So Friday not so much. After hitting up a local tourney ($60 with one optional rebuy or add-on) and getting busted after a decent run when flopped two pair turns out to not be as strong as a flopped straight, I proceed to bleed almost the rest of my bankroll away at the ridonkulous cash game. AA cracked by a rivered flush, other stupidity for hours and hours had me questioning my purpose at the table. I had strangely thought I went there with the intent of taking money from the table, but as I left I realized that my true intention had been to donate all along. Silly me.
So instead of heeding my sister's words of wisdom and taking two weeks off to get my head straight, I put my last $400 in my pocket and rode off on Saturday to another tourney in another room. This game was much smaller, and less ridiculous, assisted a bit by the freezeout structure. There are very few freezeouts in the local card rooms, the tourneys are almost all rebuys, or at least a single rebuy. This one was a $55 freezeout, with 11 players. I chipped up a lot early, and then got eaten up by the blinds as I went absolutely card dead for the second hour. I hit a few boards before we got down to the bubble, but not much, mostly just hanging around on life support. I busted T to get us down to four-handed when my flopped straight was stronger than her flopped set, and then it was time to just hang on a little longer. The bubble burst, and the remaining three of us spent a good twenty minutes passing the short stack around the table until I finally went out in third, good for a $50 payout.
Yep, second time in a month I've cashed and shown a loss. Love it. But I turned the $50 into chips for the cash table (1/2 NL) and sat down short. I didn't mind sitting that short in a 1/2 game since most folks only bought in for $60 anyway. So my plan was to hang out until I got a big hand and just shove, because if this was anything like the other rooms in town, it was gonna be crazy.
Good thing for me it wasn't like any of the other rooms in town. This game played a LOT smaller, and a lot slower, and I was able to stick around on about my third hand for a very cheap flush draw and doule through the guy on my right when I hit the river, which made his wheel. I proceeded to catch cards for the next couple hours and slowly work my stackup until I had about half the chips in play, all on my initial $50 buy-in. I stacked the guy to my left a couple of times with good calls on his bad bluffs, and later on in the night had my Choir of Angels hand.
I'm in the cutoff or on the button, and there's a raise to $7 in front of me. I look down at the hand we love to hate, QQ. I call, as there are already several callers in here with me, and I either want to play a very big hand or get out cheaply if an Ace hits the flop. The Tc in the door doesn't excite me, but the Qc and Qh coming later on the flop makes me hear the Hallelujah Chorus resonate through my head.
Check, check and DrunkChuck leads out for $11. One caller, and I call. If he's willing to do my work for me, I'm willing to call him down for all his chips. Two EP checkers fold, and a blank on the turn. DrunkChuck leads out for $21, and the guy in the middle gets out of the way. I'm putting him on either a big pocket pair (not TT) or the flush draw, so I call again. The 2c comes on the river, and those angels singing get even louder, since that made his flush (in my mind). DrunkChuck leads for another $21, and I raise him his remaining $30. I'm sure he instacalls, but he sits and thinks, mutters something about the flush and mucks.
I do indeed say "that's a good fold, because Dem's Quads, Beetches" in the middle of a live cardroom. There are a few other decent hands, a few less than brilliant hands, but when it's time to go I'm up $375 for the night and have almost doubled my roll in a few hours.
There were some big differences between Friday and Saturday night for me. The Saturday night game had a LOT less money on the table, but the guys cared a lot more about the money on the table, which actually played much better for me. They never wanted to be shown a bluff, but if you had a decent hand, you could push them off a pot without too much trouble. The Friday night was much, much deeper stacked, but the table was also filled with people who could care less if they lost a grand at the table. It's hard to get that fold to happen when you're running bad and everyone at the table is deeper stacked than you. So I was able to play my game better on Saturday, because I cared less about the money on the table than the guys I was facing.
Another thing I did was focus. Somewhere about 5PM on Saturday it hit me that I've been neglecting to get my head straight for poker, concentrating more on having a good time while I'm losing than on playing my best game. That might account for the $2,000 I've pissed away in the last five weeks, huh?
So once I took a shower, I got dressed and got my gear ready. I grabbed my Full Tilt hat, got a long-sleeve shirt with a pocket for my iPod, made sure my t-shirt also had an iPod pocket (really thinking about a nano purely for poker, because the 30GB is just heavy), and spent a little time getting in the right head space. I've noticed that Jordan writes about having his poker wardrobe, and he's got a point. There's a certain comfort in having the right clothes, the right gear with me when I play. So I brought along the iPod Saturday night, and while I was paying attention to the players around me, I was watching them instead of chatting with them, and I think that had something to do with my success. I didn't run the iPod at the cash game, because by that time I was dialed in and in my groove, but it really helped me play well at the tourney, which I needed if I was to end up making any money and not being the guest of honor at somebody's Blogger Dead Pool standings for going busto again.
In another sense, Saturday was a watershed moment for me. Some of you can relate to this, some of you are built like Otis & CJ. I had to go buy some new jeans this weekend, because the button on one pair fell off and I split another pair along the inseam from kneecap to nutsack a couple weeks ago. So since Suzy is in hell week prepping for the opera I had two choices: do laundry or buy more pants.
Off to Chez Target I go, and lo and behold they indeed do not carry pants in a 44 waist, which is where my ass-coverings have been sizing up since about November of last year. So I thought to myself, "Self. You've eaten a shitload of yogurt lately, why not try a size smaller?" And sure as shit, I fit perfectly into a pair of 42/30 Levi's, marking the first time since college that I went to buy new pants that were actually smaller than the pants I had bought the last time through the store. There's still the weight of the average 4th-grader to lose, but fitting into a smaller pant size was a pretty damn good incentive to keep eating less and drinking more water.
Yeah, except for weekends I've pretty much purged sodas from my diet, which has not only led to a bit of weight loss and incessant pissing, it makes me feel better. Something else that's making me feel better is a daily dose of glucosamine for joint pain. I've had blown-out knees for years, a by-product of shoving hundreds of pounds of speakers up heavily inclined ramps into trucks at rock shows, climbing ridiculous ladders, and high school track. This is the first time in years that I can't predict the weather just by my aching knees. I thought all this holistic medicine stuff was the kind of hippy-dippy shit that does nothing but make GNC franchise owners rich, but this shit really works. So if you're aching in the mornings and stairs suck, start a daily dose of this shit and it'll help. That, coupled with the multi-vitamin and fish oil pills that my doctor recommended to lower my cholestorol, had me chucking down seven pills a day with my yogurt, but it's worth it if my knees don't hurt, so I'm all about it.
There you go. Life in the Falstaff house for the moment. Second round of Hamlet auditions tonight, let's see if I get enough people to actually cast the play.