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01/09/2006: "if i played poker for a living, what would i do for fun? get a job?"

Steve's got a good point: why turn a fun hobby into your work? seems like something many of us try to do. i think it comes from that old adage, "Find something you like doing in life, and then do it a lot." or something like that.

work is work, right? i mean, you can enjoy work, but it really shouldn't take the place of your life, right?


you ever have moments of clarity? i had one Sunday in the FTP $200K Guarantee. while not looking at my PT DB, i recall having wired jacks in middle position. i raise 3.5xBB. we're somewhere after the break, but before the antes, maybe 100/200 and i have around 4000 in chips. i have shown down almost no hands, not b/c i wasn't looking to get my money in with the best of it but b/c (a) my table was somewhat passive, (b) my table image was tight, (c) people were afraid of my cock avatar. probably just (a). anyway, the button calls and we see a flop. i am pretty much chanting under my breath, "no ace, no king, no queen. no ace, no king, no queen. no ace, no king, no queen." flop comes two under cards and an ace, with the ace suited to one under. craptacular. i act first and put in a 50% pot bet. button has a a little less than double my stack and raises me pretty much all-in. i think for a bit and fold. my moment of clarity? i truly suck at poker.

did he have an ace? did he have a pocket pair smaller than jacks and was calling to try and hit a set? did he hit the set? did he out play? despite answers to all those first question, i couldn't stop feeling the answer to the last was, "yes." i went from top 40% of players to bottom 10%. one hand. i seriously suck at this game.

into the ante rounds i am basically looking for a place to get my money in a double up. AJo hits and i raise all-in. you know the saying, "only person who calls that bet is someone who has you beat." AQo calls and i am out in the low 700s (1400 or so registered.)

playing some $1/$2NLHE six-handed this morning and i was back to my usual pushy self. i got AK in early position, raised to $7 and got one caller in the blinds. flop comes out 9 high and i pot it. blind calls. turn comes out another card lower than 10 and i pot it again, blind folds and i drag a decent pot. point? point is that i think one of my major problems is not being able to make plays in tough spots. one key to strong poker is being able to fire another bullet on the turn, even though you have missed the flop and turn cards. sure, sometimes you are going to be beat, but you have to be able to keep firing. it is not enough to concede on the flop bet. i am guessing that strong players routinely fire two bets even when they are ace high on an uncoordinate board.

so, maybe i should have gone all-in on the flop of that ace with my jacks? dunno. my notes on the guy are that he is a player - capable of playing good poker, including playing with nothing. no telling what he had, but i wish in hindsight i had pushed with jacks rather than forcing myself to push with AJ. again, i suck.

FTP had a wicked server crash last night - kicking me out of my comeback tourney...or at least what i hoped would be the comeback tourney. like most, i mosied over to Poker Stars and played the $3 Rebuy to the $500K Guarantee, then some $1/$2NLHE 6-handed.

btw, online poker is so rigged.

so i have been trying to put in a lot of time on both PS and FTP, but FTP seems to get more of my play. they both are great sites; here's what i like about each:

Poker Stars
1. fold button - it is always available. i dunno why FTP doesn't offer this. in live cash games, you can always fold your hand at anytime and muck it. i hate having hands get checked down and having to expose what i may have been playing...esp. if it was taking a shot with some loose call to a pre-flop raise.

2. personal avatar - everyone likes individuality. while cartoon avatars are cool, esp. with changable emotions, nothing beats my new PS avatar!

3. no "pot" bet button - i like that PS makes you type in the amount you want to bet. i think this sometimes makes players play weaker than they should. on FTP the "pot" bet button makes it easier for players to come off as aggressive. of course, i know FTP likes bigger pots, thus bigger rakes....

Full Tilt
1. graphic hand history - there is no site out there that has a better hand history function than FTP; hands down the winner. a benefit to this? IMHO, i think it makes it easier to multi-table, which in turn surely increases the rake. plus, who doesn't like screenshots?

2. changeable background - i love being able to change the background, not b/c i think they are cool looking, but b/c as i play, the longer i play, changing the background lessens eye fatigue. plus, on my laptop the beach scene comes out bright, which helps since my TFT is pretty dark. in contrast, PS background is static and after a few hours my eyes hurt more (and i have 20/20 vision).

3. detachable chat - again, FTP's chat is hands down one of the best. i cannot fathom why PS doesn't implement this. making users use that tiny chat window just drives people to other IM clients, where we know PS can't monitor the goings-on. in contrast, there really is no reason to run AIM or IRC while on FTP - the chat window is pretty much perfect!

there you have it, what i like about each. in my perfect world, i would get a client that has the best of both. dear FTP and PS - please merge your features!

that's all for now - enjoy your day!

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