Monday, September 29, 2008

ran good, then horrible, then decent...

So after the end of last month I made the post and things were going great. In the first week of september I made $13k in a hurry and was thinking that if I kept running and playing that good it wasn't out of the question to have another 20k month or better.

But as I should have learned, posting about success will guarantee a smiting from the poker gods. Obviously I don't believe in any of that, but I think all poker players have those laughably bad runs where we have to make these played-out, cliched comments. In a matter of about 5 days I lost back that $13k plus about another $8k for my new largest downswing ever. Wheeeeeeeeee!

So yeah, you read that right, after going on a $35k upswing, I followed that up with a $21k downswing. Oh variance, you are a cruel mistress.

But since then I've slowly climbed back up, and am back in the black with a very solid chance to book another 5 figure month with two days to go. So I can't complain in the slightest.

I spent 3 days last week in Chicago with two of my best college buds. We caught a couple of cubs games (including the clincher at wrigley against the cardinals) and hit the town pretty hard. Hilarious stories and memories were made, and the post-game party in Wrigleyville was truly epic.

After that I took a bus up to Madison WI to stay with another of my best friends, Eric, from college. He's in the middle of getting a Phd in English from UW so between teaching and taking classes his time was somewhat crunched for the 2.5 days I was in town. Despite that we were able to get some good food, drink a few tasty brews, and relive some great memories. I met his girlfriend and several of his good friends and they are all great people. Hopefully he'll bring his gf with him to Boston on his next visit so I can get to know her better.

Madison was a really nice town. UW's campus was cool, and the weather was great while I was there. I would definitely like to go back to visit Eric either during a UW football saturday or maybe at Halloween. I here the campus has some great parties and my sunday-wed morning visit didn't really overlap with any of those.

Since I've been back in town I've filmed an interview for the Boston cable access tv show Boston Baseball Heads. The show is about my teams championship in the Park League, and I appeared along with my manager and SS. It was a pretty good time and I'm looking forward to seeing it on tv when it airs. I'm going to try and get a DVD copy, and maybe if I'm lucky I'll find some way to upload it on the web and put it on the blog.

Also I attended the Bosox (official fan club of the Red Sox) luncheon where they honored the best amateur baseball teams in the region and our team received an award. That was really a good time as well and I was able to meet a former president of the Park League who was really nice to talk to. Talking with former Park League players and officials makes me really want to find away to bring back the prestige and interest that the league used to have. Years ago the league used to draw hundreds (sometimes thousands) of fans for regular season games and would outdraw the Red Sox during playoff games. All of the best players in the area wanted to play in the League and the teams really had a fan base in their respective communities. While there is still considerable talent in the league, and the players have the same reverence for the history of the league, the fans have long since dissappeared. I think at most we had 100 or so fans for a couple of playoff games. And while that is nice, its a shame that we can't draw more. The competition really is great, and the admission price can't be beat (free). The games are played on weekday nights after people get home from work, and its easy to bring food or drinks to the park and just sit back and enjoy a game on a beautiful summer night. My gf's friends in med school have come to some of my games and they've always had a great time. They really enjoyed a chance to spend a night outside with friends while watching baseball game, and found it a great diversion from their regular stress. I think there are tons of families in the Boston area that could bring their kids to the park watch a game, and have a better experience than sitting at home watching TV. I'm not old, but when I was a kid I pretty much took my bike to the ballpark every night and watched whatever game was being played while running around with friends. Plus we play baseball the way it was meant to be played, hard-nosed, with wood bats, and a real competitive fire.

But anyway I'll get off my soap box for now. Maybe if the teams in the League could get more active in the community during the off and pre season via baseball clinics or volunteering we might be able to attract more fans.

Tomorrow I'm going to get back to working out. I've been slacking since the end of the season and have probably only worked out a half a dozen times. But I really would like to put on 15 lbs or so this off season, and if I want those to be muscle and not burritos I really need to work on my lifting and training. I really hate lifting weights too.



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

August = Best Month of 2008 Part Deux

So I was home all of last week and got in a decent number of hands, but didn't really feel like taking the time to blog. It was nice to be home, but it is tough because my grandparents really aren't well and it is sad to see the way their health and happiness has deteriorated. It is also taking a really heavy toll on my parents who are trying their best to take care of the people that raised and supported them for so many years.

When it was time to get on the plane and head back to Boston I had mixed emotions. I was glad to get back to my apartment and routine and obviously to see Katy (who I notice I miss more now when one of us is away then I did in the past). But I was also reluctant to leave my family since I felt I was in some way helping them get by in this difficult time. I think my parents tend to find my eternal optimism and goofiness refreshing, and I can help deflate some of their stress by doing some chores and being around to talk. I also realize now that every time I see my grandparents it could very well be the last time. And that is just really hard to deal with. I know that I am able to handle this stuff better than most, though I don't know why, but even I have trouble with that thought.

I got back to Boston on saturday afternoon and have put in a couple of sessions since then. So far things have been going very well this month and I have a chance to surpass my best month of the year, which is saying something. And that bring's me to the title of the post. August was my biggest winning month ever in poker. I actually cracked the 20k mark for the month and did even better when bonii and RB were taken into account. All of my play was on FTP and was spread between the 2/4 and 5/10 NL games with a little 10/20 and 15/30 6max LHE thrown in.

Here is the graph: link

So obviously I'm feeling pretty good about my game right now. I think I have improved quite a bit in the last month, and a lot of it has to do with game selecting better, cutting down from 9-12 to 6-9 tables, and trying to avoid bad spew against decent regs especially in 3-bet pots. I've been finding more and more good spots to make some aggressive plays both pre and postflop, and I've also been working more on taking advantage of position in postflop spots instead of just being over aggro in 3-betting (at the same time I'm 3 and 4-betting as much as ever).

thats all for now. I'll try to up the posts over the next few months as I have some interesting trips planned before the end of the year.