Saturday, March 26, 2005

Walnut Whippings

This week has been a real struggle. Depressing work, far too much to do at home, and poker results as variable as the Scottish weather.

Even so,I have persevered with the Party Poker bonus grind, and should have it cleared over the weekend. Whether I will be showing a profit is another matter.

My work situation is really getting me down. It's veered from a brief and exhilarating burst of interesting, creative work, back to dull, dull, dull. Even worse, I strongly suspect the contract we have put so much effort into bidding for is likely to go elsewhere.

If that happens, I do wonder what the future holds not just for me, but for the company. Not the sort of thoughts one wants to have when the baby is due in 3 months.

My last bonus clearing session on Party was a very positive experience. My money doubled in three days, primarily thanks to some really wild gambling types for whom winning and losing seemed to be just a state of mind.

That hasn't been the case this time. I started off disastrously - losing $200 on my first night. I was two tabling and broke even on one table, losing $200 on the other with a quite incredible run of missed draws.

I kept having to shake my head and check and re-check the stats on Poker Tracker and Gametime+. Yes, the table VPIP was high, lots of nice fish, dice and telephone icons around me, but I just couldn't win a hand.

I lost count of the number of times I limped with suited aces, flopped a 4 flush and missed. Open ended straight draws never hit. On one hand I had KQs, flopped a 4 flush, open ended straight draw and overcards and still missed everything.

With lots and lots of callers every time, the pots were giving ample odds to chase, but nothing went right. If even two or three draws had hit, the session would have been perfectly bearable.

There's a school of thought that on Party especially, if a table aint working you should simply switch. But I was seeing more and more cash go to players I knew were bad, so I figured why walk away from a rich fish when he is still trying to pay you out?

I followed that up with a $90 loss the next night, followed by a $90 winning session and a just above break even session. So I am sitting roughly $200 down, with a $200 bonus to come. I'd settle for that right now, but hey it's the weekend and time for the gamboolers (©Pauly) to come out to play, so there's still a better than 50/50 chance of a profit.

During this week I have identified a new species of Party player who has cost me some cash in unexpected circumstances. These people make passivity an art form, and are either geniuses operating at a poker level I cannot comprehend, or total morons.

The situation typically goes. Several callers in EP, MP. Div in LP limps with, say, A9s. The flop comes 9xx.

Check, check, check. Div bets. Call, call, fold.

The turn comes x.

Check, check. Div bets. Fold, call.

The river comes x.

Check. Div bets. Call.

The moron/genius flips either JJ or QQ.

Variations on this happened to me three times from three different players. Twice with JJ, once with QQ. Not once did a lovely ace come along to rescue me. So far, I've restrained from making any sort of comment to any of them. If they want to keep playing that way, it's fine by me.

Even worse (for someone else), I saw another player do exactly the same thing with KK, in a hand I'd folded pre flop. I sit for hours praying for KK, then someone else gets it and never raises. Wtf!

What poker boooks are they reading? Which sites do they browse for playing tips? Can I play against them every night?

That's why I love Party. Sure I've had a bad few days, which I felt obliged to share with you, just as I share the good times. But I'm not complaining. I'm still well ahead overall, and there's plenty more fish out there just waiting to pay me off when those straights and flushes do hit. As, over time, a profitable proportion will.

A final thought for the day, especially for Iggy and Al. They should appreciate this story about a policeman from olden times who was poisoned by, of all things, a walnut whip. Iggy should appreciate his lunch menu, and I thought Al might like his choice of pain relief. They don't make them like this anymore!

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