Friday, April 20, 2007

Looking back on the past year

I've not posted a meaningful entry here in quite a while I see. A lot has changed since then. Looking back over the last several entries I see that what I'd heard of prolonged slumps can and do happen. That one lasted a long long time but it was a slump it would appear.

I'm just about to leave on a cruise around the Western Carribean. That is not all that noteable I suppose. We do that sort of thing with increasing regularity since Lee is older and now that we've got an empty nest we will probably do it even more. What is noteable is that poker paid for it. My playing paid for it.

Actually I suppose my good luck paid for it. I was playing the $1/$2 game in Tampa at the Hard Rock. We were in town for concerts at the Plant City Strawberry Festival. I'd just sat down at the table and three hands later in the big blind I'm dealt the KQ of spades. As usual in those games most of the table had limped by the time it got to me. I was still settling in so I just checked. (If I'd been more accustomed to the table I'd have definately raised). The flop came A and T of spades and a low red card. I had the nut flush draw a gut shot straight draw and a gut shot ROYAL flush draw. I saw no reason not to bet and had it been raised I probably would have three bet to build a pot. There were several callers but no raise. The turn was a red ten. I checked, hoping but not expecting a free card. Surely the inevitable ace would bet. It checked around. Go figure. The river card that I got to see for free was the J of spades completing my royal. I can't lose, why not bet? I got one caller and when I flipped over the royal the table went nuts. It seems that the Hard Rock has a progressive jackpot for spade royals. I'd hit it for $4,855!

So on the basis of that profit I'm about to go on a cruise. It's a 'cheap' one, the cheapest I could manage for a week on a ship I like. It used about 25% of that jackpot, the rest, what taxes and tips won't suck up will sit padding my bankroll.

Shortly after that hit I took a trip to Biloxi and Tunica for eleven days. I did not only very well but fantastically well. I was ahead around $1200 at poker for the trip although I did give some of it back at video poker (my one vice but one I can easily give up). Over the time I played I was ahead around 3 big bets per hour. My sessions were not long, few over 4 hours and many around 3. That could have something to do with it and if that is what it takes for me to win then I'll play shorter sessions.

Was I losing my concentration in longer sessions? I don't think so but maybe I am since the results seem to show that. If I was realy just doing hit and runs with lucky short sessions then I would not have won on 19 out of 22 sessions I do not think. that is pushing luck a little far. I WAS hitting cards, make no mistake. I was not getting sucked out on excessively. That was a big factor and I realize that is was also skill though in that I was able to get away from many hands that would have lost even more than they already had. I folded ONE winner that I should not have...a lesson learned that I will NOT repeat.

Nine days after returning from this cruise I once again head to Biloxi and Tunica. Two days in Biloxi and nine days in Tunica. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. I don't expect 3 big bets per hour. That was exceptional. I do expect to have a winning trip. We shall see.

This year, since January, I've played a lot of APL. It's just free poker but it's local and it's fun and I believe it's decent practice. I think it may have even helped my cash games even the limit ones.

I had a goal to just see how high I could get in the region. Before my last Tunica trip I was as high as 25th. Right now, playing less and having been out of town for half of March, I'm 44th. I can probably stay in the top 50 doing what I'm doing, playing around 7 tournaments a week. Many of the players above me are playing 14-16 a week. I'm not willing to do that although I was as high as 10-12 per week for a while. It was a bit much and I'm enjoying life pretty well at the pace I'm playing so that is the pace I'll continue.

I've been working on trying to not just make final tables but set myself up to WIN. I think I'm betting better. I did win another one and have another second or two. Everybody is so short stacked by the final 4 or 5 players that it seems more to require luck than skill. Maybe that is an excuse. I don't think so...but maybe.

It will be interesting to see where the roller coaster that is Poker takes me next. I'll be back eventually to let you know.

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