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To Adjust or Not to Adjust

I played on 6-player turbo SNG last night for a low amount, since I've decided to at least respect my bankroll a tad (but not a whole lot). I went out in 3rd, the bubble. It got me thinking about what I wrote about yesterday. Am I openning up too much on the bubble and at the lower payout spots? In yesterday's SNG, I was utilizing a decent push-or-fold strategy once I had less than 10x the BB. We were obviously shorthanded at 3 players left, and I was dealt KQ in the BB. The SB was a huge stack and min-raised me. Even though I was fairly short, I liked the KQ. I considered pushing, which would be my usual move. With blinds of 60/120, and his raise to 240, a push would cost him an additional 1k (actually 960). In the end, I decided the smart move would be to call, see a flop, and if I hit my K or Q, push when I actually had a hand. The flop was King high, with no flush or straight draws. He checked. I pushed, and he called with AA. Bad play? Bad luck? Or bad of me to get to the bubble as a shortstack? I didn't have any good hands during the tournament and I thought my patient strategy was correct, so this may have been a situation where it just wasn't my day.

I still don't have an answer, per se, but a comment from reader Randy really got me to reconsider my concerns. Randy wrote:

"All of the tourney pros I've heard comment on this say that there are long periods of no cashes. It's easy to get confused by the news hounds' reporting of the amazing run of cashes from the Johnie Unknowns. For me, I'll take the pros' views and keep playing a good game. Results will come when they do."
Randy has some valid points. Tournament poker naturally involves stretches where even the most skilled players fail to cash. This is probably less so with online single-table SNGs, since they are quicker and a bit more formulaic, but yesteday aside, the majority of my concerns involved live MTTs and small tournaments.

This all begs the question, how does one know when they need to revamp their game or continue plugging along? This is not the soul-searching of a losing player. I've actually had some nice results lately at the I Had Outs cash game and I moneyed in both of the Wall Street tournaments. I am not positive, but I believe I was the only person that night to money in both tourneys, even if my moneying meant a profit of $10. In fact, part of me feels like those two games may've been the start of a streak. It may just be wishful thinking, but part of me feels like I am playing really well. So, revamping my game may derail my recent success.

Ah, introspection, how do I love thee? Questions will be left unanswered, but I'm still super happy that I've been able to spend so much time with my second love, poker.

I was at the Courthouse this morning on four different motions in one of my problem cases. Ironically, its the worst, least valuable cases that take up the most time. It seems like the big ones almost take care of themselves once you set them on the right trajectory. After losing one motion, winning one motion, and getting a push on the last two, I went out in the hallway to talk with my adversary. He, like me, is a relatively young attorney, so we talked about that dynamic in a firm until I felt a tap on my shoulder. As I turned around, I saw an old classmate from lawschool, Melissa. Melissa and I were in a mediation seminar together, where we eventually had an opportunity to mediate Small Claims Court cases. Melissa and I would routinely take trains back and forth to the Courthouse in Queens on Wednesday nights to convince people with petty claims to settle or convince jerks holding out on petty sums to actually pay. During those train rides, we talked about a lot of things, one of which, naturally, was poker.

Within five minutes into our conversation, I already recounted how I was happily married to the wonderful wifey Kim, and how my career path had gone over the last three years. It didn't take long, then, to get to poker. Melissa was one of the few girls who actually attended my home games when I lived in Murray Hill. I mentioned how I had a website and how poker was going well. We swapped business cards, and I may help her get into some of the games I play in the city. It was great catching up, as she was one of the few people in law school who I actually liked on a personal level.

But the interesting aspect was that our conversation went: Wife, Work, Poker. That really sums it up for me. Poker has become such an ingrained part of who I am. I write about it on a daily basis. I play on an almost daily basis online or live. I play live once or twice a week. Outside of time spent with wifey Kim, its my biggest mode of social interaction. I see my non-poker friends, but not on a weekly basis, or at least not one of them particularly on a weekly basis.

Poker is a lot more than a game. It is my challenge in life. It is my goal in life. It is my company in life. It's been a great journey for the last three years on this blog and the one or two years before it. I've accomplished a lot of my goals, and going forward, my goals will continue to evolve as I do.

But I guess that all boils down to more introspection.

So, let's do some story time. This is a true story about one of the cases in Small Claims Court. I wasn't involved in the negotiation directly, but my colleagues kept me informed as it progressed, and it is the epitome of stupidity.

A woman sued a shoe store because, according to her, they overcharged her on two pairs of shoes. The woman claimed that she picked up two pairs of $19.99 shoes and brought them to the register. They rang up as $24.99, so she argued with the clerk. The clerk asked to see the sign advertising them as $19.99. When the woman took the clerk to the rack of shoes, the sign magically said $24.99. At this point, the woman allegedly got back to the front of the line and held up all of the registers as she pronounced that the store changed the sign AFTER she took the shoes. It was a bait and switch, damnit, from the nefarious shoe store that must've had a midget working underneath the table to switch signs as customers took the 10 foot walk from display to register! A travesty! So, the woman sued the shoe store for $10, the differnce in the price that she paid and the price allegedly posted before it was switched by the Price Troll.

Once this story was told, the mediators asked the woman to wait outside so they could discuss it with the store owner directly and privately. Once she was gone they asked the man, "are you willing to pay her $10 to get out of here right now?" He agreed, since he would otherwise have to go to a judge, which could take an hour or longer depending on case load. When the woman came back, he handed her $10 from his own pocket and the case was successfully settled.

The woman won her complete $10 for the suit. The cost of filing the small claims suit: $15. A -EV proposition if ever I'd seen one.

Until next time, I fold...erm, I mean, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 11:54 AM,


At 4:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

People like this need to be neutered after filing such claims.

At 5:08 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Cant we have like a pre-judge that decides if your bat house crazy bitch and stop tieing up the courts. We could make it a TV show so you could be on National TV and that would cover the costs of the extra pre-judges.

At 2:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its time consuming and cases like these take time away from proper claims. I read similiar articles on on individuals using the courts time to file small claims based on stupid principle. Small claims should have a min of $1000.

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Anonymous, I understand the sentiment about setting a $1000 minimum, but ultimately, it is a good thing that people are able to bring any claim (small enough) to small claims court. If someone feels slighted, we are better off as a society to allow them recourse through the courts. Otherwise, there would be no accountability for small injustices, leading to discontent and likely escalating conflicts. The Court charges filing fees for a reason, and those fees should merely be high enough to cover the cost to the Court. If the Court is compensated for its time, then that is all that should matter. Small claims court is designed for these small cases, so overcrowding of the Court is not as big of an issue.

So, while it may seem that these principle-based claims are frivolous and a waste of time, their existence is necessary for people to feel that there is justice for anyone and everyone.

At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, I did use for my small claims action. Pretty nice firm, used the money I paid to file my complaint, serve the defendant, and conduct skip searching.

Got trial date coming up and got the defendant to call and settle, but not going to since this is a vehicle accident in the amount of $2,500.00. +


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