Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Weekend

I mentioned that Gil and I were planning on playing in the tournament being held at Soaring Eagle in Mt.Pleasant. We got to the casino at about 2PM Thursday to register for Friday's tournament, only to find that all the seats had been sold by 11:30 that morning. Still, we were there; we played a little $3/$6 and—shock of shocks—we both made money.

Gil's business is now, at the end of the summer, entering a slow period where the phone won't be ringing much until October. So, even though we missed Friday's tournament, Gil suggested that we play anyway, at the former Trump casino in Chicago.

I've reviewed this room a couple of times; it's now the "Majestic Star II," and the dealers' shirts and the chips are different, but otherwise it's the same room. The only substantive change to the room seems to be that their second-lowest game is now $6/$12 half-kill rather than $5/$10 full-kill. A kill pot is $10/$20 in both cases, so the change isn't much. And we're playing $3/$6 anyway.

Gil makes a number of big, expensive mistakes, where I cringed as he was making them, but he still ended up over $100 ahead. My cards are pretty horrible, and I take a number of bad beats, and over the six hours or so that we play, I lose $200. There are some strategy questions I want to throw open for comment, that I'll do a bit further down.

The Plan

I've talked to Gil about it a fair deal, considered it a fair deal, and I've reached the point where I pretty much figure PokerDogg's plan is the one I'll pursue. Gil agrees with me that the numbers Dogg posits are reasonable. I have only to present it to my folks in pursuit of broadband.

I'm still worried about the "improve my game" part, because I don't have a clear handle on how that will go. Gil's suggestion, when I told him that I don't really understand what it means to "study" the literature, was essentially that I write a book report each time I read something new. I think the idea must be that I internalize the information enough that I can write about it, and possibly even disagree with it. In any case, it's a way to continue, by doing something I like to do anyway (writing), so you may start to see expansions on the literature in weeks to come.

The Suggestions

For the first time since I restarted the blog, my Email box had several positive contributions with suggestions for me. I've got them before, but one at a time. (Did I become a 2+2 whippingboy again? Or did Iggy mention me? I'm offline now, so I can't check either.)

One of the emails consisted mainly of words of encouragement from somebody who describes himself as a fellow fuck-up (and fellow ENTP, for what it's worth). He says he saw a forum post somewhere, where the original poster wondered if all the blogs describing a "hookers-and-blow" lifestyle were legitimate, or if they're fabricated, and why he never saw any counterexamples. My correspondent mentioned my blog as the counterexample, whereupon he discovered that I'm posting again. Maybe it's this forum post which turned some attention back to my blog. In any case, he has an opinion about the AK hand I posted about a few weeks ago, and I'll parse that at another time. At first glance he seems to agree with Jacobs more than with me, and that's a good thing.

Another correspondent, an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas, had ten suggestions for non-job jobs, so to speak. (Actually, that might be a cool job for a little while. I've got the voice to do Elvis—such as when the Imperial Palace's "dealertainers" take a break and sing—but I don't have the mannerisms. And who wants to remember the broken-down, fat and bloated, mid–1970s Elvis anyway?) Some of his suggestions are way out of the box, which is a good thing: as a subject for medical experiments, or as an extra in adult films, or even as an imprisoned felon. Some of his very "inside-the-box" suggestions are a lot harder work than I could likely manage for long: delivering Yellow Pages, day labor, or driving the Schwann's truck. I might be too honest to accept jobs with 2–3 week "training periods" and quitting once training ends. He mentions a "straight job" which I've considered from time to time, truck driver, but my driving record isn't clean, so I might have some problem getting in at a trucking company. (I've read that it's not "just you and the open road" like it used to be, either.) In any case, the suggestions are good ones, particularly those I've never considered, and despite what I've written here I haven't absolutely rejected all of them.

The final correspondent was a bit of a surprise: "Pete the Dragon," the host of a home game I went to several times last year, mentions that most Thursdays he now has 15–20 people playing there, and Gil and I are invited back. He even says the trash-talking is toned down. Several times, he says this. I don't remember that the trash talk chased me away before (though some of it was indeed over the top), but it must have chased somebody away. In any case, it's a strong possibility that Gil and I show up at his game again sometime in the next few weeks.

[Edited here to move one topic to another post]