Wednesday, March 30, 2005

March Summary

March was, as the saying goes, a game of two halves - well, two thirds and one third - which appropriately enough ended with my first ever Google referral based purely on the word 'pique'. If ever I've been piqued, it's now!!

Half one of March lasted until the 20th, at which point I was sitting on a $321 profit, accrued entirely on Full Tilt. Mostly cash winnings, but heck the bonus was starting to feed through too.

I do really like the Full Tilt interface, though Hank needs to pull some strings and get the hand history sorted. So I can utilise his and Iggy's wisdom more fully.

At that point, I decided to give the Party Poker reload bonus a whirl. Having built my bankroll over the first two months of the year, I went for the full $1000 for $200 bonus deposit. My recent posts tell the story of that disastrous adventure, though it seems I am in good company!

Overall for the month, I managed to swing a $321 profit into a $229 loss, leaving me at plus $899 for the year-to-date. Well behind target.

What did I say about Party being a goldmine? Well, in all honesty, I do believe that to be the case. I've had a cursory skim through the Poker Tracker stats, while I await my activation code for Poker Tracker Guide, and some of the numbers would make you weep. (Even as I type, the activation code arrives!)

The players I have lost most money to are a motley crew of fishes, calling stations and gamblers. One culprit who really caught the eye had a VPIP of 46%, paired with a pre flop raising rate of precisely 0%. He took a slice of my bankroll calling my pre-flop raise with his awesome T8o, flopping an open ended straight draw, and rivering me with a J to crack my QQ. I can't complain about him chasing the draw post-flop, but T8o? Against a guy who raises one pot in 20?

You know, and I know, that if we meet again, I'll get my cash back with interest. So, perseverance is the name of the game.

I guess I'd been getting it too easy for a couple of months. I've read lots of posts about the downswings of poker, but it was starting to feel pretty easy to me. Now I know better. I'm taking a few days off to refocus, then I'll be back and raring for more action. As MacArthur said, I shall return!

I did try a few Party $5 SnG just for a change. I hit 3rd and 2nd in the first two, then ran into a few tables where the fold button seemed to be disabled on my opponents' PC. The only way to win was to showdown the best hand, which started to get me mad. That's why I'd decided to take a break from limit.

What's the point of playing No Limit if you will call (but not raise) any bet with anything?

I was listening to the Card Club guys talking about how Daniel Negreanu could probably dominate any table with his psychological skills as much as his card skills, but I reckon even he would struggle on a small Party SnG if he didn't get the cards.

When the flop comes K high after a pre-flop raise, the guy with K3o doesn't even entertain the 'am I outkicked' or 'did he raise with Aces', thoughts. Why bother when there's a call button and he still has chips? Beat that Daniel!

Playing against that style of player takes the fun out of No Limit. It loses the subtleties and nuances a game against good players can elicit.

Speaking of playing against good players, I am gutted that I can't seem to make any of the blogger events. I REALLY wanted to play the HORSE tournament, and Scurvydog's Omaha tour sounds great to me. Those of you who enjoy Omaha but haven't yet found Internet Poker Pro need to get over there right now. Big Dave writes a great blog, and plays at levels I can only dream of.

Sadly time differences and the rigours of work mean that playing from 2am onwards on a weekday is beyond my stamina levels. Under different circumstances I might have been tempted to take a day off work to play the occasional tournament, but all the holidays are being saved this year in anticipation of the arrival of Div Jnr.

If there's a Friday/Saturday night event, or a Sunday afternoon EST event, I will do my damnedest to be there. What I'm also gonna try to do is get a bit more interactive on the comms front. I've exchanged emails and comments with a few bloggers, but I'm going to start updating my messenger list, to see who is on when I am active. I'll also be adding a few new blogs to the list soon.

The other thing that is cutting me up right now (other than work, buy let's set that thought aside) is the mounting excitement about the Vegas meet - incorporating the WPBT Aladdin Casino Classic.

I've only been to Vegas once, and had an amazing time. We did the 'civilised' Vegas holiday. Stayed at Paris, saw some shows, toured the mega hotels, went to The Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon, and of course played some cards and hit the tables.

Mrs Div and I really enjoyed the whole experience, but I did hanker for a touch of the 'debauched' Vegas experience. You know it's Vegas when meandering home at 6am, marinaded in Jack Daniels and cigar smoke, with a wodge of newly acquired bills in your pocket, counts as part of the 'civilised' city experience!

I'd love to go back with a bunch of friends and do the whole not knowing whether it's night-or-day, but I do know I've got pot odds to call, and yes I'll have another drink, adventure. At the moment the finances and time demands won't support that. And they won't for the foreseeable future unless my lottery numbers come in on Saturday, which is a 13,983,815 to 1 shot. Roughly the same as the chances of pushing a Party $5 SnG player off a Top Pair Any Kicker hand.

So for now I'll be living life vicariously through Pauly and the other bloggers, while I stick to the 2/4 online grind, and parentcraft classes.

One other thing I did this month was a bit of Blog Explosion pimping. What an eye opener that was. On the positive side, I found a couple of interesting sites. On the down side, there are a LOT of nutters out there!!!

I couldn't believe the amount of blogs which mentioned Terri Schiavo. In the UK the story has had coverage but nowhere near the hysteria it seems to be attracting in the US.

Other than feeling great sympathy for the people involved, all I can say is...if I ever succumb to some disease or accident which leaves me bedridden, helpless, and unable to communicate, give my friends and family a few days to say their goodbyes, then send me on my way.

Don't starve me. Just fill me gradually full of morphine to the point where my body can't handle any more. (I've only needed that stuff once, and boy did I want it again!)

That way, if I truly am brain dead, there's no harm done. If I'm not, console yourself with the thought I went with a smile in my head, if not on my face. That's all anyone can ask for.

To end on a happy note. Mrs Div seems to be carrying one lively baby! This week has been the first time I've been able to feel more than the occasional kick. Instead it's been a full blown maelstrom of kicking and tumbling - though as yet no Alien style bulges - which really brings home to me that together we have spawned a new life. I'm looking forward to meeting him/her sometime in July.


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