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Abusive Relationship & a Subway Rant

Let's start with an interesting topic in online (or even live) poker. I was chatting yesterday with Veneno and Sir Waffle about live poker. The three of us also played an SNG in which Sir Waffle went the furthest but bubbled out. Sir W has a great track record on these things when I play with him. I have to say that I am duly impressed. But let's get to the thick of it.

I play a psychological game. It works even better live, but I can get it going online too. Last night, Waffle and I were leaning pretty hard on a player named Mr. David. The guy had his pic up as his avatar, something I highly discourage. I started calling him frat boy (ironically, I was a frat boy in my day) and Waffle joined in. I don't remember much in the way of specifics. I just remember that by the time we were done, he was in a defensive mode verbally (verbally = in the chat box) and was clearly annoyed/pissed. We let him stay pissed and moved onto the next guy.

After a while, Mr. David won a big hand off of me. My response: nice hand. He paused a bit and then responded "ty". It's a minor gesture, thanking me. Frankly, saying nice hand is a minor gesture as well. But after that, I could feel the friendliness.

It's like breaking in a new pair of shoes. No, it's like dating. Treat the girl bad, and then when you show the glimmer of kindness, they are all over you. And that's how it is at the tables. Act like an asshole. Attack, attack, attack. And then switch it up. Say, "Just kidding" or just a simple "nh". Enemy becomes friend. He stops playing back at you hard. He starts softening up. You have succeeded. You control the table and the players. Congratulations.

Now, typing this, I think I've made a similar post before. So let's go a step further. This is a great strategy to control players at the table. It works well online, but it works especially well live. Most loyal readers will see a pattern in my casino write-ups. I start off with an enemy at the table, and then we become friends by the end of the session. I think it works for me because at first my loud personality can set some people off. If that player plays better when fired up, I switch it so that suddenly we are compadres insulting a new player or laughing off our past differences. People want to be liked. People want to have a good time. I won't say that I give them that good time, but I do try to keep things entertaining. When people like you at the table you can get away with a lot more. Sometimes, getting them to hate you is the first and quickest step to getting them to love.

So, now that I got some poker stuff out of the way, let's talk about Subway Strike Day 2. It took me over an hour yesterday to get home by cab. The ride usually takes 15 minutes. This morning, I got in a cab, which already held 3 customers, only to discover that the cabbie was going to be all over the city before he gets to my stop. The result, I get out of the cab 16 blocks from my destination. I could use the exercise.

It's about time I sound off on why the MTA has pissed me off so much. Last year, the MTA insisted that they needed to raise fares from $1.50 to $2 per ride in order to cover a budget deficit. They were permitted to raise prices, but afterward there was rumblings of accounting errors that created the deficit. There was no way they were going to roll back the fares, as people had finally, begrudgingly gotten used to it.

Fast forward one year. The MTA is facing a surplus of a billion plus that they MUST SPEND!! Now here is where I get pissed off. FIRST, why the fuck do they have a surplus!!! It' s because I have to spend more money to take the fucking subway. SECOND, why don't they give it to the city? Because their budget next year will be cut if they don't spend the surplus. THIRD, what should they spend it on? I'm bracing myself because I'm ready to kick in the monitor just thinking about the MTA's response.

They spend the fucking surplus on CHEAPER FARES FOR THE FUCKING HOLIDAYS!!! Every weekend since Thanksgiving, the fares have dropped to $1. For Xmas week they drop to $1 for the whole week. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo! I've saved $6!! Meanwhile, the subways are fucking disgusting. They are cutting the token booth jobs thus making it less safe at quieter subway stations AND leaving tourists to fend for themselves. They are instructing token booth clerks to sweep and clean up instead of hiring more staff to keep the subways sanitary. They are refusing wage increases and consequently CAUSING THE FUCKING STRIKE!! I blame the MTA workers too, but the surplus should have been spent on them.

So, my final question is, who benefits from the reduced fares provided by the MTA? The answer: NOONE! Locals get a minor benefit, free or cheaper rides. However, this is short-lived and quite frankly not worth the difficulties we are presently facing due to the subway strike. The tourists, both from far away and from the suburbs, don't get squat either, really. See, the people from out of the area don't realize that fare is usually $2. They just think it's $1 because that's all they know. And if they do know that they are saving $1, who fucking cares. They aren't going to show any extra good will to the MTA or NYC because of a buck! People from nearby but outside of the city are also reaping the benefit of the discount, since the non-commuters are mostly in the city on weekends and holidays to see the fucking tree at Rockefeller Center or do their Xmas shopping!

So, to recap: MTA has tons of money. MTA spends tons of money on short-term goodwill from customers who don't realize they are even saving money. MTA workers get jobs and benefit cuts and more responsibilities but no raises. MTA workers strike. I get pissed.

Killian, you have what you want. Give the people the flop!

posted by Jordan @ 9:15 AM,


At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've said it before and I'll say it (write it) again...I'd probably hate you - at the online tables - if I didn't already know you. That said (written) I love it when we are at a table and start with your shenanigans. It gets people playing a game they are not used to and we can benefit from it. Remember that SNG we played recently where people were playing 72o like it was gold because we were doing it. They would never have done that had we not been hamming it up...

The whole subway thing is fucked. Nuff said.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look back at my post following the Pauly freeroll, Tourney Story, (which I may add to "Notable Posts"), I start with an apology to all of the bloggers. I talk smack. That's what I do. Ironically, I sometimes have trouble taking it from other people, but that isn't anything particularly out of the ordinary. I never mean to get people angry. I just like showboating.

It reminds me of professional wrestling (I used to be a fan), in which some wrestlers ham it up intentionally to get hated. They'll do anything for people to hate them. However, in hating them the audience is really playing into the goal of the wrestler, and in a sense, showing them respect and love.

It's a bit of a stretch, but similarly in poker, when I start playing the role of the bad guy asshole, I want people to respond angrily. I want them to boo and hiss at my wins. And when they get pissed, I know that I am doing my job right, and that they are actually showing respect by getting angry. They can pretty much see what I'm doing, but they get mad anyway because some of my comments are so damn cutting and well-done.

Enough patting myself on the back.

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as the MTA is concerned, I couldn't agree more. Fix the subways and increase wages so the workers don't strike, goddamit. Don't give the money away!!! What a waste.


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