Monday, October 16, 2006

Finally, Success at Something

It seems I've written this post before.

Frustrated by a string of defeats at (insert my current "main" game here), I've tried (insert something different here), and had some early success. Therefore, I'm going to continue to do (new thing) for a while, until (insert unreasonable goal here).

In this case, the defeats have been at limit, where my game continues to suck, at least in other than loose-passive games. Since the one area of my game where I still have some confidence is in multi-table tourneys, I've sat a string of those at PokerStars, probably 12 or 15, mostly with $10 or less buyins.

I go out on the bubble a lot, my own version of the "Matusow Meltdown" most likely. (Of course, I define the bubble pretty expansively. If the top 10% of the field gets paid, I generally consider the next 5–10% to be the bubble.)

But amid all of these bubble finishes, I've won one of Stars' $4 20-table sit-and-gos, final-tabled a 2000-man $1 tourney, won a satellite to a Sunday $215, and had two or three minor cashes.

The biggest disappointment is a tournament in which I had an average stack in a rebuy tournament with about twice the field remaining as got paid—that doesn't make any sense, the way I said that, so let's say 150 got paid and there were 300 left in the tournament—when the cable went out. If I was only into the thing for one buyin, I'd take it in more stride, but I was into it for five buyins, $50. I'm kind of upset that I let myself get into a tournament that deep with a limited bankroll anyway, and to have the cable go out mid-tournament makes it worse. First prize in that tourney was over $13,000, so the outage could have cost me a lot more than just the $50. Complaining wouldn't have done any good, so I didn't do it; under UGEA the ISP has some responsibilities in discouraging "illegal gambling." And, I'm sure they would have said, "it was 1:30 AM; when did you want us to have a scheduled outage?"

I don't have a statistical universe worth anything, but this is the first time in a while I've found an area of my game I have some confidence in. For the short term, then, really meaning just this week, I'm going to keep at these cheap tournaments and see where my bankroll ends up. (The little bit I've played today has resulted in that satellite win and a minor cash.) I probably won't play the $215 this week, because it conflicts with game two of the World Series (Go Tigers!), but of course the upside of that one is huge, even if I don't consider myself a favorite to make the final table. (I've sat a couple of expensive tourneys in the past, and the quality of play is much different.)

Go Get ’em, Tigers!

Speaking of the Tigers, when I signed into PokerStars for the first time, I chose the Tigers' old English "D" as my avatar. I've got the occasional comment from the fellow fan before, but since the Tigers have been doing so well in the playoffs, they've really come out of the woodwork. Probably twenty times last night I heard some version of "GO TIGERS!" on my tables, often from fellow Michiganders but also often enough from others who've become Tiger fans during the playoffs. This was in the hours after Magglio Ordoñez' walk-off home run dramatically gave the Tigers a sweep of the Oakland A's in the ALCS and the first Tigers appearance in the World Series since 1984 (incidentally, 22 years to the day since winning that 1984 World Series), so I can understand some new fans' excitement about the team.

I'm rooting for the Cardinals to win their series, which didn't seem likely when the series started but as I write this the series stands at 2–2. If the Cardinals end up representing the National League, it'll be a replay of the 1968 World Series, in which baseball's last 30-game winner, Denny McLain, squared off against one of the most intimidating presences in the game, Bob Gibson, who won 22 himself while maintaining a 1.12 ERA. 1968 is still called "The Year of the Pitcher," and the Tigers fought to a seven-game victory over the Cardinals, who (this sounds familiar) were ordained as the victors before any games were even played, and when Gibson struck out 17 Tigers in game one, the obituaries were written. It's also a replay of the 1934 World Series, but since the Cardinals won that one, and few remember it anyway, I won't wax poetic.

(From MLB.com on 1934: "In the sixth inning of Game 7, Medwick of St. Louis jostled Owen while sliding into third. [Baseball Commissioner] Landis appeased the Tiger Stadium [which wasn't called Tiger Stadium at the time] crowd by ordering Medwick—who was pelted by soda bottles and fruit after taking his left-field position afterward—out of the game. Part of it was frustration; after a great battle against the Gas House Gang, Detroit lost the finale, 11–0.")

Incidentally, the Tigers faced the Cardinals in Interleague play this year, and won all three games, 10–6, 7–6, and 4–1.