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Battered Poker Player Syndrome

Online Poker and I have an abusive relationship. Plain and simple. I go to OP looking for some poker love. She invariably smacks me around, takes my money and then calls me names. Of course, OP is smart enough not to hit me in the face. People might notice. Instead, OP hits me in the pride, where it hurts the most. Ok, let me focus my thoughts for a minute.
When I first started playing online, I played for free. But this wasn't good enough. Free poker was not real poker. People would play aweful hands or go all in because there were no consequeces. So, I got up the nerve to invest $20/month at Golden Palace Poker, one of the few sites I've found with such low deposit minimums and cheap games. I limited myself to $20/mo, because I was a student with no real income. Now, as a working attorney and a poker player in the black, I put in $20 as needed. Over the last couple of years, one thing has remained constant. I lose my $20s. So, why do I play online? Because the bitch keeps toying with me. Just when I think that OP has no love for me and is just using me for my dough, she has to do something nice, like pay out in a tournament.
I have had three significant wins online. The first was over a year ago. I placed in first out of 173 people in a freeroll tournament (i.e., free to enter). For all you newbies, to play a freeroll you have to use your "Action Points" which are kind of like a running comp on all the action you play for real money. Well, that tournament, which took hours to win, paid out a whopping $13.50. It was so meager, I barely wanted to tell people about my win. To win that tournament, I had to get lucky. My play was subpar and I must have outdrawn my adversaries when I was all in at least 7 times.
More recently, I've had two really significant online successes. In Jan. 2005, I came in 2nd out of 240 people to win $170 in a $1000 freeroll ($1000 is the prize pool). I won it by sheer skill, without outdraws at all. I lost to the 1st place player because, at that point, I was so deliriously happy I couldn't care which place I took. I learned from my lesson though.
About a month later, in Feb. 2005, I came in 1st in the same tournament, making $270. Once I got down to top 2, I decided I was not going to flake. I played fine poker that day.
Ever since that last win, OP has been miserable. Outdrawn, crappy cards, and poor concentration have been the boon of my online existence (I think I am using boon correctly). But, I won three tournaments, so OP and I are still hooking up.
Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment. Maybe I want to lose. Maybe. However, I will rationalize it another way. For a man desperate for some poker action, OP, the abusive, carefree poker slut, just can't be beat...even if she is a dominatrix.

Next time I type, hopefully I'll be discussing an actual poker game. I'm scheduled to play at my friend Chris's place tomorrow. .25/.50 No Limit Hold'em cash game. I think I've got the game cracked, so I'm crossing my fingers that the game happens. If it doesn't, I'll probably hang with OP. See, that bitch is always around.

posted by Jordan @ 12:05 PM,

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