Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hopeful Fool

I posted this in response to a post by Otis over on Up for Poker about his concern with the next generation and what that means to all of us in general and also what it means to the poker world:

"I work for a local YMCA and deal with kids of all ages and some days I worry. I worry because I also get to know the parents and I realize it is more than the next generation, it's every one. It's the level of entitlement that concerns me most.

I also get to meet some great kids that I actually enjoy their company and am happy to have made their acquaintance and seen them grow in to decent young adults. They are out there and it gives me hope, it keeps me coming back to work every day."

There are good and bad people in any field of work and you can become an angry old man and shake you fist at the young whippersnappers out there and dream of days gone past when everyone tip their hats and said good day to you as they past you on the street. Then again you can realize that there has been assholes in every generation that will do whatever they need to to further their cause good, bad or other. What does concern me is this sense that they deserve it just because they want it. I have kids come up to me at work and ask me for a dollar so the can get a snack from the vending machine. This isn't because they are poor, it's just because they want it and want it now and when I tell them to get over it I am the one in the wrong because I didn't just give them what they wanted. This is just one of the hundred of examples of what I encounter. Then I meet the parents of these kids and it all becomes very clear. I could get into the sociology and psychology of all this, I am sure there are others out there who can explain it better than me, but my theory has to do with the Boomer generation, infertility treatments, nannies and McMansions (but that is post for another day).

I also have met some amazing kids that I have had the honor of seeing growing into very nice young adults. It gives me hope and if I really think about it there are more of them out there. They go unnoticed because they don't need the attention, they're getting it elsewhere and in a positive way. We all do focus on the negative because it is usually the most obvious but we all should take the time and give the attention that the good deserves.

In poker you have to have a certain amount of arrogance to be successful at the tables. You have to, at some point, make people believe that you are better than them. There is a way to do that with respect and dignity that allows players you have felted retain some self respect and have them still want to play with you because you are a decent person not because they want to seek revenge. I tend to give respect to people at the table and away from the table that don't ask or demand but deserve. Every person deserves a certain level of respect until they prove otherwise. Even if someone doesn't deserve respect I tend to be the type that will give them more than they deserve and that is what being a decent human being,even when you are surrounded by a bunch of animals, is all about.

We can all feel that there is no hope for all of us because the next generation doesn't understand what it is all about. This has been going on as long as there has been more than one generation on this planet. What really disturbs me is seeing grow adults acting this way. I feel most of this "me" attitude goes away what with age but the ones that still persist into middle age scare me the most. We all went through fazes in life that we can look back at an say we were assholes and it's the fact that we can is a sign that we have grown and learned what was needed. I think most of these young guns that are at the table disrespecting the game and the people that play it will go away, go broke or give up. Some will learn and be complaining about the young guys coming up a decade after them. Then again some will be successful and become Phil Hellmuth and will be booed when after winning a record setting 11 bracelets at the WSOP. Just like there is only one Hellmuth out there and many other players that give and receive respect, there are more regular people out there that are give more than don't. So I guess I may be perceived as a hopeful fool but so be it I can live with it and it allows me to face each day instead of becoming a hermit living in a cave.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Still Waiting...

So close and yet so far still. That goal I have set for myself over on Pokerstars to rebuild my bankroll seems to have hit a plateau. I had a couple of bad runs in the last weeks and made up for it last night. I have been playing Omaha8 and I looked over an old spread sheet I had to track my play online before I purchased PokerTracker. It looks like I deposited about $250 in the account when I started and right now I am down about $60 which is great because a one point I was down more than half. I know that I am not talking about thousand even hundreds of dollars but it is all relative. I have been very careful not to deposit anymore than I'm able to afford to lose, but the fact of the matter is that I hate to lose. I don't care if I am playing .05/.10 or 2/4 I always want to walk away with more then I came to the table with. What does all of this have to do with waiting for anything, well I have been playing O/8 exclusively there, meaning that is the only game I will play on that sight. I have been playing at the .25/.50 level and I had been down to less than $100 and I have turn that around to about $190 as of last night. I am waiting to hit $200 before I move up to the next level, I am making that statement publicly and I will not go back on it. I will also go back down a level if my bankroll hits $150. There I have put it out there and I ask you all to keep me honest and and make sure that I stick to the plan. I have moved up too fast before and have suffered the consequences. Now my sitn'go challenge over on FullTilt that I started a while ago is still on track I just have been concentrating on other games and haven't really put in much time on that but I am still have a positive ROI on those. Further updates to follow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Three Brothers

I was the younger brother to my sister, my only sibling, but I still had two brothers. When I was five we moved around the corner into the house that I wasn't born in but do call it my childhood home. The new neighborhood was a world different then the one I came from. The neighbors next door had two sons at the time, Mike and Pete, Mike was my age and Pete was two years younger. I was a little boy who didn't know how to act around boys, I was small, skinny and prone to crying. The other neighbors, across the street, were older and meaner then anyone I had ever met before and would send me home crying to mommy more times then I would care to admit. Mike, Pete and I created a bound that I can't even understand even looking back at it as an adult. I learned about playing touch football, whiffle ball and jumping our bikes off mounds of dirt. Mike was the football player who could swim better then anyone I knew and Pete, even though he suffered with tourette syndrome, was charming, good looking and an incredible athlete even at 4 years old. When Mike was nine he started to suffer from spells where he would blank out and it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. One day he went to the hospital and came back with a shaved head and an enormous scar on his head. A summer of radiation treatments and he was declared cured and life went on.

We did all the stuff that brothers would do together, underage beer drinking, porn mags and cigarettes. We grew up, we went away to college, they moved across town. Other than a couple of Christmas gift exchanges, 2 wedding receptions and a wake, we lost touch. At Mike's wedding reception I found out that Pete was in rehab and wasn't doing well. I only saw him one more time a couple of years later. Then five years ago I found out that after being almost 25 years cancer free Mike was dying of what he thought he had been cured of so many years before. He died in the spring of 2003 and Pete was asked not to come to his funeral. He was not in any shaped to be there and his family had broken off almost all relations with him. Last month Pete died as well and even though no one was saying of what I knew it definitely was not cancer. Even though I hadn't seen him in almost a decade, I felt a very profound sense of lost with hearing this news.

I went to the funeral and when I heard Pete's youngest brother Kyle give the eulogy I was hit with that fact that this was a life that didn't need to be extinguished at 38 years old. As sad as Mike's death was I felt that he was living on borrowed time as it was and there was nothing that he could do about it. He had gotten married and had two great kids and was happy with his life. Pete on the other had had so much to offer the world and he used it to hurt himself and the people who were closest to him.

I don't know if I was involved in his life during our adulthood if I would have had any effect on his character or would have been just another person that he would have hurt, just like he had done to those who were closest to him. I would have like to have had a chance to have him hurt me and instead of sitting in that church and not only feeling bad for his parents who had to bury another child, but for myself for letting time and space come in the way of a friend that was more a brother to me than anyone else I have know since.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Taking Control

I have found that I have been in too many situations in my adult life that I have not had control of what was happening to me. For whatever reason I have suffered on the delusion that if I did what was expected of me or even if I didn't the awesomeness that was me would show through and I would be elevated to whatever stature that I felt should be bestowed upon me. Needless to say I have suffered from some serious disappointments.

I was always fortunate that things came to me easily as a child, school, friends, my music, alright not everything, I always had horrible handwriting even from a very young age, which prompt my first grade teacher to tell my mother I would never amount to much if I didn't fix it (can you imagine) and the one and only summer Iplayed little league was probably the most traumatic of my life. I breezed through school, I got into the only college I applied to, I got into the school musicals, I played lead sax in the jazz band, and I was drum major for the marching band. All of this really came to me without much effort I just did it and it happened. Needless to say once I got out of school and the real world came crashing in on me things didn't always happened the way they did in the past. I have been passed up for promotions, didn't get jobs I thought I was over qualified for, or just wouldn't get the interviews.

I have found myself in another one of these bad type of situations once again at work an it has lead to a bit of soul searching on my part. I have questioned what has allowed me to be in this type of situation and what I could do to change this pattern in my life. At 40 years old you would think I would have learned, being that I have been working as a responsible adult for almost half of my life and really don't have much to show for other than a rather diverse resume.

I do believe that I may have been the type of person that should have worked for himself and not have to deal with a boss or back stabbing co-workers. I have had many interesting and fun jobs that I have felt very fulfilled doing, but nothing has stuck or I have been on the short end of the stick with the higher ups. I finally decide that I am to old to be dealing with this Bullshit and pushed my hand at work. I guess playing sitn'go type poker has crept into my daily life.

I tend to play sitn'gos with patience in the first few levels, pick my spots but wait until a couple of guys get knocked out before making my moves. The only thing that is that I think is that I pushed a work with a short stack on the bubble it even though I have survived I really didn't add that much to my stack. Poker has help realize that the best type of poker played is the best way to lead one's life. Tight Aggressive play works in most all situations. I have waited through a few levels here but now it has come to push all in or get blinded out of a job. Just like in a tournament I would rather go out when I push with the best of it and got out flopped than sit around until I am felted with a 7 2 off suit.

I think I have a few more rounds to play before I have to push, but my stack is starting to dwindle and patience is going to pay off. Even inaction is taking some sort of action but I would rather be seen a person forcing then action then having it take me over. I think this maybe my new philosophy in life as I have tried for it to be in poker.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Almost there

I have impressed myself with my disciple. I have been playing O8 on Pokerstars and have set a bankroll goal before I move up a level and I am so close to that mark that I can taste it. The me of about 6 months ago would have pushed it and jump a level already, since I have been running rather well, but I won't until I make it. It has been up and down for the most part for the last week or so and I just can't quite get past that line. In the past I have jump up levels and I have lost all of the gains I had made and then some. I am looking forward to the new challenge that awaits me soon. The game can be frustrating at times but for the most part I am enjoying the challenge of it and it's always good to expand your horizons and hold'em has been getting tired for me as a ring game. I played it a bit over then weekend and I still have a knack for it but I have had a much more positive run with O8 right now so I will stick with it as long as it is treating me well.