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Holiday Cheer

I feel like Kris Kringle this morning, skipping around the office handing out the holiday gifts (from me and my fellow associates) to the support staff. I took point this time, picking up the AmEx giftcards, writing the cards (a simple, "Thank you for everything. Happy Holidays.") and playing the Johnny Appleseed of Christmas cheer. The cards even say the word "Christmas!" But don't get me wrong, I'm still Jewish, and totally incidental to my Judaica, those were the best priced cards...

Online poker was great last night, mostly because it was non-existent. Instead, I'm playing some more of Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge as part of my online poker methadone treatment. Withdrawal hasn't been too bad, actually. The hard part is when wifey Kim nods off into slumber land. At times like those, I'd fire up the comp for some poker, but now, I just fumble for the remote like a recovering alcoholic chugging water in an attempt to stave off the thirst.

Meanwhile, I am all washed and purty for the firm holiday party tonight at a fancy shmancy (I think) Bobby Flay restaurant. It's definitely a step up from the old firm's holiday parties. There, the 80 attorney firm would host referring attorneys and clients at the beautiful large conference room, where catering was brought in. The 'bar' was in the elevator bank, and consisted of a folding table covered in a white clothe and a handful of bottles. The bartender was a mail room guy. The DJ was the firm maintenance man. Thank god there was no Santa, because the jolly, fat photocopy guy also seemed to border on perverted.

Alas, I've escaped that sorry excuse for a holiday party and have been looking forward to the firm's shindig. The best part is that I get to show off wifey Kim to the crew. Sure, they know of her, and they met her last year, but any time I can be seen with her only makes me look like da man. Not only is she a piece and a half, but she can get along with just about anyone. Want proof? She married me.

I guess without online poker, you all are probably missing my, "I lost $26 playing Omaha H/L last night" posts. Nah, I didn't think so. I guess my decision to cut down (even before New Year's Resolutions!) started a lot earlier than you or I may have realized. The fact that I had been steadily abandoning NLHE and SNGs in favor of mixed games was probably the first sign that a change was afoot.

The thing that I like most about mixed games is the newness. But it isn't just novelty, its about letting go. It's about gambling. I believe it was Sigmund Freud who said that all gamblers are losers and want to lose to punish themselves. Well, I don't know about that. What I do know is that poker players who solely play poker (and perhaps solely play one type of poker) are very different than poker players who gamble at other games as well. I think for the most part, poker players DO play non-poker gambling games. We've all heard stories of pros and their sports betting or craps play. But there are other disciplined players who avoid the -EV games at all costs. Those players, I imagine, are playing for the money (as well as the inherent love of the game). I've been there before, swearing off table games at casinos, and overall, it is a very efficient and responsible way to "gamble." I throw in the quotes because poker at its best is not just about blind gambling as much as it is about skill, strategy and odds. The other players who win, say $930 in a tournament but drop, say, $240 at craps first (cough cough me cough cough) are the other sort of gambler. In my daily life, I'm generally in control. At a poker table, that is true too. But at craps, sports betting and other table games, my fate is left to chance. I am out of control and I'm going to lose. And that, oddly, is appealing in its own degenerate way.

Hence, the mixed game focus. When I play games other than Hold'em, there is larger element of luck. Basically, as a newbie to some of these games, I still lack the layers of thought and analysis that has become an integral and undeniable part of my Hold'em game. That lack of knowledge (and in some cases, the games' rules and/or format) create that same out of control feeling I can get at a table game. Yes, folks, that's the gambling bug, and its one that I don't plan on catching.

That said, I will be playing some table games with wifey Kim during the Christmas holiday in AC. That's different though. There it is about spending time being entertained with my beautiful wife. She doesn't play poker, but she plays a mean game of Roullete. Fortunately, after withdrawing $500 from online and my slew of live wins, we are playing with money that won't affect our daily lives. So, we'll even get some time on the often-too-high craps tables. I can't wait...but, um, only because wifey Kim is there.

Roose dropped the ball for the AC holiday trip. His fiance can't make it because she can't get off of work on Tuesday (we are staying X-mas eve and X-mas night). Then Roose found out that he didn't book a room for Monday night anyway. Our hotel, Caesars (the cheapest deal for a casino/hotel on the Boardwalk for this particular trip), was sold out, so he had to book his second night at the Tropicana. If I were him, I'd be happy as a pig in shit. The Trop rate he got was great, and their poker room is fantastic (except for their tournaments). But he didn't want to be staying in a hotel alone, so he asked if he could bunk with us the second night. Um, bunk with us? I thought. I had to tell him no. It was our vacation, too, and sharing a room with wifey Kim and Roose, the human sleeping lumber mill (dude snores like nobodies business) would feel...creepy. We compromised and I switched to Trop on the 2nd night. I have to admit, though, its a good setup. After all, I know I can upgrade at the trop for cheap, and I love a swirling whirlpool tub!

Does that count as poker content? Close enough, I suppose. See, this whole personal online poker ban is working out just fine. Now if I can only get my hands to stop shaking.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:19 AM,


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and totally incidental to my Judaica, those were the best priced cards..."

No way I'm letting THAT slide. Too easy, too easy.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Pokerwolf said...

I was wondering if those careds were a good deal. Thanks for clearing that up.

You could really screw with yourself and get a poker video game. But, that's just silly.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Falstaff, I do not know to what you refer...ah, who are we kidding?

Wolf, I own Stacked, the Negreanu game, but I'm not looking to play psuedo-poker, so I'm looking for more strategy-minded games.

Right now, Gun is in the lead, followed by Myst. Old games are still new to me!

At 1:12 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Oh, and Pirates. I used to love the version for Sega Genesis.

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Steelie said...

Great blog! I just switched firms and our holiday party here is a blast compared to the stuffy pretentious garbage that I had to put up with at the old one. It's good to see another attorney poker-blogger!

I hope you don't mind my linking up to you on my blog. Check mine out if you get a chance. I promise it's not always me bitching about not having power!

At 2:19 AM, Blogger cc said...

Attorney bloggers are so ghey...


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