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Pokeral Frustration

I don't know what's happening lately, but poker is really taking its toll. I played in the Wall Street Game last night, and even though I cashed in the first tournament (3rd; I busted quickly from the second, but we'll get into that in a minute), I still can't get over this feeling of frustration.

I often analogize poker to a girlfriend (mistress?) because I find the analogy so damn apt. In the very early beginnings of this humble, awesome blog, I even wrote a post called Battered Poker Players Syndrome, about how online poker was like an abusive lover, doling out the fists tempered randomly with sweet, sweet love, just enough to forget about the bruises and think, "But we're in looove!" (use the appropriate whiney/sing-songy voice when reading that one aloud).

Lately, poker has been more like a cocktease. (Sorry for the terminology, current and/or future employer, but you shouldn't be reading this anyway. Get back to working on my raise!) I keep wanting to get some off of that hot bitch. She's attractive, mysterious, and has a great ass. But when I think I finally am in her good graces, she decides that she has had enough and leaves me alone with my blue balls and swollen member. And the worst part is that I can't even find a satisfactory analogy for flogging the dolphin. Fucking A! No relief!

So, I'm frustrated. I can't help but feel that I need to call her up (TONIGHT!) and see what's she's doing, you know, just to hang out, as friends. But the truth is, much like the guy who faces the cocktease, I don't really care about being friends with poker. I want her to put out. So, in reality, I should probably do what works in real life and just ignore poker for a while, until she is the one calling me all, "Hey Jordan, what's up? Haven't seen you around. Why haven't you been calling? I miss you." And I'll be all, "Hey baby. Nah, I've just been busy with other things. You know me, busy guy. Yeah, hanging with Backgammon and Wii. They're cool and all. Maybe I'll swing by if I get the chance, but I dunno. Been pretty busy."

That should last for about 5 minutes.

Ah, fuck it. Let's talk about the Wall Street Poker game last night. My plan was to play smart poker. It's a single table $30 tournament with 3 spots paying. I played fairly tight in the first game, but was able to accumulate chips in a couple of major hands. In one, I held KQh in the BB and called a 600 raise from Brian in EP (2500 starting stacks). The flop came down a glorious 9TJ, with two spades, flopping me the nuts. Since I was out of position and had already lost a hand, I pushed all-in. I thought I only had 1200 or so left, since I already lost a hand earlier in the tournament, but in reality, I had 1800 left. Realistically, it didn't make a difference. The pot had 1300 in it, so I was pretty much committed to getting all of my chips in. I also didn't want to take the chance of giving him a free card. Brian flashed a Ten (later admitting he had ATd) before folding.

I later felted my neighbor to my right, Rob. Let me take a moment to discuss Rob. I had played with him before at the WSG and recognized him pretty quickly, even though he wasn't sporting work clothes. He mentioned that he was reading HoP and complimented me on the AC trip report. Flattery will get you everywhere, and I thanked him for his compliment. In fact, I urge each of you readers (including you blogger/readers) to stop by your favorite blog and leave a comment merely stating "Good job with the posts lately" or whatever. Even in a community of poker bloggers, blogging is a very solitary act and it sometimes help to get perspective of an outsider. I can usually tell when I am putting out crap, but its a lot harder to tell when I am putting out decent content. So, thanks again, Rob, and I look forward to playing with you again sometime soon.

After busting Rob (I think I called his all-in when he had AJ and I had KQd...lots of KQ last night), it was just me, Brian and Matty Ebs, easily the three LAGgiest players in the tourney. Matty, in particular, was playing well, bluffing successfully on numerous ocassions. It didn't hurt that when players pushed all-in against his raises, he held AA (twice to felt players). Brian was a bit more restrained, but he is always a force to recon with.

I was the chip leader by a small margin above Ebs, and Brian was in third with a significantly smaller stack, but still a decent amount of play. Ebs decided to raise from the SB with 77 to some unusually high number, maybe 2000. Blinds were probably 300/600, but the number itself threw me. I held A5s and was tired of Ebs running over the table. I also saw opportunity, since the logical move for either of us was to let Brian bust before risking too much. So...I pushed all-in. He took a long time, and I am sure that I could've done more to dissuade his call, but call he did and I was made into the shortstack as a result. I busted in the next hand, my AJ v. Brian's 66.

Truth be told, I was disappointed about going from 1st to 3rd, but I was glad to have cashed. In hindsight, the obvious move was to wait for Brian to bust, mostly because we would've likely chopped 1st/2nd money at that point. But what was done was done.

In the second game, I didn't even last a full orbit. UTG, I held KK and decided to raise to 200 from the 25/50 blinds. I got one call, Matty Ebs. The flop was 763, so I bet out again, 400. He called. The turn was a 4s, and a four-card straight, if he had a 5. I didn't put him on a 5, so I bet out 800. He took his time before calling. While he considered his next move, he opined aloud that I had an overpair to the board. I replied, "Of course, 88 is an overpair. Your TPTK is no good." Apparently, at this, he responded "I have TPTK and a flush draw." But I didn't hear that. He called. The river was a Jack of Spades, filling up the Spade Flush if he had two spades. I pushed for my remaining 1100 or so and he called, tabling his K-high straight (K7s). That's the first time I noticed that the board had a possible flush. I should've listened to him more carefully and paid more attention to the board. I felt annoyed at losing KK to K7s, but the fault once again lied with me.

I threw my chips across the table in mock anger, but part of me really felt the anger. Thinking about it later that night, looking back, I felt a bit ashamed of my reaction. I just hope that it came off as more humorous than sore-loserish. I hate sore losers.

So, it was another frustrating night. I made several stupid decisions like the A5s push and the KK push on the river. But, perhaps if I keep at it, poker will finally put out. And if that doesn't work, I guess I should just admit that I like being smacked around.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 2:54 PM,


At 4:03 PM, Blogger MattyEbs said...

I thought the push with the a5 was a little extreme, but based on your opponent you had high fold equity. The k7 hand in retrospect was a terrible call all the way but I didn't realize I was actually behind to an overpair until the turn when I was committed (I hate that term), you played your kk well I didn't put you on anything nearly that strong. 14/44 800/2200(+/-1100) it was questionable at best.

As to your game being on the decline, I think you should focus less on your opponents and more on the game. It seems strange to say to pull back from your skill but sometimes simplifying the game is the easiest way to detect the leak. Always up for discussing theory and practice.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

purely from an artistic point of view, i think it would have been apt to end what could have been this piece (or as it is, post) with "Ah, fuck it."

awesome analogies, etc. i really liked this post overall

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Booby Stealz said...


First off, props to your blog bro. Some great posts (read some of your oldies), and I found a lot of insightful tips and fun to read to stories. this top notch reading helps me get through some listless workdays, and some sleepless nights.

Second, the quality of play at Jamie's game is top notch, and I don't think you should be too upset with your play. i mean, you were in the money, you had the chips to gamble, AJ vs 77 (i think that was the hand, no?) which is like 54% to 45% is one of those toss up hands (around 54%-46%) that can go either way, and you were going against the loosest guy at the table.

Yeah, you could have played more shrewdly to guarantee 1st/2nd, but
on the other hand, you didn't dog it either. you made a steal read, and went with it and gambled. oh well, thats gambling...

thats just my humble opinion.

third, as long as you focus on making the correct plays/reads and cards don't fall your way, what more can you do?

fourth, just have fun bro.

lol when my confidence is down, i play 1.25 SNGs on FT. i pretty much ensure being in the money, and its good for the ego =)

peace out homey.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

the quality of play at Jamie's game is top notch

Aw, man. I'm blushing.... (and grinning)

At 12:43 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"Good job with the posts lately"

I want you to remember what happened to me at the cash tables at the IP during December, twice I made the correct play, even by your own thought processes, and twice I gave away chips to drunken eurolemurs who couldn't stand America, but wanted to be here anyway.

The point I am making is that yes, sometimes we get kicked in the nuts, hell I took off most of the BBT2 because I wasn't able to have the self confidence to play the way I thought i needed to play to win.

But after that break, I came back, played the game that I know I can do, and have made some money.

So, yes, take the time, call up the new girlfriends (the Wii and backgammon) , but remember you have to get kicked in the nuts a couple of times before you get to kick back. And that simple kick sometimes is the best thing in the world.

Keep up the hard work, clean living and smile. I'll see you in Okie-Vegas if you come!


At 9:53 AM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

Good job on the posts lately. Or whatever. :) Look played good, Le Dawn is just evil.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Lucypher said...

Of the two poker mistresses, Mistress Tournament is by far the more fickle of the two. Mistress Cash can be unkind but is usually more reliable. Which is why I love her more.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger NewinNov said...

...until she is the one calling me all, "Hey Jordan, what's up? Haven't seen you around. Why haven't you been calling? I miss you." Great stuff. I can hear her now with her nasal California girl valley twang.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Jordan, not to pad your ego, but I love the analogies in the post! Poker as a cruel mistress, I love it! Make her jealous of your other options, and she's bound to come crawling back looking for your company. Nice post man. Good luck going forward...

At 4:13 PM, Blogger BWoP said...

In fact, I urge each of you readers (including you blogger/readers) to stop by your favorite blog and leave a comment merely stating "Good job with the posts lately" or whatever.

Yeah, what that guy said.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger kipper said...

Hi Jordan,
Been awhile since I paid a visit. I am still playing poker. I took down my poker blog after I took another job. I will revive it under another name soon enough. Glad to see your well. I been at the new job for over 6 months and finally get to take a vacation day if I so choose!! It sucks being the 'low' man on the totem pole.


At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Pokeral'? Come on, Hemmingway... get your linguistics in order! And while you're at it, where the fuck is the brand-spanking-fresh-new CONTENT? every1z cravin' that shizz, MAN...






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