Friday, April 02, 2004


A couple of things.

I've noticed that I've gone from being so flustered by playing three tables that I've feared my brain exploding with an aneurism the size of Detroit, to having enough time while playing three tables to read Email or chat or check baseball scores (yay for baseball!) in the one-sixth of my screen that isn't taken up by poker tables.

So yesterday I tried playing four tables, and despite my no longer being able to read Email or whatever (I have no space left on my screen), it went even better than three tables. Not that I was up on all of my tables—I was down almost $200 on one of them, and over $100 on another—but it helped me even further to play only premium hands, and they came more often. So, I cashed +$276.75 after less than four hours of play. I wish I knew whether my tweak of my game that I mentioned earlier is the reason I'm up, or if it just corresponds with a run of good cards.

I think I could go to five or maybe even six tables, but I'd need to get a second monitor. I priced cheap video cards and cheap monitors; it'd cost me $100 or $150 to do it. (Oooh ... or, maybe I could spend $500, get a flat-panel, and make my current monitor the second monitor. I wouldn't need a second video card for that ... hmm ... )

I was looking through old posts yesterday, and notice a post from January where I said I was going to start playing hands like KJ differently. I think at the time I meant pretty much all the non-premium big-card hands, KQ, KJ, KT, QJ, QT, JT, suited and unsuited. At that time I raised with all of them preflop, betting hard whether I hit or not. People folded often enough that it seemed like the right way to play them, but overall I was losing money. I was planning on stopping that type of play, calling with that type of starting hand to see flops, and dumping if the flop missed me.

It's interesting to compare that to my most recent tweak of my game, where I've entirely removed most of those from my list of "playable" hands. So in a couple of months, I've gone from calling these raising hands, to not considering them even playable (under most conditions). I find that amusing.

But while playing yesterday, something else occurred to me. I'll play suited connectors and one-gappers under some conditions. So why would I play 45s, but not TJs? Why 86s, but not QTs? So, in late position in unraised pots, J9s, JTs, QTs, QJs, KJs are going back into my repertoire of playable hands—as long as I understand that I'm playing them for two pair, trips, or a flush or straight draw. If I play QT, and hit a Q45 flop, I don't like my hand any more than if I hit top pair when I'm playing 75s. (Which doesn't mean I hate my hand. Headsup I might love it, depending what the action has been like.)

This tweaking of tweaks feels to me a bit like the history of our modern calendar. All the months originally had thirty days. They decided at some point that they actually did care about marking dates during the winter (which wasn't really part of the calendar), so they created January and February. (This is why September, October, November, and December aren't months 7, 8, 9, 10 as their names would indicate.)They didn't really seem to care about the five days at the end of the year that were unaccounted for; I seem to think that those days were a feast time free from the normal calendar. Then Julius Caesar and Caesar Augustus wanted their months to be longer, so they each stole a day from February to make their months (July and August) longer. They decided later that they did care about those missing five days, so they added them to January, March, May, October, and December. But their calendar was still drifting with respect to the seasons, so they added Leap Year Day to correct it. Now it drifted over centuries, so they eventually decided that every hundred years they'd skip Leap Year Day. But that still wasn't right, so every four hundred years, they'd skip the skipping and go ahead and have Leap Year Day anyway (as in AD 2000). I believe I've read that every 4000 years they'd skip the skipping of the skipping, and miss Leap Year Day, but I'm not sure of that. Tweak the tweaks, and then tweak them, and tweak them again, and you get closer and closer to having your model of time approaching the real length of the year. As an aside, the last tweak happened in England and its colonies only in 1752, which is why a lot of the Founding Fathers have asterisks next to their birthdates. Thomas Jefferson's tombstone says "b. Apr. 2, 1742 O.S.," the O.S. meaning "old style." At the time he died (1826) people were still assumed to know that O.S. referred to the change in calendar that occurred 74 years earlier, where they "skipped" eleven days of September.

Wow, how did a useless history lesson creep into this blog? The tweaks that kept occuring to the calendar, and keep occurring, remind me of my own tweaks that occur in my poker game, that keep occurring. So it's like I'm at one with history.