Monday, August 10, 2009

The true indicator that summer is almost over is that I have almost cleared out all of the poker show re-runs on my TiVo.

An alternate indicator is that I've actually been able to play a little poker lately, and when not completely card-dead, I've been doing alright the past couple weeks. Thank goodness - the August bills will be a little tight, so I will need to invoke the Cash-Out Curse on Full Tilt...

Poker has settled into its own little niche in my life. I don't pore over poker books obsessively like I used to, though I do pick up a good one every now and then, and occasionally re-read ones I've got. I still thoroughly enjoy watching poker on TV - but not *any* poker. I won't waste my time with the more poorly done shows, just because it's poker. But High Stakes Poker or Poker After Dark still hold my attention. And I love playing, whenever I can - even more if I can get out to the casino.

I like thinking about poker. I do still pore over statistics, and review plays, and think about how I might have done things differently. I love debating poker strategy. The thinking part of poker is right up my alley.

I've come to accept that I'll never really be great at poker. I don't have the proper intuition to read players consistently. I can read situations, but when the situation falls outside the realm of predictability, and into the mind of a crafty opponent, I'm generally lost. I'm not aggressive enough, and at the rate that I have gained aggressiveness over the years, I'll be 98 years old before I play with acceptable quantities of aggression.

No, I'll never be great, but it is nice to run well enough to pay a bill or two every so often. And really, that's about all I ever wanted out of my investment in learning the game.

I do love that there's always something new to learn. I've been fascinated lately with Tom Dwan. I'm typically not a fan of the punk ass kids, but something tells me he is smart enough to adapt and grow with the game - because I'm sure once everybody plays like him, and everybody figures him out, he won't be successful anymore. But that whole notion of adapting makes me think of Gus Hansen. He had this wild, crazy image for so long, but very quietly tightened up his game - all the while, people playing him like he's insane. The smart ones make like Gumby and bend. I think Dwan is going to prove to be one of the smart ones.

And he's from Jersey, and though I only lived in Jersey for a brief handful of years, it's kind of like the home I'll always long for. That was a pretty amazing time in my life, way back when.

Really, this blog post is all about procrastinating a gargantuan task I'm about to undertake. I've got about 100 books stacked on my poker table right now (see the tie-in?), from when I had my upstairs living room painted. I want to move the bookshelves and books downstairs... but oy, they are heavy, and there are many of them... so I've been putting this off for weeks, but alas, I need my living room back. And so it goes...

I hope everybody's doing well - I certainly don't make it out to Vegas as often as I'd like, but I do think about ya's often....


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