Poker Cats

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Tosca and tilt

I suggest a new strategy, R2. Let the Wookie win.
-Star Wars


Giovanna can tilt me like no other. I considered leaving a third into the performance of "Tosca" last night but was glad I didn't. It was way too good.

Tosca is sort of like the Empire Strikes Back of opera. It involves an evil king, a real slimeball, who has his eye on a painter's girlfriend who is an actress. The painter has been sheltering a political prisoner and had been hiding the secret from Tosca. The king tries to use Tosca's fears that the painter is cheating on her to drive a wedge between the couple and help him root out his political foe.

Calm the fuck down, I tell myself when the lights are low. She didn't mean it that way and you can laydown a hand every now and then. I did and we got along fantastically for the rest of the performance.

I am glad we are pals. We have similar backgrounds -- both from the Midwest, both fantastic air travelers and Third World explorers. Many times we'll even say the same words in conversation. Still, it would have been nice to have seen the opera with Kelley, who performs in orchestras and was out of town this weekend.

I think of others who make fun of anything personal that people post. For me, I think your life is always relevant. You blunt your growth when you try to block it out from what you try to write -- it's like leaving out significant context. Forgive me for going Mason Malmuth on them, but these are the same people who aren't very interesting themselves.

The personal is always a part of poker -- you are weighing choices, odds, successes and failures all the time in daily life, just as you do on the table. It is no different. To write something allows you to reflect in a more objective way. It may be a reason why you're playing well, or poorly.

Plus, blogging solely on poker stats is pretty boring to read. Writers will put you where the action is -- as a reader, you are there to share and experience, not just be served up whatever has been gussied up for you.

After the race, I was completely exhausted and I nearly didn't go to the opera. I spent much of the day comatose. I hadn't played poker in about 2-1/2 days, mainly stressed out over the dilemma over whether or not to buy a car, whether the finances were in line, whether the price was right.

I'm glad I did but of course don't like the idea of having to make a payment every month, having my insurance much more than it was. It's like a cat being told the price of domestication.

But I think it's the right thing to do. My 16-year-old car was born long before air bags, my new car has anti-lock brakes, it has lots more space. Everything works well. Black and sleek, it looked like it belonged in the opera parking lot, with similarly buffed and honed other, much more expensive cars.

I did hobble out several times yesterday just to make sure it was still in the parking lot. To pinch myself that I actually do have a new car and that it wasn't some dream.

When I was fully convinced that my shiny, gleaming car was OK, I finally got myself playing yesterday afternoon when I received an e-mail warning that my free $10 in Absolute Poker would disappear if I didn't use it by Sunday (today).

Oh no! I jumped in a $.05/.10 NL table, built that up to $11.40 and then played in a $10 + 1 SNG. Had a couple great hands. Tripled up when it was three-handed with AKs near the button. UTG pushed all-in, I had to call and the big stack thought he was priced in with J5o.

I flopped the nut flush.

Heads-up, I took blinds and flops away from my opponent. I raised with 89s from the sb and he was all in for $1500 more with A5o. I call and make an 8 on the flop and a boat on the river.

It may not be Chris Ferguson's $0 to $20,000 run, but I'll take it. Anytime you can add value to something that's free -- a chunk of online change, a fiery friendship with a fellow adventurer -- it's totally worth it.

Sure there's risk involved. Others who cling close to the shore may make fun of you. But risk is our business.

1 Comments:

  • Nice scores, both on the car and in the Absolute tourney! I should so play when they give me free money like that, but I still hate the software. I guess it's only a matter of time before I'm lured back.

    By Blogger Mark, at 3:58 PM  

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