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Medium-High Stakes Full Ring Discussion of $400+ pot-limit and no-limit and 5/10 live texas hold'em full ring games, situations and strategies

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Old 05-13-2017, 03:07 AM   #3351
DGAF
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Coast
Posts: 5,010
Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The Plan


The plan after a big downswing is always just to accept it and move on…

Most pros will tell you they are going to “just really grind for a while, until things turn...” Being hyper-competitive- the result of constantly being picked on/beaten on by your older brother growing up, and “a pleaser”- the result of your dad bailing shortly after you were born and your mom turning her attention inward (your brother had the opposite reaction to this- he become “a displeaser”, but he had the love and attention taken away from him, whereas you just never had it)--> you have always had unrelenting work ethic…

Spoiler:


So if you wanted to “just really grind” poker (in comfortable chairs, in air-conditioned casinos, where food and drink are brought to you whenever you want, where there is no one barking out orders at you, where the pay is good, etc), you could do it, no problem- literally until the day you died/you couldn’t win anymore…

It likely wouldn’t take THAT long to get out of debt and pumped up again (what people really mean when they say, “until things turn”) lol, mainly because your grinder game (which you abandoned in ’09 when you started to think big picture about poker/your career- but then picked back up for 2012 because your second kid was on the way and your roll had dwindled down to 0 for the first time) is SCARY GOOD. Like turn your head away from the TV because the killer is in the house/we’re short-handed now and this dude knows what I have every hand, he knows what I think he has every hand, he never takes a ****ing hand off, “sorry guys, wish I could keep playing but I gotta beat traffic” SCARY…

OTOH, your monthly nut is pretty damn robust these days (despite your focus on it lately), financially you are closer to China than you have ever been before, games are getting worse and worse/smaller and smaller everyday (economic downturn + clueless “pros” + poker capitalists = the end is near), and you do have a tendency to run Steve ****ing Austin a lot/more so than anyone you know who still plays. So it could take a while...

Doesn’t matter- you could “really grind” poker forever if you wanted to/it almost seems like you were born (and raised) to do it…


Here’s the conundrum:

Those who “really grind” poker are ****ing horrible for the game. They live below the line of acceptable/proper behavior at the poker table. Deductive reasoning/common sense should tell them that everything they do to “play their absolute best at all times” [tank on every decision, stare/intimidate, rarely engage with others because they are always in mad scientist mode/they are trying to figure out everyone’s 4b calling range or whatever--> meanwhile the one rec player in the game is wearing a Cavs hat and having a few beers- and he would love to GOAT debate LeBron vs MJ with someone (you know, while he is out of the house/not running **** at the office), but no one at the table is up for it/would ever think to bring it up] leads to poker drying up again

Spoiler:


“Grinders” (aka “robots”, aka “pros”) either don’t ever think about the horrible negative effect they are having on poker/THEIR LIVELIHOOD, or they just don’t care. You deduce it’s almost always the former, because they are way too selfish to consciously sabotage their own livelihood, right? Also, to a man they are always so incredulous as to how “you are always in all these amazing games- at all these random casinos!”

They also never say, “Thank you, DGAF, for doing all the heavy lifting (Boom! Brought that Maximus/laborer thing back real quick ), you just kept me out of the job classifieds for another day”- after they stack the whale, who was only still playing because you drank, smiled, flipped, did free stand-up (while sitting down), played fast, spewed/gave unlimited action, etc…

(Cue full blown rant mode)

No exaggeration, these god mode-activated, no-expenses-having “pros”, with their fat stacks/bankrolls (from cold-decking whales ldo), will literally sit silently at the table for hours- with oblivious/grind-y/smug af looks on their faces, while you give the whale ALL the attention and action with bad hands he craves/deserves. You pay for his Johnny Walker Blue, you give him 10 bucks every time he drinks a beer (he plays worse and worse the more he drinks ), you pay his time every half hour, you give him 25 bucks every time he wins a pot/collect 5 bucks from him every time he doesn’t (to motivate him to try to win EVERY pot obv)…

You and (almost always) only you meet ALL the whale’s demands…

Spoiler:


And to this day, not one silent, zero-participation “pro” has ever thanked you, much less offered to pitch in for all the drinks/bounties/whatever- before, during, or after the session in which they got to play with the ONE person they were a big favorite over, who was going to straight up donate 15k to the table/basically cut each player a check for $1875.00- for just sitting there and waiting for good hands for a few hours, all/only because you made it worthwhile/fun enough for him to keep playing--> even though he KNEW he was drawing dead to make it to the cage if he did…

Spoiler:


(Cue downshift to grizzled vet lecture mode)

***Poker (I’m talking about the games that can be beat for real money- I’m always talking about these games/I don’t care about the other ones) only survives long-term as a SOCIAL GAME where EVERYONE constantly sacrifices bits and pieces of EV for the good of the game…

Spoiler:


First, EVERYONE has a social responsibility to show up dressed/groomed such that other players are pleased with their appearance--> they must sacrifice some “comfort” at the table and some “time” beforehand…

Second, EVERYONE has a social responsibility to be pleasant and interact/engage at the table such that other players enjoy their company (if people don’t like playing with you, it is NOT because you are good at poker )--> they must sacrifice considerable “focus” in order to fade mood swings and always stay plugged in/contribute to the conversation...

Third, EVERYONE must act quickly. Not only should they think ahead AMAP and always be ready to act when it’s their turn (plz look at your cards as soon as you get them!), but they should also have a quick internal clock that starts counting down the moment anyone at the table seems at all irritated with how long their decision is taking (the more important the irritated player, the fewer seconds you start with obv)--> they must sacrifice a ton of “decision making”/be completely at peace with the idea of playing signif worse irl than they do in theory/on the poker forums- where they have all the time in the world to make each move (Note: Playing quickly is done out of respect for all the other players AND the dealers)…

Fourth, EVERYONE must abstain AMAP from TABLE HOPPING, SEAT HOPPING, HITTING AND RUNNING, ANGLE SHOOTING (stop with the pump fakes already!), INFORMATION MINING, SET-UP CALLING, STRADDLE DODGING- or any other act/behavior that if replicated by the masses would trigger a race to the bottom/be the end of poker as we know it…


Here’s the other conundrum:

Really grinding” poker (or anything for that matter) sucks the life out of you…

You are no longer the dumb, 17-year-old manual laborer who will literally break his back for minimum wage. In fact, you have been doing a ton of soul searching lately (extended time in the abyss will make you question/ponder EVERYTHING), and the more you learn about yourself, the more you realize that—like just about everyone else in the world—you have always been the EXACT correct mathematical answer to your life’s equation (genetics + life experiences = YOU). And the more you think about it, the more interested you are starting to become in “free will”. **** the equation and all the values of all the variables in it iyo, you want to put something unexpected/a much bigger number than there is supposed to be in that box on the far right- just for the hell of it…

So you will not “just really grind for a while, until things turn,” a) because poker is your livelihood (for now) and you want to protect it/do the right thing, and b) because you want to protect YOU/you are going to start “looking out for #1” a little bit moving forward- despite your very strong tendency/inclination (developed during a bogus childhood- whaaa) not to. You will put in as many hours as need be “until things turn”- you just won’t “really grind” any of them...

You will game select more though, mainly to sh games (especially if you can’t get the straddle on)- even if that means playing lower than you like sometimes. ***It takes a brutal downswing to remind you just how important game selection is/that you have to be a HUGE favorite in a game just to make playing worthwhile (because live poker is so slow obv), and that full ring 2-blind NL (in almost all lineups these days) is just a huge crap shoot/waste of your time…


Mostly though, you will just really, really hope to run good/better/not completely terrible for a while (<-- step 2 of “The Plan”)…

(Sanity check/note to self to never try to re-invent the wheel just because you have driven over a bunch of potholes lately…)

NLHE has pretty much always been something you could just show up to—in all sorts of states—and make doctor money at (because you are a natural soul-reader/multi-tasker/actor/gambler) while providing a good time for all. You have long been “the anti-grinder”, the pro who doesn’t look or act or even play like one (who is almost impossible to even detect as one without a very trained eye), the conflicted hustler who has all the street smarts- but who is way too righteous to ever take advantage of anyone/do the game wrong…

You work hard away from the table, but in game you are much more ambassador/host/vigilante (when need be) than mad scientist. And that system/balance has worked very well for you over the years- to the tune of you quite possibly being the biggest winner (in terms of total big blinds won) in live 5-10+ nl since the boom- bar none )…

So now is not the time to start being results oriented- just because you have run ~ 100k below expectation in all-in pots alone over the past few months (<-- true mf story)/because you have long played high stakes poker on no roll , just the idea that you would always win decent+ over the course of a few months or whatever/you would never run bottom bottom bottom for too long…


3rd and final step of “The Plan”…

You just hope that your extended time in the abyss has made you stronger- as a person and a player…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
So you peel yourself off the couch and you go withdraw 10k from your bank account (which now has some/not a lot of money in it because you got a loan). You also get a car wash and a haircut while you are out, because it’s time to stop feeling sorry for yourself/get back on that horse… You order pizza for your kids when you get back home, and you facilitate baths and PJs and hair brushing and all that until the doorbell rings…

After dinner, you pop some popcorn and watch the re-make of ‘The Karate Kid’ with your kids (they obv start attacking you with karate chops and what not at the end… or actually maybe it was you who started the pre-bedtime karate wars ). You tuck them in, tell ‘em you love ‘em “the whole world”, and that you have to go on a work trip (they don’t fully understand what you do, but they know you pay for everything/they rarely give you too hard a time when you leave- ty DGAF jr and your amazing sister ). You quickly throw some clothes in your suitcase, grab a few waters, pop an addy for the road , and you start driving through the night to Las Vegas…


You are fresh, focused, and ready to punish some nits/start earning for your family again. You took a full week off- and it did the mf trick... You think about your streak of 4 trips in a row (either coming or going- or both) where you got stuck behind a bad accident and the 4-hour drive became 7…

Spoiler:

Tonight you coast at ~ 80. There are no accidents showing up on Waze. There are no clouds blocking the stars as you approach the dark desert. You are an EXTREMELY lucky person, all things considered (AINEC actually)… You could be healthier (especially on work trips)- but you’ve got your health pretty much. And you’ve got a very small—but also very amazing—circle that always keeps your spirits up in tough times/keeps you in action whenever need be. And ofc, you’ve got that offspring... This is gonna be a good trip. Here we go…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
Vegas is crazy slow for a Saturday Night... There is one 10-20 with a list at Bell and one 5-10 with no list at Wynn- and that’s it. You aren’t going to play smaller than deep 5-10- your monthly nut dictates that...

Spoiler:


You call over to Wynn a few Future songs on 10—with the windows down and the heater on max—after you pass State Line (the seasons are changing, but you always like to wake up with fresh air and loud music once you cross into Nevada- regardless of the weather). The girl who answers the phone tells you the 5-10 is heads up…

After a few text messages you find out who is battling- one very good pro and one spot. As a professional courtesy, you text the pro and ask him if he would like company or not (you are a very good pro too- esp 3-handed)… He doesn’t reply. Hmmm…

You call Wynn back and have the girl go ask the two 5-10 players if they want “(DGAF)” to come play/if they will keep playing for a while… The answer (which you can hear very clearly through the phone lol) is “Yes!” You tell the girl to tell them you will be there in 15 minutes and to not leave plzzz…

You get to Wynn (Encore actually) 14 minutes after you last called (you check the time stamp on your phone) and there is no game. Wtf. The pro that was playing now texts you back and is like, “Hey, how are you? How you been? I don’t play full-time anymore… We should do dinner sometime…”

Spoiler:

You slap an Abe Lincoln on the podium for the girl working the phones, and you start making your way back out to the parking garage…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The 10-20 at Bell is now a 20-40-80 lol (you aren’t the only one who likes to kick up games/add straddles- I see you busticator) and there is a seat open...

The lineup is very chill: 2 Macau whales, 1 Macau pro, 4 Bellagio pros, and 1 Venetian 2-5 pro (who is friends with the Macau pro ) who has what appears to be 30k in front of him! Doesn’t matter though, 20-40-80 is just too big for your current financial situation OBV…

OTOH, it is 3 blinds… And there are ZERO other games in town for you to play… And you don’t have to run bad if you sit obv (you never know when you will be released from the abyss, it just happens at some point- or it doesn’t)/this could actually be a pretty big come up for you…

You wrap your jacket around the open seat and hand the floor your player’s card and the 10k you brought with you on your work trip….

Spoiler:


You look down at complete garbage for about 20 minutes, and then your spew buzzer goes off… A Bellagio pro who just doubled up TWICE with sets opens in the hijack when it’s your button [it’s your most basic instinct in this spot to say “Nah, **** that Man, you can’t have everything”/re-pop him with your entire “dealt range”- and if he somehow accurately assesses the situation/your wideness (despite your VPIP being 0% up to this point lol), so be it, he better be ready to stack off all those new chips he just got oop vs a range that hits all boards/let the leveling war begin iyo]… You 3x his open with Q7o (the computer hand, not bad) and he calls pretty quickly. You guys play a pretty big pot and Mr. Set Flopper finally tank/folds to your 3rd barrel on AQJTx (or off to the 5-10 1500 cap with your last 2k you would have been )…

Note: You bet small enough on the flop that you had all the Kx combos, and when MSF called turn you picked up something (not gonna say what) that told you he had two pair (god love him if he flopped another set- but either way, you were almost positive he didn’t have a straight/he was trying to boat up on the river or get to showdown without calling another bet)--> this hand is prob only ~ 50% as spazzy as it might seem (without bet sizes/reads) lol…

You play a couple more hours of missing flops/draws and just generally being card dead af, but you keep winning decent pots with air…

Spoiler:


Then you get in a weird spot when the 2-5 pro (solid af in this game) flats your 6x “punish the limpers” raise and the biggest whale 3bs big from the blinds- and you have AQo! This dude re-pops like 50% of hands (seriously), so you really want to click it back with your first premium (you have long over-valued hands, but right now AQo looks like a Victoria’s Secret model sitting in the passenger seat of an idling Lambo- and there is no one in the driver’s seat, and she’s smiling at you and gently tilting her head to the left on repeat)! The 2-5 pro’s range is a problem though (a 2-5 pro flatting 30 with an aggro re-popping whale behind in a 2-5 game =/= a 2-5 pro flatting 480 with an aggro re-popping whale behind in a 20-40-80 game iyo), as is your stack- too shallow to fold to a shove, too deep to just get it in pre…

You call the re-pop, as does the 2-5 pro. It comes K44r, whale cbets, you unhappily fold, and the 2-5 pro adds another 6k or so to his stack with TT (turn and river go check, check)...

Spoiler:



Another hour or so passes and after a few successful squeezes (once the re-popping whale is safely out of the hand obv) you again have ~ the 10k you bought in for in front of you (as dumb as it is to care about being “stuck” in a session/as much as you advise “friends” to not be idiots and “just focus on playing good”- you actually care a lot about being stuck in sessions lately- tbth)…

Feeling like a newborn baby again (cuz you are unstuck/actually up a few big blinds!), you open Ac9c in lp. Big Dog Macau 3bets you from the blinds (obv). You call. The flop comes 986cc and he overbets like 6k. You snap-ship, he snap-calls, and you agree to run it twice. Big Dog has T8o and you guys chop...

As soon as the 2nd river card is turned over/before you can even sigh, Macau pro- who is sitting next to you and who is pretty cool afayct (you played him hu a long time ago and he seemed cool), asks you if your hand was “a decent favorite” or if it was “more of a flip”. You smile…

Wait. He’s being serious…

Spoiler:

You lose some silly pot to one of the Bellagio pros with nfd vs smaller fd that binks a pair on the river (sigh). Now you’ve got like 8k (100 bigs) left…

You open A3 on the button and Big Dog 3bets from the blinds (as he does). It comes A84r and he checks… His check isn’t the most settling thing in the world obv, but he has a lot of bluff-catchers worse than top pair that he will go with iyo (for real, this guy is legit), and if he does have air he might just go for it anyways- if you induce. Also, your image is garbage by now (the tight image was fun while it lasted though!) and no one ever bets top pair in your spot- so you take a fake “stab”/you value bet your A3 some amount that looks weak af…

Big dog CRAI and stacks you on two boards (after slow-rolling the **** out of you- which is his God given right as a whale, but it still stings) with A9o. You grab your jacket and head to the casino bar, busted yet again…


Tomorrow is Sunday so banks aren’t open. And being in Vegas with no loot is like being at a pool party with no bathing suit. **** it, you are going home to re-group- again... You set your barely sipped $11 Stella down on the bar, you jump in your car, you peer deep into the (currently much less troubled than yours) soul of the homeless dude who starts to approach you at the gas station but then thinks better of it, you buy a 4-pack of sugar-free red bull, a jug of water and an e-cig, and you start backtracking down the 15 into the darkness...

You’ve made this round trip drive plenty of times without sleep- each time after busting in a cash game or a tournament (yeah, you used to play some WSOP events- back when you were a pipe dreamer just like everybody else)…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The first two and a half hours of the drive back from Vegas you are catatonic. You don’t listen to music or look at your phone or even think really. You just stare at the cars in front of you until you pass them, cracking red bull after red bull with your right hand, as you steer with your left…

All the hands that ****ed you (whether they were beats or setups or whatever) start to play like silent movies in your photographic memory... You are focused on the tail lights in front of you (and the occasional headlights in your rearview), but you also see very vividly on the passenger side of your windshield (if you will), a mountain of poker chips sprawled out across some felt, a shuffle machine, 9 playing cards face up- and the other 43 in a messy pile face down… You don’t see a dealer- just hands protruding from a long-sleeved uniform. First the hands push 3 of the 5 cards in the middle upwards in slow motion. Then (back at regular speed) the hands push the chip mountain towards the 2 turned up hole cards that were not yours…

Chips spill left and right as the hands push the mountain like a snow plow clears an intersection after a huge storm, and it takes 3 or 4 passes until the mountain is completely leveled/removed...

The hands then quickly gather and organize all 52 cards face down... One hand then carefully sets the used deck in the shuffle machine and pulls the shuffled deck out- once the door pops open, which happens a good second or two after the index finger of the other hand (this part is magnified and slow) reaches over and presses the green button on top of the machine…

(The close up slo-mo reaching over and pressing of the green button is haunting/possibly symbolism of some sort/the scene from the movie that stays with you long after the credits roll…)

Spoiler:


As soon as one movie ends, another begins- just as silent, just as surreal, same exact plot, same goddamn ending…

Once the entire “**** Session #99746362987473687635” video playlist is completed, it starts again- sometimes on shuffle and sometimes not (unlike with iTunes, you have no choice in the matter)…

And that is your drive back from Vegas, as you stay awake with rocket fuel and weave your way in and out of vehicles you only see peripherally- until the needle on your gas gauge is somewhere to the left of straight down…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
Suddenly you start to breath again, your posture relaxes, your eyes resume blinking... Whatever short poker horror film was playing quickly fades into the background. You see a real mountain now through the passenger side of your windshield- and it’s enormous and beautiful. There is a whole cluster of real mountains just like it all around you, and hints of sunlight shoot up from behind the ones on your left- making the sky bluer and bluer/lighter and lighter. You even crack a smile, as you now coast into this giant Bob Ross painting/you start your descent into San Bernardino…

Life isn’t over. Yeah, you really wanted/needed a win- and 10k was prob too much to lose given how little you have to play with total (such a catch 22- needing to win a lot but not being able to lose a lot lol), but you’ll be OK. You will figure something out. You always do…

Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Instead of being super antsy around your kids, you say, “**** it” and swerve hard right across the 15 and onto the 210 W at the last possible moment... You will go to Commerce or Hawaiian Gardens or Bike and try again. You know a lot of people in LA and you can likely swap PayPal for chips, or maybe just borrow. Perhaps a change of scenery will do you some good. ***There is A LOT more to bouncing around/changing venues than superstition…


There is a 6-handed 10-20 at Hawaiian Gardens and no NL being played in the top section of Commerce- and obv nothing going on at Bike on this early Sunday morning, so you find your way onto the 605 South and you roll up to HG with Kendrick Lamar on ~ 6. You are tired (obv), but you are no longer tilted/you are ready to play again. Bring it on poker Gods…

Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The 10-20 looks soft but not amazing (pretty much exactly what you expected), but no one that you would ask for a favor is playing. So you go to the cage and see what they can do for you. They can get 5k out of your bank account for like $150 in fees. Booked…

You sit down and buy in with 2k of your 5k, because you are a disciplined bankroll manager on this morning…

Spoiler:


The game (of 2 spots and 4 grinders- who likely never get exploited for their _______________________ when you aren’t there) breaks within 10 minutes…

Spoiler:


It’s been a long night and you want to have a beer before you go get a hotel room. So you take a seat in “the 300” (3-5 blinds pretty sure) and you order a Modelo with salt on the rim. You bust a buy-in or two (you were up about that much from the few hands you steam-rolled at 10-20) and now an old nemesis walks in…

You and your nemesis have played a bunch of hu over the years (all at Commerce), and aside from one time when you were nearly in a coma and he won like 30k, you have punished him pretty good… He has lots of ego and he loves to play hu, but he’s turned you down the last 4 or 5 times you’ve seen him (Note: the last time you guys played he got so tilted, he turned over your cards after a hand and then threatened to KILL both you and the floor man who said he would be barred for 24 hours if he did it again ). Today though he wants to play. Lezgo…

The hu match actually starts out 3-handed, because the only other dude drinking in “the 300” [love that name/all games should have low min-buys and be called “the (min-buy)”--> so good for business] wants to keep playing with you (Note: recs follow you to bigger games they normally would never play all the time- another nice benefit of not being a robot/drinking at the table). He is very chill and probably 60 years old, and he is practically drawing dead in this lineup/on your right. He gets whacked for a few 1k buyins (the game is 10-20) and now it’s you and your nemesis hu…

Spoiler:


Hu is BY FAR your favorite game/where A LOT of your winnings have come from over the years (rare af for a live player to get much action hu obv, but you have your ways/people used to have ego). You have run very well overall in your hu matches lifetime- no doubt, but your career 67% session win rate jumps to over 80% when it’s just “1 on 1” (so maybe you are half as good at it as you think you are ).

You love the setups/the constant adjustments/the constant leveling hu, and more than anything- you love the ****ing pace/the volume you get! Your general lack of patience (your biggest fundamental leak full ring- AINEC), becomes all but a non-issue hu (unless you are super tilted )…

You are in the zone today and God doesn’t hate you. You whack your nemesis (this guy/day: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/11...t-pre-1623770/) and book a nice 2-state winning session overall…

You realize that despite just really soul reading/mind ****ing/owning this dude to pieces all day long (there were no coolers, nor did you even get dealt better than him overall- in your most objective/seasoned opinion), you still “ran good” for sure…

1. You swerved off the 15 towards LA (instead of just going home to SD) on a whim/at the last second and didn’t crash lol.
2. Bravo/Poker Atlas/the phone call you made led you to HG (instead of Commerce or Bike)- where your nemesis would by chance walk in a few hours later.
3. Your nemesis saw you drinking and playing “the 300” on a Sunday morning and prob looking tired af = sure, he’ll give you action today .
4. No one good showed up and cock-blocked your match.
5. Everything you did in hands worked/you didn’t get ****ed by terrible run outs or weird ****- like when they click-bluff with SDV/hands that should never bluff and you bluff-catch with worse ()…

Spoiler:


You got your nemesis for ~ 20k. That’s more than 10x your career average session result- so yeah, you ran “super good” actually/on 2nd thought, you almost certainly got dealt better than him overall ...

You feel better about things. Much better. You have a 25k working roll now + 10k in the bank- and history tells you that should be plenty. Those ****ing claws that have been digging into your shoulders for months- they are suddenly gone. You can actually stand tall and stretch your arms and back and neck now, and you can breath deeply- and you can even smile a real smile, and that feels good as hell…

You really need to get some sleep though. It’s now Sunday night and you’ve been up since Saturday morning… After hanging out with your kids all day Saturday (the equivalent of a junkie mainlining his D.O.C.--> exhilarating/the best obv, but also very draining), you drove from SD to Vegas, you went to Wynn (Encore actually)- where you got okie-doked by the crusher who doesn’t play full-time anymore, then to Bellagio- where you got whacked for 10k by a slow-rolling Macau whale, then you gassed up and tilt drove home- except you changed your mind and went to LA to battle some more, you got 5k of the 15k left in your bank account out at the cage for 150 bucks juice , you ended up playing an old nemesis hu 10-20 and 20-40 for hours/literally until couldn’t see the cards anymore...

And now here you are--> a traveling poker zombie, sitting in your trusty/bad ass mf 2008 Lexus (which you bought brand new already as a successful poker pro- yikes, you really are a grizzled vet) in the HG parking lot on a Sunday night, trying to decide your next move…

You push the start button (“No keys… Push to start” ) and head to Bike to check out their new hotel/get some much needed rest… Maybe you are finally being released from the abyss/maybe the brutal downswing is finally over. Maybe now you can get back to your ways of just crushing lol live poker and not really worrying about ****/just enjoying each moment of the rollercoaster ride that is your life as much as possible. Seems like it’s time…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
You play a little at the Bike after some sleep (the new hotel is nice, but the burger you ordered from room service was horrific- ftr), but no one there really wants to play with you all that much it seems (Note: LA players have actually seen you turn over winning hands- even full ring!), and the Golden Goose 10-20 that was magically going downstairs—when you woke up, took a piss, pushed your nasty, uneaten burger out into the hallway, checked Poker Atlas just for the hell of it, rubbed your eyes and checked it again, showered and got dressed in a blur, grabbed your backpack (jk) and bolted out to go lock up a seat—it goes from 9-handed to you sitting alone pretty quickly…

Session Result: 40 minutes, -$4,970...

The Big Pot
Game flow: You’ve played almost every hand you’ve been dealt in the 30 or so minutes you’ve been at the table (standard). You’ve collected a lot of free money with air (that no one saw)- but you just lost it all back with air (that everyone did see)--> you 3b pre, cbet flop and shipped turn with KJ on 862A () vs a short-stack that was smart enough to… wait for it… flop a set (hu and oop with 22 ftr). He snap turned his hand over after you shipped (and then threw a chip in to make the call official), so you snap turned your hand over too and started staring intently at the board, like you were really sweating the river- you know, as to lighten the mood/set everyone at ease (in case they thought you might be good at poker)/because you are a troll for life (only for the laughs though ftr- never to be a POS)/because that’s just what you do when you’ve logged 20,000 hours of live No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em…

Notes: Most of these players know who you are. You used to come to the Bike whenever you needed a break from Commerce, and you had one memorable marathon 5-10 session there a couple years back where you straddled just about every hand for 24 hours and won a zillion (the Mississippi Straddle was disallowed the next day, but reinstated like a week later). Anyways, your image is TAG pro, capable of making moves (jk, your image is SLAG idiot moron spaz pro- from Commerce)…

Pre: You have ~ the 5k you bought in for, and you look down at KQhh in the utg straddle (Note: it’s not a straddle game- yet, but you’d like it to become one obv). Someone opens to 100 in mp, someone else calls, the alpha reg/deepest stack at the table (who normally plays very scared vs you, but opposite vs everyone else) pops it to 400 on the button, it folds to you- you call quickly, and both the opener and the OF (original flatter) fold. $1030 in the pot…

Flop: Jh9h7x. Mama! You opt to lead 520 and after maybe 20 seconds, alpha reg pops it to 1200. The table starts to get kinda quiet as everyone tunes in to the big pot that is developing… You quickly send it in for 4450 total. The table goes totally quiet. No one even shuffles a chip. **** just got real at the Bike…

Alpha reg mumbles, squirms in his chair and counts out the 3250 it is to call- over and over for a good 5 minutes. At one point he tries to apologize to the table, but everyone quickly tells him, “It’s OK”, “take your time”, “big pot”, etc… He finally pushes the 3250 across the line and snap looks up at you like, “You got it?!” You smile and ask him if he wants to run it twice. He starts to tank again- like a boss... After a good 30 seconds of contemplating the pros and cons of running it twice (), he looks up at the dealer and announces, “Two times!”

Run-out(s)/Showdown/Aftermath: The dealer sets 4 bricks on the table- like she’s building a little walkway in her backyard, and the table looks to you with great anticipation…

“I have King high…”

Alpha (who is cool af btw) flips over AJo (no heart). You muck and tell him, “Nice hand”, and you gently knock the table (standard). You calmly pull another 5k out of your pocket and politely ask the dealer to call a chip runner. You are unphased by your stacking- and that feels good. This is how you are when you aren’t in the abyss. Send it in with King high, almost get the fold, but instead get called and have 61%, run it twice, get scooped, whatever. Next hand...

You win $10 the next hand, and $20 the hand after that- but there is no one left to play against by the time it’s your button (what would be the third hand after you got stacked)... Everyone had to go to work/beat traffic/take their kids to school/catch a flight/etc, so you rack up your $5,030 and start to reflect, as you wait for the breakfast you just ordered (Note: it takes special talent to lose 5k—with King high—before breakfast)…


In addition to being a huge run-on sentence/punctuation hack who uses more emojis than a 6th grader , you generally have some pretty next level soft skills at the poker table- when you aren’t tilting (and you weren’t at Bike). But if people know you and you look even remotely rested/you aren’t delirious or doing shots at the table or whatever, and there are no heroes in the lineup (there used to be so many heroes in poker, wtf?), sometimes you just can’t keep a 10-20+ going in this day and age no matter what...

Spoiler:


You check Bravo and Commerce still has nada. You eat your breakfast, head upstairs, watch a little of the Olympics, pack your suitcase, leave 5 bucks on the bar for housekeeping, and you head home- a +5k poker trip in the books (it’s a start)…
On second thought… You veer off the 5 and hang a left on Mission Ave. You turn right on Brooks St.- you pass “D.C.’s Across The Street” (where you have had many a 6 am cocktail/pool game/__________), and you pop into Ocean’s 11 for a little Rat Pack Lounge therapy and a stress-free session of 5-5 (or whatever they have going)...

You join a couple dudes at the bar who—based on their facial expressions/silence/gazes into the TV on the wall (playing a sports talk show on mute ffs)—have likely done their fair share of time in the abyss as well, and you talk about life with your Filipina therapist (who always listens/never judges/never lets your drink get empty) for maybe an hour and a half… Then you hop off your barstool, grab your jacket, pay your tab- leave a 100% tip, and you head downstairs to play some ****ing cards…

Spoiler:



You splash around in the must move 5-5 for a while and make zero hands/run into a barrage of sets ← basically every session you’ve played at Ocean’s 11 since you moved away in ’08- BY FAR the biggest winner there since the boom → variance is spooky af/you really never can go home again lol. You start showing all-in river bluffs- like 2 per orbit, a) because you are a stone monkey in red chip games (you are nowhere near Zen enough these days to just be chill in them like some people who play bigger can/in hindsight, it prob wasn’t the best decision to come here ), b) because you want to open up the game/make it bigger (obv), and c) because despite your 90-minute therapy session up in “the RPL” (I realize it’s called something different now, but to us old schoolers it will always be “the RPL”- back me up on this, Sean Snyder), you are already tilted…

Spoiler:


Spoiler:



You get moved to the main game (where all the 5-5 bosses are obv) and things really start to unravel… You squeeze huge in a single raised family pot from the bb with KTo. The opener is deep and weak (in range and play) and you just win this pre a ton. Everyone folds pretty quickly- except the button calls. He’s a younger dude who is obv only concerned with (the bad part of) your range…

The flop comes QTx. You bet ½ pot (because if he’s gonna hero pre, unlikely he will just give up post, right?) and he calls. Fine/good. Turn x and you fire ½ pot again (in hindsight, this is a pretty obv check ). He calls again. Whatever. River 8, and now you check (this actually might be a bet as played lol/you really butchered this hand on the turn goddammit)... Squeeze cop bets a little less than ½ pot (which is a pretty huge amount for 5-5 by now). You think and unhappily call (this is prob a call given everything, but not a fun one obv/maybe it’s a fold→ live poker/red chips/2016/who the **** knows)…

Squeeze cop has T8o for rivered 2 pair. Bravo…

Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Spoiler:


A few hands later you have 98 and it comes 985 in a 3-way, 3-bet pot. You get it in with the pf3b for ~ a 3500 pot and it runs out T… J. Villain announces that he got “counterfeited” lol and his QQ scoops. It is at this point (you haven’t shown any of your losing hands so you look like Shamu obv) you ask if anyone wants to play bigger. The youngest guy at the table (you don’t know him but he seems like a new pro who “gets it” for the most part) agrees to start 5-10 with you…

This kid seems like he’s prob pretty good at poker, but you like your side hu (you always do- seriously, anyone who wants to play a friendly little hu match, just send me a PM when you are coming to Vegas or San Diego and as long as I’m in town and have the buy-in lol, I’m down- it will be fun). He wins the first bunch of hands, and then you fire 3 streets and show air when he folds (you are too tilted not to show/it’s good for the rest of the match iyo)…

A few hands later you dark raise and then 4b AcAx (see!). Villain calls without much of an spr really. The flop comes 98xcc. He check/calls. Turn 5c and he crai for like 2.5x. You snap and he has 76o. He holds on 2 rivers…

A few hands later you flop open-ended (ip though) in a 5b pot and get it in vs his overpair for easily the biggest pot of the night. You run twice and he scoops that one as well…

You make like one or two good hands but pretty much lose all the rest. Also, the kid is a 2p2er it turns out and he figures out who you are (or someone texted him the info mid-match which is kinda whack iyo) and he doesn’t want to play long. He doesn’t hit ‘n’ run you (he seems to have v good etiquette for his age), but you also don’t really get any volume either (after losing a bunch)…

---

Villain revealed to you towards the end of the hu match that it was the biggest he had ever played (he’s young af). He also politely implied that you had provided him with his biggest winning session ever (fyl obv)…

A week or two later you went back to Ocean’s 11 to play 10-25 and villain was in the game when you got there- sitting deep, winning big pots, seemingly playing with all the confidence in the world…

^^^ is the positive side of variance/the unquestionable (iyo/e) snowball effect of running good when “taking a shot/playing big” that even the brightest, most objective poker players you come across NEVER seem to really grasp/acknowledge...

Calling the 4b oop with 76o without much of an spr, flopping open-ended, binking the perfect turn card, and then fading a club on the river(s) to beat AA was a tough parlay- not impossible obv/that **** happens all the time in card rooms everywhere, but tough. And then to immediately let it all (maybe his biggest bink ever in terms of pot size?) ride on another parlay of flopping overpair vs open-ender in a 5bet pot, having the texture/situation be perfect for his opponent (you!) to semi-bluff raise/get it in, and then fading 8 outs for all the loot with 4 cards to come (because of running twice)- the combo of all that (not to mention breaking ~ even in all the other pots vs someone who destroys live hu and who is in “blow up every pot” mode) is no walk in the park/a pretty big long shot- when you really think about it from start to finish…

Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Spoiler:



I imagine villain will read this (he has posted itt), and honestly, it is in no way a comment on him or his poker abilities whatsoever. I think he is probably good at poker (my sample is way too small to have a real opinion though). And I’m legit happy for him (he seemed like a nice enough kid) if he is in fact, a “high stakes pro” now. Also, it’s merely my presumption/interpretation of our late night conversation (at the end of a poker trip for me, so I was a little delirious for sure) that I in fact sparked a “get out of red chip jail” heater for him by running bad and spewing off in our very brief hu match- I could be wrong about that obv…

Regardless, I will not be surprised at all if I see this kid in even bigger games this WSOP or whatever. He is likely good at poker (as mentioned), he seems to have plenty of heart (extremely rare/way more important than being “good” actually- if you want to beat high stakes), and he likely has miniscule living expenses due to the fact that he looks like he might not even shave yet lol…

Spoiler:


(Grizzled vet lecture time)

***We are ALL at the mercy of variance. NO ONE runs even. HALF of us run above expectation, HALF of us run below expectation. SOMEONE has to run the best in the world (99.9999999 percentile), and SOMEONE has to run the worst in the world (00.0000001 percentile). Everyone else has to run somewhere in between those two figures (if there are 100 million poker players total in the world, which Google just told me there were)…

The confidence, lucidity, composure, BANKROLL, etc it takes to play big/sit deep and make good decisions- while giving nothing away, comes from running good at multiple turning points. After each bink, an invisible tornado is set in motion around the binking player. He can feel it, but he doesn’t know what it is. He doesn’t want to know what it is. He just knows that poker is EASY, and he is “a crusher”…

OTOH… NOT having the confidence, lucidity, composure, BANKROLL, etc it takes to play big/sit deep and make good decisions- while giving nothing away, comes from running bad at multiple turning points. After each negative bink, an invisible sinkhole is set in motion around the negative binking player. He can feel it, but he doesn’t know what it is. He wants to know what it is- so he can stop it, but no one around him really wants to talk about it (too depressing)- nor do they really understand it yet either. The only players that could actually help him understand (because they became experts on it through repetition) are long gone from the poker world- at least from the big games. So all the negative binking player knows is that poker is HARD, and he needs to play better and game select more…

When tornado meets tornado, the swirling gets faster. Same goes for when sinkhole meets sinkhole obv. And ofc one giant sinkhole can change the direction/trump the culmination of several smaller tornados (and vice versa)…


Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Note: In place of all the tornado/sinkhole spew above, I had initially written about how each poker hand is a long succession of weighted lotteries, affected by infinite, ever-changing variables, making each hand unique/never to be replicated, and therefore it’s impossible for any two players to have even remotely the same variance journey. And so on… But honestly I was starting to make my own head explode with that ****--> Be happy you only had to sift through the tornado/sinkhole stuff lol...


The only reason I focused so much on the Monday night impromptu hu match at Ocean’s 11/broke down some parts of my opponent’s impressive parlay (there are A LOT more parts to it obv- like for one, some grizzled vet on a crazy downswing/pretty serious life-tilt even showing up to that dingy little card room on a Monday night with a bunch of money to dust off) is because I really hope to turn on a "holy ****, variance is ****ING INSANE when you actually dissect it- EVERY poker pro (except for a few outliers who are too dumb to get out of the game once their initial jackpot of a heater even has a chance to be overtaken by negative variance) has run WAY above expectation/some have literally run state lottery winner good- if you really think about it correctly/objectively/completely" light bulb for everyone who reads this never-ending conclusion to this never-ending thread

Hopefully this light bulb will then guide you all to keep (or “make”, if it’s too late) poker part time/never depend on it. You are officially no longer in the dark when it comes to understanding that you do NOT control your own destiny in poker.

---

There is nothing to play (the 5-5 snap broke after you left it obv ), so you decide to finally call it a trip/go home and see your crazy kids (no shot you are driving back up to LA after this)… Another long (in terms of miles driven and hours played), losing poker trip in the books (damn, if you just didn’t veer off the 5 early)… You were so fresh and focused when you left your house Saturday night- and you really coulda used a positive trip (which your spreadsheet tells you is very much the expectation every time you go to work- even if it doesn’t feel that way at all lately)... If you run good in that Bellagio game/at that turning point, you win a ton and maybe never look back. But that’s not your journey apparently- at least it hasn’t been for the last several years. You almost always negative bink the big turning points- the same ones you used to bink often/no problem during the first few years of your career…

Spoiler:


Poor you obv/back to the drawing board…
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:52 AM   #3352
SSC-Ry
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

***We are ALL at the mercy of variance. NO ONE runs even. HALF of us run above expectation, HALF of us run below expectation. SOMEONE has to run the best in the world (99.9999999 percentile), and SOMEONE has to run the worst in the world (00.0000001 percentile). Everyone else has to run somewhere in between those two figures (if there are 100 million poker players total in the world, which Google just told me there were)…

I think this is the gem/biggest insight(for me) from this post. I recently watched this vid about how Phil Ivey "saved the poker world."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcoEH15pJ1c

He admits he ran good in this match with Beal. But what if he ran bad and Beal had busted him instead? It may not have killed poker but it would have definitely shaken things up. You would have seen headlines like "Billionaire amateur poker player bankrupts the best in the world, etc..." A lot of people out there would suddenly think Andy Beal is better than Phil Ivey at poker. What would Ivey's image have been after that?

Ivey is widely considered the best all around player in the world. Yet we KNOW, despite his abilities - he has run good at key moments for huge $$ amounts. Because he HAS to have. So how can we make any judgements about his poker ability? We can't. Just like we don't know for SURE that the best poker player isn't some unknown playing 1/2 somewhere in Utah right now. Or that they are just some guy(or gal) that ran like death for their first 150k hands and quit after losing all their key turning point pots.

DGAF seriously thanks. You da man
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:04 AM   #3353
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Thank you DGAF
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:02 AM   #3354
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
“the RPL” (I realize it’s called something different now, but to us old schoolers it will always be “the RPL”- back me up on this, Sean Snyder)
Forever and always

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS0VQOHX7lM

At least in my heart.

I am way too old to figure out how to embed it properly
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:14 AM   #3355
borg23
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Thumbs up Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)



It’s gotten so bad that you actually feel like a dirty little nit yourself whenever you flop one


well said. **** sets.



There are SO MANY turning points in poker careers. One session/one pot/one card turned over can send a player upward or downward- until he reaches his next turning point… And the players who reach the top of the poker world/who stay there for a while; they have simply binked a lot more upward turns than downward turns. They won “the important pots”…


Also very true.
I remember seeing a guy on bodog in the glory days shot take 10/20 nl.took his last bullet in 10/20 nl at like 8 am to a hu game with one of the best 10/20 nl hu players at the time while talking to me on aim. it was his last 2000 in the account.

got ak all in vs 88 on a810 flop

he loses he's done with the site- he runner runners broadway- leaves that table with like 10k wins 400k that year


And for me personally
2005 put money on bodog.
maybe like 5000. lose maybe 2500 in 1/2 nl. swear the site is bs and rigged etc
.
try to cashout but they tell me i'll lose like 600 dollars if i cash out bc of some bonus requirement bs. i figure **** it i'm like halfway to clearing it might as well finish it. by the time i clear the bonus have 15k on the site almost all from 1/2 nl. by this time i realize the games are ****ing amazing and i printed money on there for years. i distinctly remember december of 2007 being utterly disgusted that for the entire month i only made 14000 on there from running so bad. it felt like i was being robbed.

legit was done playing on that site had i been allowed to cash out that 1500 without the bonus restriction. i may have gone back eventually but would have missed out on the bodog games from 2005 to uigea and hundreds of thousands of dollars
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:35 AM   #3356
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

The last post of "Part 2" is on the way (prob later today). Congratulations if you have made it this far--> "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" lol. I realize this middle part of my conclusion (aside from the drive back from Vegas, which is dope imho) is not great reading. It's too dense, too self-absorbed, too bitchy at times, too scatterbrained...

I believe in most of the "be a good pro" and "variance is a mf" content I posted (and there is a ton of it obv), but know that it reads more like a text book than a good story. My bad. I wrote most of it on extreme tilt and then went back and tried to make sense of it, and in doing so I killed any flow it might have had...

Writing can be a real mind-****. Sometimes it just flows out of your fingertips and you know exactly where to go with stuff without ever thinking about it- it just happens organically. Other times it's like trying to talk to a hot girl at a bar when you have been in a brutal slump- aint happening... Editing your own work- especially if you are at all OCD or a perfectionist as I can be (or if you suck at punctuation/grammar ), is an even bigger mind****. Sometimes you put a shiny coat of paint on an old boat and it looks better; sometimes it's the wrong paint and it rots the wood and the boat starts to take on water...

Spoiler:


I learned a lot about writing and editing during this Part 2 period. I learned that it is best to write when you are calm and focused, and that less is way more when it comes to editing. Sorry you all had to be a part of this education...

---

So... this last post is pretty gritty. Plz keep in mind I wrote it months ago. I am far from "back on my feet" (still running like garbage overall), but mentally/emotionally I'm much stronger than I was when I downloaded all this **** from my brain.

Plz refrain from trying to contact me to see if I'm OK or whatever. I'm fine. I'm battling my ass off to actually get "back on my feet", and I really would prefer to not discuss it with people (aside from the very few I have been weighing on this entire time/eventually I'm gonna pay them back somehow). I hope that makes sense/doesn't come off too douchey. Sometimes you just gotta work through **** on your own and you don't wanna talk about it.

If you wanna post your thoughts itt, go right ahead obv. Each post contributes to "the story" imo. Try though to refrain from judging me completely until you have read Part 3, which will be much shorter and hopefully better. It will def be more positive. After this next post, no more darkness from me...

Oh yeah, I'm glad a few of you got something from the percentile bit in my last post. In addition to the few posts indicating that, I've been getting texts from pros saying the same thing. And that makes all this **** worthwhile obv. And Sean, you had me smiling pretty hard when I clicked on that link. A+ as usual...

K- rock bottom coming!
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:44 PM   #3357
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

DGAF!

Your story has been exceptionally captivating, it offers enough personal detail to make all your ups and downs so intriguing. This is real **** from a real MF that has the humility, confidence and game to offer some truth around poker and its' place in the gambling world. Your thread is one of my favorite reads ever although I'm not exceptionally well readbut, have come across some literature that speaks to me and this thread definitely falls into that category.

Congrats on the emotional/spiritual progress, that's what we're really all chasing at the end of the day, at least imo. You come across as a good person in that you're seemingly fun to be around, legitimately caring and have an ability to reflect/articulate in a way that pushes people closer to the truth. No poker win or loss is going to change the value of your character so please continue to take pleasure in being the cool ass guy that so many of us that have read your thread appreciate (not to mention being a dedicated father).

Thanks for everything you've shared, some of it just makes me LOL like very few pieces of content can and has lead to some more informed perspectives in poker and life in general.

Take Care
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:53 PM   #3358
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Holy ****: "
You led the army of laborers into battle (vs the elements, the boss, the piles and piles of **** to move, etc) each day solely because it’s your nature err nurture to always do whatever is asked of you, to go hard af in anything you do, and to NEVER quit no matter what…"

If DGAF dedicated himself to game, he would get sick results. I mean he'd be banging 10s every weekend. I wonder if he's ever watched videos by RSDMax or Sasha Daygame or whatever.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:15 PM   #3359
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

I'd pay a good amount to watch DGAF vs Doug Polk, live heads up. Polk could pay DGAF a bit to make up for the skill difference.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:28 AM   #3360
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilliapina View Post
I'd pay a good amount to watch DGAF vs Doug Polk, live heads up. Polk could pay DGAF a bit to make up for the skill difference.

+1, especially at the Pokernight in America format, aka the one they used with the Dentale-Hall match with commentators and the whole shebang.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:10 AM   #3361
Liveidiot
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

For plenty of reasons this, a public highstakes game with polk, doesnt seem like a very good idea at this point.. But it would be great viewing.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:29 AM   #3362
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

If DGAF started a vlog it would be the fastest growing poker vlog on youtube.

Last edited by TJRPoker; 05-15-2017 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:15 PM   #3363
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

ITT people expect dgaf to just go to battle with the worlds best hu player for entertainment value.... there is heart and then there is that
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:20 PM   #3364
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbrewer4 View Post
ITT people expect dgaf to just go to battle with the worlds best hu player for entertainment value.... there is heart and then there is that


Shave yet


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Old 05-15-2017, 11:09 PM   #3365
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

I subscribed and will find the time to read through

What I've seen so far has been very interesting.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:05 PM   #3366
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pilliapina View Post
I'd pay a good amount to watch DGAF vs Doug Polk, live heads up. DGAF could pay Polk a bit to make up for the skill difference.
fyp
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:18 PM   #3367
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

DGAF is awesome and I trust him based on everything I've read. I'd be happy to buy action if he wanted to do business and I'd also happily support him if he wanted to produce a VLOG and ask for donations.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:44 AM   #3368
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Part 2


Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The Plan


The plan after a big downswing is always just to accept it and move on…

Most pros will tell you they are going to “just really grind for a while, until things turn...” Being hyper-competitive- the result of constantly being picked on/beaten on by your older brother growing up, and “a pleaser”- the result of your dad bailing shortly after you were born and your mom turning her attention inward (your brother had the opposite reaction to this- he become “a displeaser”, but he had the love and attention taken away from him, whereas you just never had it)--> you have always had unrelenting work ethic…

Spoiler:


So if you wanted to “just really grind” poker (in comfortable chairs, in air-conditioned casinos, where food and drink are brought to you whenever you want, where there is no one barking out orders at you, where the pay is good, etc), you could do it, no problem- literally until the day you died/you couldn’t win anymore…

It likely wouldn’t take THAT long to get out of debt and pumped up again (what people really mean when they say, “until things turn”) lol, mainly because your grinder game (which you abandoned in ’09 when you started to think big picture about poker/your career- but then picked back up for 2012 because your second kid was on the way and your roll had dwindled down to 0 for the first time) is SCARY GOOD. Like turn your head away from the TV because the killer is in the house/we’re short-handed now and this dude knows what I have every hand, he knows what I think he has every hand, he never takes a ****ing hand off, “sorry guys, wish I could keep playing but I gotta beat traffic” SCARY…

OTOH, your monthly nut is pretty damn robust these days (despite your focus on it lately), financially you are closer to China than you have ever been before, games are getting worse and worse/smaller and smaller everyday (economic downturn + clueless “pros” + poker capitalists = the end is near), and you do have a tendency to run Steve ****ing Austin a lot/more so than anyone you know who still plays. So it could take a while...

Doesn’t matter- you could “really grind” poker forever if you wanted to/it almost seems like you were born (and raised) to do it…


Here’s the conundrum:

Those who “really grind” poker are ****ing horrible for the game. They live below the line of acceptable/proper behavior at the poker table. Deductive reasoning/common sense should tell them that everything they do to “play their absolute best at all times” [tank on every decision, stare/intimidate, rarely engage with others because they are always in mad scientist mode/they are trying to figure out everyone’s 4b calling range or whatever--> meanwhile the one rec player in the game is wearing a Cavs hat and having a few beers- and he would love to GOAT debate LeBron vs MJ with someone (you know, while he is out of the house/not running **** at the office), but no one at the table is up for it/would ever think to bring it up] leads to poker drying up again

Spoiler:


“Grinders” (aka “robots”, aka “pros”) either don’t ever think about the horrible negative effect they are having on poker/THEIR LIVELIHOOD, or they just don’t care. You deduce it’s almost always the former, because they are way too selfish to consciously sabotage their own livelihood, right? Also, to a man they are always so incredulous as to how “you are always in all these amazing games- at all these random casinos!”

They also never say, “Thank you, DGAF, for doing all the heavy lifting (Boom! Brought that Maximus/laborer thing back real quick ), you just kept me out of the job classifieds for another day”- after they stack the whale, who was only still playing because you drank, smiled, flipped, did free stand-up (while sitting down), played fast, spewed/gave unlimited action, etc…

(Cue full blown rant mode)

No exaggeration, these god mode-activated, no-expenses-having “pros”, with their fat stacks/bankrolls (from cold-decking whales ldo), will literally sit silently at the table for hours- with oblivious/grind-y/smug af looks on their faces, while you give the whale ALL the attention and action with bad hands he craves/deserves. You pay for his Johnny Walker Blue, you give him 10 bucks every time he drinks a beer (he plays worse and worse the more he drinks ), you pay his time every half hour, you give him 25 bucks every time he wins a pot/collect 5 bucks from him every time he doesn’t (to motivate him to try to win EVERY pot obv)…

You and (almost always) only you meet ALL the whale’s demands…

Spoiler:


And to this day, not one silent, zero-participation “pro” has ever thanked you, much less offered to pitch in for all the drinks/bounties/whatever- before, during, or after the session in which they got to play with the ONE person they were a big favorite over, who was going to straight up donate 15k to the table/basically cut each player a check for $1875.00- for just sitting there and waiting for good hands for a few hours, all/only because you made it worthwhile/fun enough for him to keep playing--> even though he KNEW he was drawing dead to make it to the cage if he did…

Spoiler:


(Cue downshift to grizzled vet lecture mode)

***Poker (I’m talking about the games that can be beat for real money- I’m always talking about these games/I don’t care about the other ones) only survives long-term as a SOCIAL GAME where EVERYONE constantly sacrifices bits and pieces of EV for the good of the game…

Spoiler:


First, EVERYONE has a social responsibility to show up dressed/groomed such that other players are pleased with their appearance--> they must sacrifice some “comfort” at the table and some “time” beforehand…

Second, EVERYONE has a social responsibility to be pleasant and interact/engage at the table such that other players enjoy their company (if people don’t like playing with you, it is NOT because you are good at poker )--> they must sacrifice considerable “focus” in order to fade mood swings and always stay plugged in/contribute to the conversation...

Third, EVERYONE must act quickly. Not only should they think ahead AMAP and always be ready to act when it’s their turn (plz look at your cards as soon as you get them!), but they should also have a quick internal clock that starts counting down the moment anyone at the table seems at all irritated with how long their decision is taking (the more important the irritated player, the fewer seconds you start with obv)--> they must sacrifice a ton of “decision making”/be completely at peace with the idea of playing signif worse irl than they do in theory/on the poker forums- where they have all the time in the world to make each move (Note: Playing quickly is done out of respect for all the other players AND the dealers)…

Fourth, EVERYONE must abstain AMAP from TABLE HOPPING, SEAT HOPPING, HITTING AND RUNNING, ANGLE SHOOTING (stop with the pump fakes already!), INFORMATION MINING, SET-UP CALLING, STRADDLE DODGING- or any other act/behavior that if replicated by the masses would trigger a race to the bottom/be the end of poker as we know it…


Here’s the other conundrum:

Really grinding” poker (or anything for that matter) sucks the life out of you…

You are no longer the dumb, 17-year-old manual laborer who will literally break his back for minimum wage. In fact, you have been doing a ton of soul searching lately (extended time in the abyss will make you question/ponder EVERYTHING), and the more you learn about yourself, the more you realize that—like just about everyone else in the world—you have always been the EXACT correct mathematical answer to your life’s equation (genetics + life experiences = YOU). And the more you think about it, the more interested you are starting to become in “free will”. **** the equation and all the values of all the variables in it iyo, you want to put something unexpected/a much bigger number than there is supposed to be in that box on the far right- just for the hell of it…

So you will not “just really grind for a while, until things turn,” a) because poker is your livelihood (for now) and you want to protect it/do the right thing, and b) because you want to protect YOU/you are going to start “looking out for #1” a little bit moving forward- despite your very strong tendency/inclination (developed during a bogus childhood- whaaa) not to. You will put in as many hours as need be “until things turn”- you just won’t “really grind” any of them...

You will game select more though, mainly to sh games (especially if you can’t get the straddle on)- even if that means playing lower than you like sometimes. ***It takes a brutal downswing to remind you just how important game selection is/that you have to be a HUGE favorite in a game just to make playing worthwhile (because live poker is so slow obv), and that full ring 2-blind NL (in almost all lineups these days) is just a huge crap shoot/waste of your time…


Mostly though, you will just really, really hope to run good/better/not completely terrible for a while (<-- step 2 of “The Plan”)…

(Sanity check/note to self to never try to re-invent the wheel just because you have driven over a bunch of potholes lately…)

NLHE has pretty much always been something you could just show up to—in all sorts of states—and make doctor money at (because you are a natural soul-reader/multi-tasker/actor/gambler) while providing a good time for all. You have long been “the anti-grinder”, the pro who doesn’t look or act or even play like one (who is almost impossible to even detect as one without a very trained eye), the conflicted hustler who has all the street smarts- but who is way too righteous to ever take advantage of anyone/do the game wrong…

You work hard away from the table, but in game you are much more ambassador/host/vigilante (when need be) than mad scientist. And that system/balance has worked very well for you over the years- to the tune of you quite possibly being the biggest winner (in terms of total big blinds won) in live 5-10+ nl since the boom- bar none )…

So now is not the time to start being results oriented- just because you have run ~ 100k below expectation in all-in pots alone over the past few months (<-- true mf story)/because you have long played high stakes poker on no roll , just the idea that you would always win decent+ over the course of a few months or whatever/you would never run bottom bottom bottom for too long…


3rd and final step of “The Plan”…

You just hope that your extended time in the abyss has made you stronger- as a person and a player…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
So you peel yourself off the couch and you go withdraw 10k from your bank account (which now has some/not a lot of money in it because you got a loan). You also get a car wash and a haircut while you are out, because it’s time to stop feeling sorry for yourself/get back on that horse… You order pizza for your kids when you get back home, and you facilitate baths and PJs and hair brushing and all that until the doorbell rings…

After dinner, you pop some popcorn and watch the re-make of ‘The Karate Kid’ with your kids (they obv start attacking you with karate chops and what not at the end… or actually maybe it was you who started the pre-bedtime karate wars ). You tuck them in, tell ‘em you love ‘em “the whole world”, and that you have to go on a work trip (they don’t fully understand what you do, but they know you pay for everything/they rarely give you too hard a time when you leave- ty DGAF jr and your amazing sister ). You quickly throw some clothes in your suitcase, grab a few waters, pop an addy for the road , and you start driving through the night to Las Vegas…


You are fresh, focused, and ready to punish some nits/start earning for your family again. You took a full week off- and it did the mf trick... You think about your streak of 4 trips in a row (either coming or going- or both) where you got stuck behind a bad accident and the 4-hour drive became 7…

Spoiler:

Tonight you coast at ~ 80. There are no accidents showing up on Waze. There are no clouds blocking the stars as you approach the dark desert. You are an EXTREMELY lucky person, all things considered (AINEC actually)… You could be healthier (especially on work trips)- but you’ve got your health pretty much. And you’ve got a very small—but also very amazing—circle that always keeps your spirits up in tough times/keeps you in action whenever need be. And ofc, you’ve got that offspring... This is gonna be a good trip. Here we go…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
Vegas is crazy slow for a Saturday Night... There is one 10-20 with a list at Bell and one 5-10 with no list at Wynn- and that’s it. You aren’t going to play smaller than deep 5-10- your monthly nut dictates that...

Spoiler:


You call over to Wynn a few Future songs on 10—with the windows down and the heater on max—after you pass State Line (the seasons are changing, but you always like to wake up with fresh air and loud music once you cross into Nevada- regardless of the weather). The girl who answers the phone tells you the 5-10 is heads up…

After a few text messages you find out who is battling- one very good pro and one spot. As a professional courtesy, you text the pro and ask him if he would like company or not (you are a very good pro too- esp 3-handed)… He doesn’t reply. Hmmm…

You call Wynn back and have the girl go ask the two 5-10 players if they want “(DGAF)” to come play/if they will keep playing for a while… The answer (which you can hear very clearly through the phone lol) is “Yes!” You tell the girl to tell them you will be there in 15 minutes and to not leave plzzz…

You get to Wynn (Encore actually) 14 minutes after you last called (you check the time stamp on your phone) and there is no game. Wtf. The pro that was playing now texts you back and is like, “Hey, how are you? How you been? I don’t play full-time anymore… We should do dinner sometime…”

Spoiler:

You slap an Abe Lincoln on the podium for the girl working the phones, and you start making your way back out to the parking garage…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The 10-20 at Bell is now a 20-40-80 lol (you aren’t the only one who likes to kick up games/add straddles- I see you busticator) and there is a seat open...

The lineup is very chill: 2 Macau whales, 1 Macau pro, 4 Bellagio pros, and 1 Venetian 2-5 pro (who is friends with the Macau pro ) who has what appears to be 30k in front of him! Doesn’t matter though, 20-40-80 is just too big for your current financial situation OBV…

OTOH, it is 3 blinds… And there are ZERO other games in town for you to play… And you don’t have to run bad if you sit obv (you never know when you will be released from the abyss, it just happens at some point- or it doesn’t)/this could actually be a pretty big come up for you…

You wrap your jacket around the open seat and hand the floor your player’s card and the 10k you brought with you on your work trip….

Spoiler:


You look down at complete garbage for about 20 minutes, and then your spew buzzer goes off… A Bellagio pro who just doubled up TWICE with sets opens in the hijack when it’s your button [it’s your most basic instinct in this spot to say “Nah, **** that Man, you can’t have everything”/re-pop him with your entire “dealt range”- and if he somehow accurately assesses the situation/your wideness (despite your VPIP being 0% up to this point lol), so be it, he better be ready to stack off all those new chips he just got oop vs a range that hits all boards/let the leveling war begin iyo]… You 3x his open with Q7o (the computer hand, not bad) and he calls pretty quickly. You guys play a pretty big pot and Mr. Set Flopper finally tank/folds to your 3rd barrel on AQJTx (or off to the 5-10 1500 cap with your last 2k you would have been )…

Note: You bet small enough on the flop that you had all the Kx combos, and when MSF called turn you picked up something (not gonna say what) that told you he had two pair (god love him if he flopped another set- but either way, you were almost positive he didn’t have a straight/he was trying to boat up on the river or get to showdown without calling another bet)--> this hand is prob only ~ 50% as spazzy as it might seem (without bet sizes/reads) lol…

You play a couple more hours of missing flops/draws and just generally being card dead af, but you keep winning decent pots with air…

Spoiler:


Then you get in a weird spot when the 2-5 pro (solid af in this game) flats your 6x “punish the limpers” raise and the biggest whale 3bs big from the blinds- and you have AQo! This dude re-pops like 50% of hands (seriously), so you really want to click it back with your first premium (you have long over-valued hands, but right now AQo looks like a Victoria’s Secret model sitting in the passenger seat of an idling Lambo- and there is no one in the driver’s seat, and she’s smiling at you and gently tilting her head to the left on repeat)! The 2-5 pro’s range is a problem though (a 2-5 pro flatting 30 with an aggro re-popping whale behind in a 2-5 game =/= a 2-5 pro flatting 480 with an aggro re-popping whale behind in a 20-40-80 game iyo), as is your stack- too shallow to fold to a shove, too deep to just get it in pre…

You call the re-pop, as does the 2-5 pro. It comes K44r, whale cbets, you unhappily fold, and the 2-5 pro adds another 6k or so to his stack with TT (turn and river go check, check)...

Spoiler:



Another hour or so passes and after a few successful squeezes (once the re-popping whale is safely out of the hand obv) you again have ~ the 10k you bought in for in front of you (as dumb as it is to care about being “stuck” in a session/as much as you advise “friends” to not be idiots and “just focus on playing good”- you actually care a lot about being stuck in sessions lately- tbth)…

Feeling like a newborn baby again (cuz you are unstuck/actually up a few big blinds!), you open Ac9c in lp. Big Dog Macau 3bets you from the blinds (obv). You call. The flop comes 986cc and he overbets like 6k. You snap-ship, he snap-calls, and you agree to run it twice. Big Dog has T8o and you guys chop...

As soon as the 2nd river card is turned over/before you can even sigh, Macau pro- who is sitting next to you and who is pretty cool afayct (you played him hu a long time ago and he seemed cool), asks you if your hand was “a decent favorite” or if it was “more of a flip”. You smile…

Wait. He’s being serious…

Spoiler:

You lose some silly pot to one of the Bellagio pros with nfd vs smaller fd that binks a pair on the river (sigh). Now you’ve got like 8k (100 bigs) left…

You open A3 on the button and Big Dog 3bets from the blinds (as he does). It comes A84r and he checks… His check isn’t the most settling thing in the world obv, but he has a lot of bluff-catchers worse than top pair that he will go with iyo (for real, this guy is legit), and if he does have air he might just go for it anyways- if you induce. Also, your image is garbage by now (the tight image was fun while it lasted though!) and no one ever bets top pair in your spot- so you take a fake “stab”/you value bet your A3 some amount that looks weak af…

Big dog CRAI and stacks you on two boards (after slow-rolling the **** out of you- which is his God given right as a whale, but it still stings) with A9o. You grab your jacket and head to the casino bar, busted yet again…


Tomorrow is Sunday so banks aren’t open. And being in Vegas with no loot is like being at a pool party with no bathing suit. **** it, you are going home to re-group- again... You set your barely sipped $11 Stella down on the bar, you jump in your car, you peer deep into the (currently much less troubled than yours) soul of the homeless dude who starts to approach you at the gas station but then thinks better of it, you buy a 4-pack of sugar-free red bull, a jug of water and an e-cig, and you start backtracking down the 15 into the darkness...

You’ve made this round trip drive plenty of times without sleep- each time after busting in a cash game or a tournament (yeah, you used to play some WSOP events- back when you were a pipe dreamer just like everybody else)…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The first two and a half hours of the drive back from Vegas you are catatonic. You don’t listen to music or look at your phone or even think really. You just stare at the cars in front of you until you pass them, cracking red bull after red bull with your right hand, as you steer with your left…

All the hands that ****ed you (whether they were beats or setups or whatever) start to play like silent movies in your photographic memory... You are focused on the tail lights in front of you (and the occasional headlights in your rearview), but you also see very vividly on the passenger side of your windshield (if you will), a mountain of poker chips sprawled out across some felt, a shuffle machine, 9 playing cards face up- and the other 43 in a messy pile face down… You don’t see a dealer- just hands protruding from a long-sleeved uniform. First the hands push 3 of the 5 cards in the middle upwards in slow motion. Then (back at regular speed) the hands push the chip mountain towards the 2 turned up hole cards that were not yours…

Chips spill left and right as the hands push the mountain like a snow plow clears an intersection after a huge storm, and it takes 3 or 4 passes until the mountain is completely leveled/removed...

The hands then quickly gather and organize all 52 cards face down... One hand then carefully sets the used deck in the shuffle machine and pulls the shuffled deck out- once the door pops open, which happens a good second or two after the index finger of the other hand (this part is magnified and slow) reaches over and presses the green button on top of the machine…

(The close up slo-mo reaching over and pressing of the green button is haunting/possibly symbolism of some sort/the scene from the movie that stays with you long after the credits roll…)

Spoiler:


As soon as one movie ends, another begins- just as silent, just as surreal, same exact plot, same goddamn ending…

Once the entire “**** Session #99746362987473687635” video playlist is completed, it starts again- sometimes on shuffle and sometimes not (unlike with iTunes, you have no choice in the matter)…

And that is your drive back from Vegas, as you stay awake with rocket fuel and weave your way in and out of vehicles you only see peripherally- until the needle on your gas gauge is somewhere to the left of straight down…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
Suddenly you start to breath again, your posture relaxes, your eyes resume blinking... Whatever short poker horror film was playing quickly fades into the background. You see a real mountain now through the passenger side of your windshield- and it’s enormous and beautiful. There is a whole cluster of real mountains just like it all around you, and hints of sunlight shoot up from behind the ones on your left- making the sky bluer and bluer/lighter and lighter. You even crack a smile, as you now coast into this giant Bob Ross painting/you start your descent into San Bernardino…

Life isn’t over. Yeah, you really wanted/needed a win- and 10k was prob too much to lose given how little you have to play with total (such a catch 22- needing to win a lot but not being able to lose a lot lol), but you’ll be OK. You will figure something out. You always do…

Spoiler:


Spoiler:


Instead of being super antsy around your kids, you say, “**** it” and swerve hard right across the 15 and onto the 210 W at the last possible moment... You will go to Commerce or Hawaiian Gardens or Bike and try again. You know a lot of people in LA and you can likely swap PayPal for chips, or maybe just borrow. Perhaps a change of scenery will do you some good. ***There is A LOT more to bouncing around/changing venues than superstition…


There is a 6-handed 10-20 at Hawaiian Gardens and no NL being played in the top section of Commerce- and obv nothing going on at Bike on this early Sunday morning, so you find your way onto the 605 South and you roll up to HG with Kendrick Lamar on ~ 6. You are tired (obv), but you are no longer tilted/you are ready to play again. Bring it on poker Gods…

Spoiler:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
The 10-20 looks soft but not amazing (pretty much exactly what you expected), but no one that you would ask for a favor is playing. So you go to the cage and see what they can do for you. They can get 5k out of your bank account for like $150 in fees. Booked…

You sit down and buy in with 2k of your 5k, because you are a disciplined bankroll manager on this morning…

Spoiler:


The game (of 2 spots and 4 grinders- who likely never get exploited for their _______________________ when you aren’t there) breaks within 10 minutes…

Spoiler:


It’s been a long night and you want to have a beer before you go get a hotel room. So you take a seat in “the 300” (3-5 blinds pretty sure) and you order a Modelo with salt on the rim. You bust a buy-in or two (you were up about that much from the few hands you steam-rolled at 10-20) and now an old nemesis walks in…

You and your nemesis have played a bunch of hu over the years (all at Commerce), and aside from one time when you were nearly in a coma and he won like 30k, you have punished him pretty good… He has lots of ego and he loves to play hu, but he’s turned you down the last 4 or 5 times you’ve seen him (Note: the last time you guys played he got so tilted, he turned over your cards after a hand and then threatened to KILL both you and the floor man who said he would be barred for 24 hours if he did it again ). Today though he wants to play. Lezgo…

The hu match actually starts out 3-handed, because the only other dude drinking in “the 300” [love that name/all games should have low min-buys and be called “the (min-buy)”--> so good for business] wants to keep playing with you (Note: recs follow you to bigger games they normally would never play all the time- another nice benefit of not being a robot/drinking at the table). He is very chill and probably 60 years old, and he is practically drawing dead in this lineup/on your right. He gets whacked for a few 1k buyins (the game is 10-20) and now it’s you and your nemesis hu…

Spoiler:


Hu is BY FAR your favorite game/where A LOT of your winnings have come from over the years (rare af for a live player to get much action hu obv, but you have your ways/people used to have ego). You have run very well overall in your hu matches lifetime- no doubt, but your career 67% session win rate jumps to over 80% when it’s just “1 on 1” (so maybe you are half as good at it as you think you are ).

You love the setups/the constant adjustments/the constant leveling hu, and more than anything- you love the ****ing pace/the volume you get! Your general lack of patience (your biggest fundamental leak full ring- AINEC), becomes all but a non-issue hu (unless you are super tilted )…

You are in the zone today and God doesn’t hate you. You whack your nemesis (this guy/day: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/11...t-pre-1623770/) and book a nice 2-state winning session overall…

You realize that despite just really soul reading/mind ****ing/owning this dude to pieces all day long (there were no coolers, nor did you even get dealt better than him overall- in your most objective/seasoned opinion), you still “ran good” for sure…

1. You swerved off the 15 towards LA (instead of just going home to SD) on a whim/at the last second and didn’t crash lol.
2. Bravo/Poker Atlas/the phone call you made led you to HG (instead of Commerce or Bike)- where your nemesis would by chance walk in a few hours later.
3. Your nemesis saw you drinking and playing “the 300” on a Sunday morning and prob looking tired af = sure, he’ll give you action today .
4. No one good showed up and cock-blocked your match.
5. Everything you did in hands worked/you didn’t get ****ed by terrible run outs or weird ****- like when they click-bluff with SDV/hands that should never bluff and you bluff-catch with worse ()…

Spoiler:


You got your nemesis for ~ 20k. That’s more than 10x your career average session result- so yeah, you ran “super good” actually/on 2nd thought, you almost certainly got dealt better than him overall ...

You feel better about things. Much better. You have a 25k working roll now + 10k in the bank- and history tells you that should be plenty. Those ****ing claws that have been digging into your shoulders for months- they are suddenly gone. You can actually stand tall and stretch your arms and back and neck now, and you can breath deeply- and you can even smile a real smile, and that feels good as hell…

You really need to get some sleep though. It’s now Sunday night and you’ve been up since Saturday morning… After hanging out with your kids all day Saturday (the equivalent of a junkie mainlining his D.O.C.--> exhilarating/the best obv, but also very draining), you drove from SD to Vegas, you went to Wynn (Encore actually)- where you got okie-doked by the crusher who doesn’t play full-time anymore, then to Bellagio- where you got whacked for 10k by a slow-rolling Macau whale, then you gassed up and tilt drove home- except you changed your mind and went to LA to battle some more, you got 5k of the 15k left in your bank account out at the cage for 150 bucks juice , you ended up playing an old nemesis hu 10-20 and 20-40 for hours/literally until couldn’t see the cards anymore...

And now here you are--> a traveling poker zombie, sitting in your trusty/bad ass mf 2008 Lexus (which you bought brand new already as a successful poker pro- yikes, you really are a grizzled vet) in the HG parking lot on a Sunday night, trying to decide your next move…

You push the start button (“No keys… Push to start” ) and head to Bike to check out their new hotel/get some much needed rest… Maybe you are finally being released from the abyss/maybe the brutal downswing is finally over. Maybe now you can get back to your ways of just crushing lol live poker and not really worrying about ****/just enjoying each moment of the rollercoaster ride that is your life as much as possible. Seems like it’s time…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
You play a little at the Bike after some sleep (the new hotel is nice, but the burger you ordered from room service was horrific- ftr), but no one there really wants to play with you all that much it seems (Note: LA players have actually seen you turn over winning hands- even full ring!), and the Golden Goose 10-20 that was magically going downstairs—when you woke up, took a piss, pushed your nasty, uneaten burger out into the hallway, checked Poker Atlas just for the hell of it, rubbed your eyes and checked it again, showered and got dressed in a blur, grabbed your backpack (jk) and bolted out to go lock up a seat—it goes from 9-handed to you sitting alone pretty quickly…

Session Result: 40 minutes, -$4,970...

The Big Pot
Game flow: You’ve played almost every hand you’ve been dealt in the 30 or so minutes you’ve been at the table (standard). You’ve collected a lot of free money with air (that no one saw)- but you just lost it all back with air (that everyone did see)--> you 3b pre, cbet flop and shipped turn with KJ on 862A () vs a short-stack that was smart enough to… wait for it… flop a set (hu and oop with 22 ftr). He snap turned his hand over after you shipped (and then threw a chip in to make the call official), so you snap turned your hand over too and started staring intently at the board, like you were really sweating the river- you know, as to lighten the mood/set everyone at ease (in case they thought you might be good at poker)/because you are a troll for life (only for the laughs though ftr- never to be a POS)/because that’s just what you do when you’ve logged 20,000 hours of live No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em…

Notes: Most of these players know who you are. You used to come to the Bike whenever you needed a break from Commerce, and you had one memorable marathon 5-10 session there a couple years back where you straddled just about every hand for 24 hours and won a zillion (the Mississippi Straddle was disallowed the next day, but reinstated like a week later). Anyways, your image is TAG pro, capable of making moves (jk, your image is SLAG idiot moron spaz pro- from Commerce)…

Pre: You have ~ the 5k you bought in for, and you look down at KQhh in the utg straddle (Note: it’s not a straddle game- yet, but you’d like it to become one obv). Someone opens to 100 in mp, someone else calls, the alpha reg/deepest stack at the table (who normally plays very scared vs you, but opposite vs everyone else) pops it to 400 on the button, it folds to you- you call quickly, and both the opener and the OF (original flatter) fold. $1030 in the pot…

Flop: Jh9h7x. Mama! You opt to lead 520 and after maybe 20 seconds, alpha reg pops it to 1200. The table starts to get kinda quiet as everyone tunes in to the big pot that is developing… You quickly send it in for 4450 total. The table goes totally quiet. No one even shuffles a chip. **** just got real at the Bike…

Alpha reg mumbles, squirms in his chair and counts out the 3250 it is to call- over and over for a good 5 minutes. At one point he tries to apologize to the table, but everyone quickly tells him, “It’s OK”, “take your time”, “big pot”, etc… He finally pushes the 3250 across the line and snap looks up at you like, “You got it?!” You smile and ask him if he wants to run it twice. He starts to tank again- like a boss... After a good 30 seconds of contemplating the pros and cons of running it twice (), he looks up at the dealer and announces, “Two times!”

Run-out(s)/Showdown/Aftermath: The dealer sets 4 bricks on the table- like she’s building a little walkway in her backyard, and the table looks to you with great anticipation…

“I have King high…”

Alpha (who is cool af btw) flips over AJo (no heart). You muck and tell him, “Nice hand”, and you gently knock the table (standard). You calmly pull another 5k out of your pocket and politely ask the dealer to call a chip runner. You are unphased by your stacking- and that feels good. This is how you are when you aren’t in the abyss. Send it in with King high, almost get the fold, but instead get called and have 61%, run it twice, get scooped, whatever. Next hand...

You win $10 the next hand, and $20 the hand after that- but there is no one left to play against by the time it’s your button (what would be the third hand after you got stacked)... Everyone had to go to work/beat traffic/take their kids to school/catch a flight/etc, so you rack up your $5,030 and start to reflect, as you wait for the breakfast you just ordered (Note: it takes special talent to lose 5k—with King high—before breakfast)…


In addition to being a huge run-on sentence/punctuation hack who uses more emojis than a 6th grader , you generally have some pretty next level soft skills at the poker table- when you aren’t tilting (and you weren’t at Bike). But if people know you and you look even remotely rested/you aren’t delirious or doing shots at the table or whatever, and there are no heroes in the lineup (there used to be so many heroes in poker, wtf?), sometimes you just can’t keep a 10-20+ going in this day and age no matter what...

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You check Bravo and Commerce still has nada. You eat your breakfast, head upstairs, watch a little of the Olympics, pack your suitcase, leave 5 bucks on the bar for housekeeping, and you head home- a +5k poker trip in the books (it’s a start)…
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
On second thought… You veer off the 5 and hang a left on Mission Ave. You turn right on Brooks St.- you pass “D.C.’s Across The Street” (where you have had many a 6 am cocktail/pool game/__________), and you pop into Ocean’s 11 for a little Rat Pack Lounge therapy and a stress-free session of 5-5 (or whatever they have going)...

You join a couple dudes at the bar who—based on their facial expressions/silence/gazes into the TV on the wall (playing a sports talk show on mute ffs)—have likely done their fair share of time in the abyss as well, and you talk about life with your Filipina therapist (who always listens/never judges/never lets your drink get empty) for maybe an hour and a half… Then you hop off your barstool, grab your jacket, pay your tab- leave a 100% tip, and you head downstairs to play some ****ing cards…

Spoiler:



You splash around in the must move 5-5 for a while and make zero hands/run into a barrage of sets ← basically every session you’ve played at Ocean’s 11 since you moved away in ’08- BY FAR the biggest winner there since the boom → variance is spooky af/you really never can go home again lol. You start showing all-in river bluffs- like 2 per orbit, a) because you are a stone monkey in red chip games (you are nowhere near Zen enough these days to just be chill in them like some people who play bigger can/in hindsight, it prob wasn’t the best decision to come here ), b) because you want to open up the game/make it bigger (obv), and c) because despite your 90-minute therapy session up in “the RPL” (I realize it’s called something different now, but to us old schoolers it will always be “the RPL”- back me up on this, Sean Snyder), you are already tilted…

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You get moved to the main game (where all the 5-5 bosses are obv) and things really start to unravel… You squeeze huge in a single raised family pot from the bb with KTo. The opener is deep and weak (in range and play) and you just win this pre a ton. Everyone folds pretty quickly- except the button calls. He’s a younger dude who is obv only concerned with (the bad part of) your range…

The flop comes QTx. You bet ½ pot (because if he’s gonna hero pre, unlikely he will just give up post, right?) and he calls. Fine/good. Turn x and you fire ½ pot again (in hindsight, this is a pretty obv check ). He calls again. Whatever. River 8, and now you check (this actually might be a bet as played lol/you really butchered this hand on the turn goddammit)... Squeeze cop bets a little less than ½ pot (which is a pretty huge amount for 5-5 by now). You think and unhappily call (this is prob a call given everything, but not a fun one obv/maybe it’s a fold→ live poker/red chips/2016/who the **** knows)…

Squeeze cop has T8o for rivered 2 pair. Bravo…

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A few hands later you have 98 and it comes 985 in a 3-way, 3-bet pot. You get it in with the pf3b for ~ a 3500 pot and it runs out T… J. Villain announces that he got “counterfeited” lol and his QQ scoops. It is at this point (you haven’t shown any of your losing hands so you look like Shamu obv) you ask if anyone wants to play bigger. The youngest guy at the table (you don’t know him but he seems like a new pro who “gets it” for the most part) agrees to start 5-10 with you…

This kid seems like he’s prob pretty good at poker, but you like your side hu (you always do- seriously, anyone who wants to play a friendly little hu match, just send me a PM when you are coming to Vegas or San Diego and as long as I’m in town and have the buy-in lol, I’m down- it will be fun). He wins the first bunch of hands, and then you fire 3 streets and show air when he folds (you are too tilted not to show/it’s good for the rest of the match iyo)…

A few hands later you dark raise and then 4b AcAx (see!). Villain calls without much of an spr really. The flop comes 98xcc. He check/calls. Turn 5c and he crai for like 2.5x. You snap and he has 76o. He holds on 2 rivers…

A few hands later you flop open-ended (ip though) in a 5b pot and get it in vs his overpair for easily the biggest pot of the night. You run twice and he scoops that one as well…

You make like one or two good hands but pretty much lose all the rest. Also, the kid is a 2p2er it turns out and he figures out who you are (or someone texted him the info mid-match which is kinda whack iyo) and he doesn’t want to play long. He doesn’t hit ‘n’ run you (he seems to have v good etiquette for his age), but you also don’t really get any volume either (after losing a bunch)…

---

Villain revealed to you towards the end of the hu match that it was the biggest he had ever played (he’s young af). He also politely implied that you had provided him with his biggest winning session ever (fyl obv)…

A week or two later you went back to Ocean’s 11 to play 10-25 and villain was in the game when you got there- sitting deep, winning big pots, seemingly playing with all the confidence in the world…

^^^ is the positive side of variance/the unquestionable (iyo/e) snowball effect of running good when “taking a shot/playing big” that even the brightest, most objective poker players you come across NEVER seem to really grasp/acknowledge...

Calling the 4b oop with 76o without much of an spr, flopping open-ended, binking the perfect turn card, and then fading a club on the river(s) to beat AA was a tough parlay- not impossible obv/that **** happens all the time in card rooms everywhere, but tough. And then to immediately let it all (maybe his biggest bink ever in terms of pot size?) ride on another parlay of flopping overpair vs open-ender in a 5bet pot, having the texture/situation be perfect for his opponent (you!) to semi-bluff raise/get it in, and then fading 8 outs for all the loot with 4 cards to come (because of running twice)- the combo of all that (not to mention breaking ~ even in all the other pots vs someone who destroys live hu and who is in “blow up every pot” mode) is no walk in the park/a pretty big long shot- when you really think about it from start to finish…

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I imagine villain will read this (he has posted itt), and honestly, it is in no way a comment on him or his poker abilities whatsoever. I think he is probably good at poker (my sample is way too small to have a real opinion though). And I’m legit happy for him (he seemed like a nice enough kid) if he is in fact, a “high stakes pro” now. Also, it’s merely my presumption/interpretation of our late night conversation (at the end of a poker trip for me, so I was a little delirious for sure) that I in fact sparked a “get out of red chip jail” heater for him by running bad and spewing off in our very brief hu match- I could be wrong about that obv…

Regardless, I will not be surprised at all if I see this kid in even bigger games this WSOP or whatever. He is likely good at poker (as mentioned), he seems to have plenty of heart (extremely rare/way more important than being “good” actually- if you want to beat high stakes), and he likely has miniscule living expenses due to the fact that he looks like he might not even shave yet lol…

Spoiler:


(Grizzled vet lecture time)

***We are ALL at the mercy of variance. NO ONE runs even. HALF of us run above expectation, HALF of us run below expectation. SOMEONE has to run the best in the world (99.9999999 percentile), and SOMEONE has to run the worst in the world (00.0000001 percentile). Everyone else has to run somewhere in between those two figures (if there are 100 million poker players total in the world, which Google just told me there were)…

The confidence, lucidity, composure, BANKROLL, etc it takes to play big/sit deep and make good decisions- while giving nothing away, comes from running good at multiple turning points. After each bink, an invisible tornado is set in motion around the binking player. He can feel it, but he doesn’t know what it is. He doesn’t want to know what it is. He just knows that poker is EASY, and he is “a crusher”…

OTOH… NOT having the confidence, lucidity, composure, BANKROLL, etc it takes to play big/sit deep and make good decisions- while giving nothing away, comes from running bad at multiple turning points. After each negative bink, an invisible sinkhole is set in motion around the negative binking player. He can feel it, but he doesn’t know what it is. He wants to know what it is- so he can stop it, but no one around him really wants to talk about it (too depressing)- nor do they really understand it yet either. The only players that could actually help him understand (because they became experts on it through repetition) are long gone from the poker world- at least from the big games. So all the negative binking player knows is that poker is HARD, and he needs to play better and game select more…

When tornado meets tornado, the swirling gets faster. Same goes for when sinkhole meets sinkhole obv. And ofc one giant sinkhole can change the direction/trump the culmination of several smaller tornados (and vice versa)…


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Spoiler:


Note: In place of all the tornado/sinkhole spew above, I had initially written about how each poker hand is a long succession of weighted lotteries, affected by infinite, ever-changing variables, making each hand unique/never to be replicated, and therefore it’s impossible for any two players to have even remotely the same variance journey. And so on… But honestly I was starting to make my own head explode with that ****--> Be happy you only had to sift through the tornado/sinkhole stuff lol...


The only reason I focused so much on the Monday night impromptu hu match at Ocean’s 11/broke down some parts of my opponent’s impressive parlay (there are A LOT more parts to it obv- like for one, some grizzled vet on a crazy downswing/pretty serious life-tilt even showing up to that dingy little card room on a Monday night with a bunch of money to dust off) is because I really hope to turn on a "holy ****, variance is ****ING INSANE when you actually dissect it- EVERY poker pro (except for a few outliers who are too dumb to get out of the game once their initial jackpot of a heater even has a chance to be overtaken by negative variance) has run WAY above expectation/some have literally run state lottery winner good- if you really think about it correctly/objectively/completely" light bulb for everyone who reads this never-ending conclusion to this never-ending thread

Hopefully this light bulb will then guide you all to keep (or “make”, if it’s too late) poker part time/never depend on it. You are officially no longer in the dark when it comes to understanding that you do NOT control your own destiny in poker.

---

There is nothing to play (the 5-5 snap broke after you left it obv ), so you decide to finally call it a trip/go home and see your crazy kids (no shot you are driving back up to LA after this)… Another long (in terms of miles driven and hours played), losing poker trip in the books (damn, if you just didn’t veer off the 5 early)… You were so fresh and focused when you left your house Saturday night- and you really coulda used a positive trip (which your spreadsheet tells you is very much the expectation every time you go to work- even if it doesn’t feel that way at all lately)... If you run good in that Bellagio game/at that turning point, you win a ton and maybe never look back. But that’s not your journey apparently- at least it hasn’t been for the last several years. You almost always negative bink the big turning points- the same ones you used to bink often/no problem during the first few years of your career…

Spoiler:


Poor you obv/back to the drawing board…

Note: The hand histories of this entry have been deleted out of consideration for those potential few readers who have been able to hang on this long. Losing hh’s are boring af obv. People tell them for selfish, therapeutic reasons, and despite all your years in the game- even you aren’t above doing so when in The Abyss. What’s more important/entertaining (or at least interesting) is the effect this seemingly endless downswing (on borrowed money, with all sorts of bills piling up) is having on you…


Each session moves gradually from “**** it, this **** is all random, lezgo bitches” to “FML, I know I’m going to lose this 90/10 all in”- and then you do… Sure, you are spotted a couple big hands of run good over the course of a month or whatever, and you get a favorable big hu match here and there where you almost can’t lose- but everything else is just pure darkness…

Your few moments of run good are raindrops from a monsoon falling into your open mouth- keeping you just hydrated enough to survive, as you trek from The Las Vegas Strip to Death Valley National Park- in the middle of the night, by yourself, with no supplies... The trek—alongside the 15 South and the 160 West, and then down through Pahrump—is 120 miles of hard worn trail. You hear footsteps and panting in the darkness as you walk, and human corpses and skeletons line the trail like sand bags stacked waist high…

Spoiler:


No one ever chooses to make the trek to Death Valley National Park obv- it is chosen for you by the Poker Gods, and they send YOU almost nightly. Maybe they really like testing you for some reason, or maybe they want to make an example out of you, or maybe they just click buttons and you have really horrible luck…

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No sooner do you gulp down a raindrop, than you sweat one out- and more...

You finally win an 8k pot! You had 80% equity when the money went in. You coolered some poor kid and held. You know better than to be relieved, but it’s your first bink in a long time- and it affords you a good exhale at least…

Two hands later you lose a 10k pot. You had 80% equity in that one as well. You coolered some poor kid and he binked. You negative binked. You are slightly worse off/lower (on the poker ladder) than you were just 3 hands ago- right before you ran the best you had run in a long time… Note: anytime you win an all-in where you had < 100% equity, you ran good (from the point the money went in- not even counting all the stuff that happened before) to some degree, just like anytime you lose an all-in where you had > 0% equity, you ran bad (from the all-in point) to some degree. Those well-meaning dullards at the table, who love to say, “Everything is 50-50, you either win or you lose!”- they are right in a sense. All ins would have to be equity chops in order for their “go-to” to be meritless (might actually be worth it, when you think about it )…

80/20s seem like flips these days- and you’ve long been pretty terrible at flips (everyone says this, I know- doesn’t make it untrue for the 50% of us who have actually run bad in them though/ask gman06 just how good I am at flips ). You are surprised when you win one, happy to chop one, and you feel validated (your prediction was right!) when you lose one. And ofc losing 80/20s regularly (like they are flips) is just ONE aspect of running bad obv. You have mastered MANY more aspects of running bad, and they are all on display (to the astute eye) pretty much nightly…

Your mouth gets drier and drier with each step you take, so you start to walk faster, with more purpose, and you start to both envy and resent all the happy homes you see in the distance. If they only knew how thirsty you are…

Your blood heats up with each stroke of bad luck at the poker table, your patience thins, your smile sinks, and your comments go from funny to snarky. You transform from “GOAT ambassador/game builder”, to “grizzled vet on tilt”, right in front of everyone’s eyes…

After 6 months or so- of making the same late night trek to Death Valley National Park/of almost never being issued a ticket to ride on the party bus that goes out to Hoover Dam (where all the new pros go most nights- to drink, smoke, ****, and say things like, “shyeah”, “gamble” and “standard”), you start to hallucinate a little. The exhaustion, the dehydration, the isolation, the darkness, the heat, the footsteps, the panting, the strange wildlife howling and cooing all around you as you approach the heart of the park- it’s finally starting to get to you…

After 6 months or so- of nonstop suck-outs, coolers, whiffs, etc, your objective/mathematical/logical mind starts to get spooked- despite your iron will to never be results oriented. You reach a point (a point you had never gotten to before in your 2000+ hours of live poker/a point you would have bet your life you could have never gotten to/lol at this crazy **** ) where you start to halfway consider deck changes and seat changes- and even not playing vs certain players because they are “too lucky”…


It is at ^^^ point (of prolonged/relentless/consuming tilt) that- for the first time, you are embarrassed by your own thoughts at the poker table (you have long been embarrassed by other people’s thoughts )... You don’t ever actually quit anyone (as mentioned a while back, you “NEVER quit no matter what”), or call for a new set up, or switch from the 9 seat (where you are most comfortable/you see the board best) to the 3 seat or whatever. But you do catch yourself staring at a player from time to time- just in absolute awe of his run good, as he drags another huge pot/turns over another winner. You also occasionally catch yourself staring at the deck as it’s pulled from the shuffle machine and cut- thinking it is “evil” and “out to get you” (if you will). You even catch yourself “studying” an open seat once in a while, like, “Should I???”… And all that **** is fishy as hell obv…

You KNOW deep down that variance is in fact, random (ldo), and that you are just tilted beyond reason from an anomalously long (and anomalously bad) streak of bad luck…

Spoiler:


Welcome to The Abyss…


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Eventually your constitution gets tested, and since you are all but incapable of “breaking bad”/doing anyone else in this world dirty (a reaction many have when the screws are really put to them- see Walter White), you start to do yourself dirty a little. You block yourself off from family and friends. You don’t want to talk to them or text them or anything. You internalize all the pain and frustration and stress. You try your hardest to not have it wear on anyone else…

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Towards the end of each session/right before your “bust out hand” (which you know is coming- and then it comes), you catch yourself scratching your head- but not in the traditional way. You do it a bit harder. Not hard enough (yet) to make blood drip, but def hard enough to draw some red lines on your forehead (like keying the hood of your own car)…

When you walk out of an LA casino alone and broke, all those “poker players getting jumped outside of LA casinos” stories pop in your head as they always have- except now you actually want someone to jump you. **** it; you want 2 or 3 people to jump you. You have something for them right now that you don’t usually have. And even if/when they win, the pain of broken ribs or a broken nose or whatever might actually feel good (like those scratches do). You definitely couldn’t feel worse than you do right now…

And when you get in your car and start driving home after another ****ty Vegas trip, and a plane is flying above you towards McCarron Airport- for a split second you imagine it nose-diving and smashing right into your windshield. You have life insurance. Your kids will be taken care of…


None of ^^^ is very real/serious in your brain, nor does it stay there very long. It just pops in your head while you are in that post-**** session catatonic state- and then it goes away once you start breathing and blinking again. It’s (hopefully) not stuff you would actually choose to have happen- if you somehow had a choice... It’s just an uncontrollable reaction to the immense, immense stress you are experiencing. It’s the plastic lid on the container in the microwave beginning to bubble ever so slightly as the soup inside it starts to boil…

When the microwave starts beeping/the soup is at its hottest (NEVER after the soup cools down though- ftr), you actually think things might be better if you were dead... Not because you can’t handle the constant pain (**** it, you’ve been in pain on and off your whole life and have always been able to self medicate/rise above/have fun/be fun/pick yourself up after you get knocked down/use mind over matter when things get really bad/etc), but rather because your kids would get a milly- and them being taken care of (growing up better than you did) is really the root of all your stress/worry…

Spoiler:


When you are at max tilt/stress/despair though- because you have run bad for 3 straight months AFTER running bad for 3 straight months/you are slipping deeper and deeper into The Abyss/deeper and deeper into debt/you know you are approaching case borrowed money/you are starting to literally see no way out- because you can’t even win a 98/2 (much less an 80/20- which now seems like a flip) with 20k+ in the middle… you just lose all perspective…

The 20k hours of crushing on your spreadsheet means NOTHING. You constantly getting the money in great in the big pots means NOTHING. That you are able to build amazing games out of thin air means NOTHING…

Spoiler:


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You just CANNOT turn over winners no matter what (and if you ever do, you literally feel guilty- like the housewife with broken orbital bones and a fractured skull and bruises all over her body, when she gets a little break from her beatings because an old college buddy stops by to visit her dickhead husband)…

You flop top 2 vs top set and get AK vs AA or KK ALL THE TIME- like blockers/card removal/combo counts mean nada… You run into the tops of ranges RELENTLESSLY- except of course when you finally have it, then they fold out of turn to take a phone call or go smoke a cigarette… Your opponent flops an all in hand (and live poker players are ****ing nits wrt going all in obv) EVERY TIME you employ the old “stack leverage play” and bet an amount that commits him (but not you obv)… You miss your disguised equity (over card + double gutter in a 4b pot or whatever) in position RELIGIOUSLY… You get unsolicited results oriented advice from your boy who is loaning to you (you exhausted the loan with interest you got a while ago and have had to start leaning on him pretty heavy again- he’s the realest and you love him and you would be totally ****ed without him, but unsolicited results oriented advice from anyone is AIDS to you at this point) like CLOCK WORK…

And oh yeah, the “sharp” play of Lakers 1h +1.5, that was given to you by someone who actually means well- it loses WITHOUT FAIL, because Andre Drummond (cool dude, but stone bricker who can’t even make a free throw) steals a pass from DeAngelo Russell (whack snitch obv, but also lottery point guard/world class ball-handler) and makes a 63-foot running 3 pointer off the glass with 1 second left in the 2q- NO PROBLEM...



You are fairly certain that even if the soup got so hot that it started to vaporize, you would never even contemplate suicide (unlike a grizzled vet at Commerce—who I won’t name—who tried to pound a bottle of hydrogen peroxide there a few years ago ), a) because your kids/loved ones need you, and b) because you…

Spoiler:


You just think about your own death in way too strategic/apathetic way sometimes after horrible sessions. It’s a legit “if something happened to me that might not be the worst thing/it might actually be best thing, because I literally see no way out” head in the tilt-clouds conversation you have with yourself (or maybe an unlucky friend/loved one who happens to be there ) on occasion. Obv it’s unhealthy af, depressing af, pathetic af, embarrassing af, illogical af, and a little bit scary af- but you are not unstable (yet)…

You def see how those weaker than you completely blow their lids though. Financial burden/crisis and the stress that comes with it is no ****ing joke. Neither is a very anomalous stretch of bad luck/running reverse lotto in every hand/session/sports bet/etc- when you really NEED a win…

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The Abyss is dark and loud and hot and confusing. It is no place for the weak. It’s where normal people become scammers and dangerous criminals. It’s where the ones incapable of that ****, become self-destructive degens (I guess that makes me Jesse Pinkman?). And it’s where the self-destructive degens who face too much pressure for too long/who don’t decompress properly (or often enough)- they become splattered soup all over the inside of the microwave/the stock broker splattered on the New York sidewalk after the big crash…

Yeah. The Abyss is def no place for the weak- or for the strong. But it doesn’t care. It just needs a few human sacrifices to chew up and spit out (usually a shell of what they were before) every night in order to survive. And despite our insanely strong inclination as human beings to believe in karma and such/to always be results oriented- it’s all completely random who gets sent there (or who gets sent to the Hoover Dam party for that matter ) and for how long they stay…

So how do you properly cope when you are in The Abyss? Is it similar to how you cope with being caught in the impact zone of a huge wave- with a full set of huge waves right behind it/lines going out to sea as far as you can see, when you are surfing- you try to relax as much as possible, conserve oxygen and strength/stamina, maybe hold onto something if you can?

I don’t know…

I’m working on doing better in The Abyss, and when I figure something/anything out (I have no other option as a father/loved one), I’ll let you all know what it is... I’m as tough as they come, but so far I have not done well there…

My constitution remains intact, but my emotions and blood pressure have gotten a bit out of control- if I’m being honest (my lid isn’t close to popping off yet, but there is def some real bubbling going on). And actually wanting to feel a little physical pain at the end of each brutal session/keying my forehead with a fingernail- like some goth teen seeking attention from his parents /thinking about my own death strategically (even though it’s horrible strat- I realize that now→ I’m prob out of the woods wrt that moving forward tbh- no matter how ****ty things get)/regularly slipping into that catatonic state (as a way to not slip into a worse/more dangerous state- I think) is all no bueno obv, and it needs to be rectified sooner than later if I want to be there for my kids and loved ones- which I do so ****ing much…

I suppose I need to figure out what % of my pain/anguish/despair/stress/anger is financial burden and what % is just the empty feeling of having really terrible luck. Note: The list of people who say, “I only run good against you” or “I’ve never seen you run good” or “You really do never have anything…” is growing at an alarming rate…

What % is actually problems at home, unresolved childhood issues, lack of exercise/poor health, too much alcohol, too much addy, those ****ing testosterone pills my boy suggested, not smoking cigs anymore, maybe some other stuff?..

I’m gonna start really working hard at rectifying all this/not feeling so much pressure or stress or guilt when I’m not winning (even though that is my default/what I’m conditioned to do as a hyper-competitive mother ****er/an upper class family’s sole provider/”a pleaser”), and as I already stated, I’ll let you all know if and when I figure any of it out…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-WE87LFu5s
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:43 PM   #3369
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

WSOP coming up. I hope you start running good at the perfect time. Great writing as always. Keep on truckin'
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:40 PM   #3370
Jules22
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Cmon DGAF it's time for a heater!! GLGL
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:50 AM   #3371
DrTJO
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DGAF View Post
You reach a point (a point you had never gotten to before in your 2000+ hours of live poker/a point you would have bet your life you could have never gotten to/lol at this crazy **** ) where you start to halfway consider deck changes and seat changes- and even not playing vs certain players because they are “too lucky”…
Pretty sure it should read "20000+" (have faith in the integrity of your numbers). GL and immense thanks for this grand narrative, done your way!
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:15 AM   #3372
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrTJO View Post
Pretty sure it should read "20000+" (have faith in the integrity of your numbers). GL and immense thanks for this grand narrative, done your way!
Yeah 2k hours actually is nothing lol. Good eye. Ty.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:30 PM   #3373
water69
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Thank you, DGAF. I can relate to you on a lot of levels and this thread/your posts have been very helpful to me. Wishing you good luck in the future.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:34 PM   #3374
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

Only difference between DGAF and Dante Alighieri is ...

Spoiler:
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Old Yesterday, 05:02 AM   #3375
Delivery
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Re: 2k- a poker story (wtmfl;dr obv)

HHad to create an account to reply to this thread. Not a fan of this forum. What a read though. Glad I found it. I have played with you more than once. Initially I thought we would clash verbally and have a confrontation. One that would be initiated by you. I was completely wrong. You ended up always being a funny humble guy and your "presentation" was never ill willed or mean spirited. Not that I ever witnessed at least. What I liked most about this thread was your fascination with variance and how slow the game really is and how the long run is hard to comprehend in live poker. I have maybe 10 to 12 thousand hours of live poker now and how you speak on variance is great. Really enlightening and most people that play truly don't get it. Especially the ones who have never actually been in the abyss for an extended amount of time. Or ever. Not talking about months. More like years. Sure there may be some bright spots here and there in these stretches but with live poker it's truly possible to run really really horrible for a year or even more. I have witnessed people run the exact opposite for extended periods as well. Some of the people played really well too so I can only imagine how much they were able to profit during these times of run good. It was very refreshing to read an honest summary of someone who feels he has actually experienced the perspective of someone runing about as awful as you can. And sure it's possible you could run even worse and it's possible your mind is exaggerating it to some extent. But winning players who log all their results know when it gets really bad. And when you really start to understand variance and just how greatly it can affect your results over the course of 120000 hands then you can see how it's entirely possible you are one of the unlucky ones who really are getting the worst of it at the poker table. I LOVE how in a post you highlighted the point of how GREAT you ran with having healthy intelligent beautiful children. That was gold and you are a blessed man to be able to recognize this and be thankful for it. It is so easy in this game to feel sorry for yourself and forget how great you truly run with your health family and other things that money will never be able to buy. More than once you bang home the point of how dark this game can get. I imagine it's similar to artists in the music industry and athletes in sports. It gets incredibly dark and I also would never encourage someone to take this path. I think it can be done successfully but it's not something I would ever feel comfortable trying to push on someone else. It's a pipe dream and will destroy most people in the end. With faith and discipline though all things are possible. Anyhow thanks for this thread and I wish you the best. Godbless you and your family.

Last edited by Delivery; Yesterday at 05:32 AM.
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