Cigars Cards and Mile Markers

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

speeding tickets, coolers and ted russell kamp

well, what i knew would eventually happen certainly did.  i held it off as long as i could, but the deck cooled off for me about a week ago.   3 out of the last 4 tourneys i have played i have started the usual way in amassing a large stack of chips.   at the final 9 (on two of them) i have plenty of chips and then get no cards to work with at all.  no suited connectors, no A above a 5 or 6 (and that's when i'm usually under the gun or in the blinds and can't see a cheap flop), no pairs.  nothing.   so when this happens in these local tourneys the blinds go up so fast that when you go card dead for 30 minutes or more you are seriously in danger.   a week ago sunday i barely managed to min cash for $143 when my AK suited got out flopped by QJ suited and to make it sting even worse was the fact that my opponent and i shared the exact same suit. a week ago today i almost hit a crucial double up with AQ suited vs. JJ when i turned the nut flush, giving me 15 outs, but the river was a blank for me.  thursday at winstar was no different as i started off great, but just couldn't make much happen (seriously very bad blind structure).  then two days ago i bubbled, at 4 handed, when my friend jason took me out holding 1010 vs my AK (and if you read this jason no bad blood here, no doubt.  you have to make that call every time at that stage of the tourney.  i'm just mad at myself for shoving because my gut told me i was gonna lose if i did that....and i did).   i'm just not hitting my over cards when i face a lower pair.   these things happen.  i know it.  it still sucks though.  

and given the fact that i have some unpaid past speeding tickets crop up, out of state of all places, to suspend my DL right now, all my profit from two weeks ago has been spent on clearing those tickets up.......and they still won't give me my DL back.  yeah me.  thank goodness i have friends who like being paid in cigars to haul my ass around right now and my friend's incentive to take me to card games is my promise to pay him a % of my winnings.  although if i don't take down 1st or 2nd tonight i might have to peel the card playing back to tuesday nights only.  my cash has been drained seriously this last week or so.  i was well on my way to having my london trip half paid for by the end of the month and now suddenly all that money is gone........POOF!  time to figure out a way to build it back up........or sell some more of this crap at my house i'm tired of looking at.

as i have said before........the cards can turn on you in an instant.  they don't care who you are.  tonight i am going to seriously have to figure out a way to make some moves should i go card dead again in the latter stages of the tourney.   i will cash tonight and if there's a way to cash in 1st i WILL figure it out. 

since i got home from my west coast run on 4/21 i have had the best run of cards since i began playing. in fact, i have made more money playing cards than playing music.   card playing also is rating at much higher per hour profit than music right now.  i'm averaging, even with losses, about $48.50 per hour playing cards.   with gigs i'm LUCKY to make $25 an hour when it's all said and done (i've turned down a lot of gigs that would have ended up paying a measley $8-$10 an hour.  those aren't worth my time and they usually involve very very bad music).  the problem with music is when i do hit $20 + an hour i usually only have 2-3 gigs a week.   which clearly won't cut it.  so i am very very thankful for my profits at the card table these last two months. 

i hope i can keep this up.   it's my way out of the music business.  which i need to get out of as i get no longer get any joy out of playing music that i don't like.   the money just isn't worth it anymore.   so if you are reading this and i play a show with you in the future then you can know 100% that i like your music AND i like you as person.   of course i could have my arm twisted to do a european tour with just about anyone as long as you drop me off in london when it's all said and done.

speaking of gigs and GOOD music, my good friend ted russell kamp will be back in the DFW are in july for 10 days.  i will have 5 shows with him, one day in the studio and we'll be filming a video for a song off his new record as well.  also on the shows that week are chris claridy and josh davis.   seriously good band, fo sho.   i think ted is planning on recording the show at "love and war" in plano as well (audio only i think, but who knows).   if you haven't caught his live show you should and not because i'm gonna be there either.  it's good music, good tunes and good people.   i'll be sending out event invites for the shows that week so hopefully i'll see of you there.  even if you can't make a show, you should go buy this record (or any of his records for that matter as they're all quite good):

ok, i got 40 minutes until it's time to head to the card game and i have to set that deck back on fire tonight.  later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the summer is heating up......

they say you can't always win at cards and i certainly know this to be very true.   i've had my ups and downs with the game just like every one else.   i've built small bankrolls of $50-$100 into not much bigger bankrolls of $800-$900......then the deck goes cold, i can't win a race, the suckouts abound and before you know it i'm back down to my original roll.  it's sooooo frustrating.   you're still playing well, you're not on tilt, you're still getting cards................but you lose, lose, lose, lose, lose.   it can literally make you feel like you are the worst card player on the planet.   it'll ruin your day.  maybe your week and month.   it's ruined my day before, more than once or twice.  it's the worst feeling in the world to me.   that sounds exaggerated, but for me it's not.   i really don't think people that don't play cards or people that don't take the game seriously can possible comprehend what i'm saying here either.

here's a conversation i had the other night with a friend of mine who was in vegas:

monday night 9:15pm CST:  
friend: "i'm killing a 4-8 w/ kill game at orleans"
me: "sweet.  i love limit because it's usually people that don't have the knowledge or cash to play NLHE"
friend: "yeah, a lot of people seeing flops for jackpot, i'm raising my hands building pots"

tuesday afternoon 4:43pm CST:
me: "how did you end up doing last night?"
friend: "hate vegas.  hate poker.  gold cold decked and couldn't scoop a pot.  just a bummer."

**not an uncommon conversation to have with friends concerning cards.  only a card player understands that when you are UP and running DO NOT leave the table.   being is up is not a reason to leave.  cold decks, better players, bad table image, being on tilt........those are reasons to leave.   sometimes playing cash games, which is rare for me, i over the course of 20-30 minutes can literally and clearly see that the deck has gone cold for me.  so i cash out.   never leave when you are running the table and crushing the game.  that, in essence, is you losing money.   because you're leaving dead money behind that should be flowing into your pocket.**

me....i'm a highly emotional person.  i wish i wasn't, but i am.  my highs are STUPID high and my lows......well, they are lower than most of my good mates realize because i don't let them see them (my counselor suggested more than once that i should look into some sort of drug that would balance me out so these swings aren't so drastic, like cards oddly enough, but i said no, more than once).  there's no real purpose served to let people see that side of me.   and of course lately........with the cards at least.......things have been good for me.  so life feels great.  tomorrow it might just suck badly, but today it's grand. 

which brings me back to the whole "heat" thing.    i cashed in 1st last night AGAIN at the tuesday night $40 rebuy.  my opponent at heads up only wanted to chop the money if i gave him an extra $20, so i said "no thanks".   then about 20 minutes later he wants to chop when i get him 2-1 in chips.   i said no.  a few hands later he asks again about chopping, but this time he said he would give ME an extra $50.  i said no.   i told him that i offered a chop when we got HU and he wouldn't chop it 50/50, so now we shall play it out.   like in most cases there was a small voice in the back of my head that said i should chop and not take a chance, BUT this guy i knew i could beat.   i had gotten him off better hands earlier in the night already.   i open shoved from the small blind once with K9 clubs when it had folded around to me.  i had to ship my whole stack because i felt 100% it was a big enough stack to get him off a weak A or any hand that wasn't very strong.  the big blind sits there agonizing over if should call me or not.  he could have won an oscar for his performance.   finally after about 2 minutes of thinking about it (he was really concerned about risking 60-70% of his stack on this hand....which is EVERYTHING at this stage of the tourney) he OPEN folds 88.   i chuckled on the inside and told him "good fold".  the even sicker part is the dealer, in her hand, burned a card and delt the flop to see it: AK3.    his fold, in my opinion, was a bad fold, but lucky for him he didn't call.    my biggest strength at this tuesday night game is that very few of the players know how to use their stack sizes deep in the tourney.  they all like to limp, so when i wake up with a good hand i punish them by, usually, shoving.   any raise less than that won't work.  they'll call a raise even if it leaves them with 500 in chips, but they WON'T call a raise if it puts them all in.  yeah, i know, it makes NO sense at all.  to leave yourself with no chips to work with is the same as being all in.  some disagree with me, but that's just how i see it. if you don't have enough chips to move someone off their weak or medium weak hand then you're short stacked.  heck, one hand last night i shoved with KJ hearts and the fella to my right limped.  table folded back around to him and he open folded A6 hearts.    dude had me CRUSHED, but he folded because made him decide for his tourney life on that one hand.   once again, i chuckled inside and told him VERY VERY good fold.   he believe me too......which still cracks me up right now.   the key to my winning over there is when i DO have to show a hand it's strong and it usually wins. 

i keep telling myself i can't keep cashing there every week......but i do.  every. single.week.   and for the record i'm not cashing solely because i'm getting killer cards.  sometimes i do get good cards at just the right time.   everyone needs that to happen to make a profit at the tables.  of course there are some weeks where i am lucky enough to have a decent stack because i have to fold for an hour sometimes and that's a lot of blinds.   i'm cashing because i have a good line on these players.  i know which ones play which way.  i know the tight ones (so when they raise i usually get out of the way) and i know the ones that chase to no end with bad hands.    finally last night when the game was over someone said "yeah, he cashes every week".   well, here's to hoping those fellas don't get better and i cash there..........every. single. week.   right now that room is paying all my bills and if i take down sunday for first place is PAID for in full and i might go sooner than planned, but most likely not as there's a big series i want to play in early october at the fox poker club

NOW i just have to get a good line on room #2 that's close to the house.  those older fellas are NOT easy to play against and if i can figure them out and cash there semi regularly then life would be sweet.   i couldn't go to the WSOP once again this year, but i DO NOT care what it 2012 i AM going and i AM going to make money.  just watch me.  and unlike most i could care less about a bracelet.  i am there for the money.   not to get rich, but to make enough to afford me freedom in life.  to travel, to eat well, to play cards.   i will not be a slave to work and life.  it won't happen.  i've lived far too long without a day job to EVER go back.  i can't.