. Probably wouldn’t have chased him off then, but if you had bet the turn….]

Very next hand, pocket tens. I limp in middle position, hoping for someone to raise…nope. Flop comes 9s 4c Kd. It’s bet $1.50 – I’m the only caller. Turn is a Th, and it’s checked to me. I bet $2.50, and my opponent re-raises all-in for $2.75. I call. River is 6c. He’s got Js Qc, giving him the King-high straight. But…that was my ten…

See…this is it…what I should explain is – my first winning session in a long time was the other night, where I doubled up my buyin in one hand (pocket 10s) by limping in, and made a set, and then a boat, and since I had limped, my opponent never knew what I had.

It’s like everytime I hit a great hand, and finally feel back on track, something comes along a few minutes later to take it away. And it always seems to be the exact same copy of the hand that brought on the high earlier. It’s like I’m getting karma for some wrong I committed, but yet – I don’t know what I did! I mean, for God’s sake, my dog just died! Give me a break!

I could then go on and tell you about the Ace-high flush I flopped, and played fairly well (I was a good girl and checked the flop Sir, but I did get greedy and raise the turn…:(), only to lose more than I won on that hand to the exact same guy two hands later to his Ace-high flush.

I played pocket 4s in a $1 tournament tonight…something I would normally never do. Hell, I even called a raise with them. The flop came 6d 8d Kd – mine were black. It was bet T180, I raised to T360, and he called. Turn was Ac. I bet 525 to put my opponent all in, and he’s got 9d As – oops. River was 4h. I felt bad, I really did. I couldn’t decide – was that horrible poker, or masterful agression in the early stages of a tournament?

I didn’t last long in this one – big slick again, Kh As. Blinds at 15/30, a pre-flop raise to 60 (someone’s crying!!) and 3 callers, myself included. Flop is 4s Kd 5s. I bet 75, two fold, the pre-flop raiser raises to 495. I call. Turn is 2h I bet 500. He goes all in for 1720. I call. River is 2d.
He had Aces. I confess, I never really put him on a hand…but with that little raise, it sure as hell never crossed my mind that he had Aces. Never even crossed my mind that he had a set of Kings even. That one I figure to be immediate karma from the 4s, and pretty much deserved.

I can’t really decide if I just suck, or if I’ve done something to incur the wrath of The Powers That Be. (Too much watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer – and if you get that refrence, you too). I guess that’s where the soap opera thing comes in…because I’m seriously at a loss. It hit me the other day, it’s not fun to play anymore. I know one reason for that…but I can’t do anything about that (see first paragraph :)). But the main reason is, I’m losing! And that’s no fun! And it’s not even the slow drip of the bankroll, it’s that I can do better, and know better, but apparently haven’t been? I guess, that I have been suffering from quite a bit of lack of focus.

Sigh…thanks for listening to me whine. Feel unfullfilled? Go read Otis – he did a beautiful job for the first leg of the tour, and I know the rest will be the same. Otis makes me smile, and Chad makes me laugh.

Allright…6 hours for me to sleep and the laptop to decide it wants to charge. Let’s be careful out there folks.