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Self Control

I've heard many a blogger talk about how poker is becoming an addiction. As a man who understands (to an extent) addiction, I must concur (also, to an extent). There are times when I would rather stay home and play poker than go out and socialize with the 'real world'. But I am not upset that poker is sometimes addicting to me. Instead, I embrace it, because, at the end of the day, I truly love the game of poker, and any opportunity to play it and improve my skills is at least working toward something. You smoke cigarettes until you get sick. You do heroine until you die. You gamble until you are broke. But you play poker until you are a pro.

With that said, last night I played about 45 minutes of 1/2 limit on Party Poker, in an attempt to earn my $25 bonus there. It is kind of humorous that I am working off such a meager bonus when my gameplay lately has been so solid. In my 45 minutes I actually won $25.25, so the bonus is not that much money per se. But at least it gives me a goal, and that is worth a lot.

I was shocked, yesterday, at the terrible play at my 1/2 limit table. I know that all the fish play at Party, but I had some trouble there in the past, so I guess it changed my mental image of the Party landscape. That image is constantly being corrected by the aweful play I am seeing at the table. I'm glad I was only single-tabling (not intentionally), because I would have missed out on huge opportunities if I had been playing my usual game against anonymous players. Instead, I was playing my game against one particularly crazy donkey. The donkey, Goldie, was doing things I just couldn't understand. In one hand, he limped with 34o, called a bet on the 279 flop, hit a 3 on the turn, and called bets on the turn and river. He won that hand....against me and my pair of 2s. BUT, I played that hand because he was calling just about anything, and foolishly re-raising too.

This is what I mean about opportunity. I'm on the button with Q8o. I normally would fold, even in a shorthanded game. However, Goldie was in the BB and there was a player who had already limped in. I knew I'd get paid by Goldie if I hit, so I limped. The flop was Q-high. It's checked to me and I bet. Only Goldie calls. The turn comes down, and it's a blank. I bet. He re-raises. Now, I folded earlier to his re-raises before learning about how the table was. This time, I decided to re-raise with top pair, shitty kicker. Oddly, he re-raised me back. To anyone, this is a sign of trouble. But here, I had no confidence in his cards or play. I called. The river was a blank. I bet. He called. I won the hand. I can only imagine what he was playing. I certainly know this much though, it was NOT optimal poker.

I just don't get it. Who is this guy and why is he playing poker? I guess he is a gambler, plain and simple. I was speaking to Robbie Hole last night. He and Roose went to the All-In Club in NYC, but were turned away at the door because they didn't have 'membership cards'. What a crock of shit! We've been there a handful of times, and only now do they have membership cards. Anyway, they caught the tournament at Genoa instead. Hole went out early because of his usual loose self. On his final hand, he had 800 chips with 50/100 blinds. He was in the rule of 10. With QTo, he raised to 300. Someone pushed him all-in. He called. His opponent had AA and won the hand.

As Hole told me this, I was thinking, "What the fuck, man? QT?" I didn't say it though because I didn't want to rub it in. Fortunately, he said it for me. As he put it, he knows he shouldn't play those hands. He tells himself that before he plays. But when he is sitting down at the table, he just wants to play. Hole is a gambler. But we are going to work with him, and soon, he'll be a poker player again. Self control is a bitch. Especially when you are dealing with addictive poker.

Finally, let me commend myself. Wifey Kim had a friend and her fiance come over last night. When they left at 10:45, I immediately wanted to play poker. Wifey Kim wanted to watch our DVR'ed Survivor. I decided that her idea was better. Wifey Kim and I have a bet going. Every season we choose a Survivor contestant at the end of the first episode. If my guy/girl last longer, I get something, and vice versa. It used to be dinner, but since we are now married, we are changing it up. The winner gets a $50 giftcard to a store of their choice. Yep. It's still from the same money pool, but at least it feels like a gift. Wifey Kim will win this year. She chose Jerry, the older male Air Force guy who just found the immunity idol (exciting to all you non-Survivor watchers, right?). I chose a blonde chick, whose head is already on the chopping block.

But I digress. After the show, wifey Kim had adorably fallen asleep. My wireless laptop was calling me. "Play with me Jordan. Play!", she cried out. "Damn you harpy!" I shouted with rage (internally, as wifey Kim was sleeping next to me). "Damn you! I will not donk off my money while tired. I will not play on a whim late at night. I will not lose!" And I didn't. I kept my self control and left the computer where it sat.

Sometimes it isn't easy controlling this addiction we call poker. But sometimes, its absolutely necessary.

posted by Jordan @ 8:57 AM,

7 Comments:

At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

You are killing me!!! I also had company last night; and I also DVR'ed Survivor....But I didn't watch it yet. Damn immunity idol....(spoiler)

I guess we are addicted to a lot of different things ;)

Later

 
At 10:26 AM, Anonymous TripJax said...

Great post J, my sentiments exactly. I did the exact same thing last night, wanting to play, but holding back.

If he is going to play QT there, he needs to push it all-in. In that particular case he obviously gets the call, but in another scenario he is probably able to get others to fold medium hands and may even get a call with from low pair where he can hopefully hit and double up. I just don't like - when getting pretty low under the rule of 10 - raising when, if you are re-raised, you are probably beat but feel like you must call...

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Joe from Checkitdown said...

At the beginning of the week, I wrote an article about setting goals, and I couldn't agree with your viewpoint more. I think that setting goals makes me play so much better than I normally do, and even if I lose, I'm normally satisfied with the way I played.

You're running pretty well lately, keep it up man.

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous fairnbalncd said...

Need to add you to my Party list and play a few hands with you some night. I was on a Party 1/2 table last night too and experienced the same type of play. In fact, our entries for today are pretty similar.

Enjoy the weekend!

 
At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Chris Russo said...

Hey, did the Chump, I mean Champ take you up on your offer to play?

 
At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Jordan from HighOnPoker said...

The Champ did, in fact, contact me to set up a date and time for our HU matches. We are still working out the details.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous littleacornman said...

You probably know this but you can get the history of the previous hand at Party by clicking on the hand number at the top right of the screen.Very useful indeed.

Well done on resisting the chair glue!I managed my first night off from poker in months and felt much better for it.

 

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