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playing poker and teaching science: March 2006

playing poker and teaching science

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Why keep a damn blog??

Iggy had a funny comment from a fellow poker player who said something to the effect of “Put that in your blog and smoke it,” because everyone and their brother has a blog.

Other than the fact that this is reminiscent of the line from Back To The Future, “Make like a tree and get out of here,” it gives one a reason to ponder the question, “Why keep a blog?”

My answer to the question is simple: To remember.

I’ve been reading my past posts, have gleaned some very useful information, and recently confirmed something I apparently learned some time ago: When I move up a limit, I play very well.

Maybe “well” isn’t the word; “tight” might be better. I moved from the Party Poker $.50/$1 Omaha 8/b table to the $1/$2 table recently and while that may not seem like a very large jump, just having to put out a buck in the blind instead of 50 cents makes it LOOK like more money than it is.

The result is very tight play. Not too tight, but pretty friggin’ tight. It’s working. I’m making money playing the best hands: A2, A3, 4 cards Ace to 10, etc. I’m even folding KK when there is NO chance of a low.

Damn that’s hard. Those kings are SO VERY pretty!

Felicia wrote an interesting article on being yourself. For me, being myself means that money is important. I was raised without much, I have a son going to college soon, and I abhor owing money. It’s not so much that money is important, but LOSING money is important.

Being myself also means that I am a good poker player. I’m good because numbers and patterns are my thing. As long as I can maintain good discipline I can use those skills effectively. The question arises then is how to balance the two: How do I play poker well and not risk losing money?

Can that be done?

I think it can and I think I can do it. I have to remind myself however that if I lose EVERY DIME I have on line that I’m still WAY up and that it’s okay to risk that money to improve and move through the levels. I’ve cashed out that much more then I’ve ever deposited just since I’ve been keeping careful records.

Moving up levels is something I want to do, but also something I struggle with because you lose bigger chunks at a time. Variance is an evil demon that must continually be exercised but which must be endured to move up. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil….

I’m moving up, being disciplined, and awaiting the results.

I’m also remembering what works.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Practice makes perfect

Who woulda thought you have to practice to stay sharp at playing poker? I started with about $150 last April and ran it up to a tidy little sum by playing two tables of tight $2/$4 limit Hold Em. I played good cards in good position and folded the rest. It’s an easy plan: Fold a lot, win a little.

It’s fool proof.

It’s fool proof unless you lay off for a long while because you have coaching responsibilities and enjoy spending time with the fruit of your loins. Then Ace/10 in early position looks like something you should open with and call a raise with and a bet and another bet and a river bet and lose four big bets with to Big Slick.

Coming back after a lay off in poker is a lot like that first time the weather breaks and you pick up your Big Bertha and motor on over to the local driving range to hit a bucket of balls. Shank, hook, slice. Shank, hook, slice.

It’s like a cruel Country-Western dance.

I’m back at it. Studying the game to plug the leaks and trying to get the roll back into my bankroll.

Tight, tighter, tightest. Thanks my new mantra.

Back to battle.