Thursday, September 28, 2006

Commence Normality

As my jet-lag subsides it almost seems like my vacation never occurred. If it wasn't for a few changes at work I could almost convince myself (if I wanted to, that is) that the three weeks I spent outside the USA didn't happen.

For those of you who had "3 days" in the "amount of time at work before Garth gets royally pissed off", you backed a winner. Yesterday afternoon I ran right into a bunch of issues that got me extremely exasperated. So I decided that even though I had work to do that I would go home, order a pizza, knock back some beers, and play some poker.

To be honest, even that course of action was a little fraught with danger. After all, my first brush with poker post-holidays didn't exactly run smoothly. On Tuesday night I finished my first footy training since I returned (my hamstrings are still sore) early enough to allow me to play the WWdN. "Nice," I thought, "the perfect tournament for me to play since I haven't played in one for a month or so." I had a little time before kick-off, so I brough up UB and played some 2/4 Triple Draw. By the time the WWdN started I was down a bit, but I wasn't too worried - TD can be a high variance game, and hey, I hadn't played in a while.

When the WWdN commenced I informed my UB compatriots that I was leaving to play a tournament, having learned my lesson regarding multi-tabling with TD and NLHE. I settled in with some familiar faces at my tournament starting table, and got ready to rumble.

Naturally I was Gigli, though I was an 80% favourite when all the chips went in. Nonetheless it wasn't the return to tournament poker I was looking for.

I shrugged my shoulders, popped the cap off another beer, and logged back into UB, amusing the players at my Triple Draw table as I returned less than five minutes after leaving. No matter. I continued chugging beers, watching the Contender Finale, and chatting to people online as I flung chips about.

Perhaps unsurprisingly I got kicked in the teeth. Big time. By the time I logged off I was smarting from the beating I had taken. I sloped off to bed, feeling bitter about my re-introduction to Online Poker.

Which brings us back to yesterday. I arrived home steaming from the get go, though the trip home had at least settled me down a little. I grabbed a beer, ordered a pizza, and settled in for some Triple Draw.

Thankfully the first players I encountered were known fish, and even though I had no fear regarding their play I was being frustrated. One play in particular infuriated me; I had a made hand (though not the best possible) and capped the second last street of betting. My opponent decided to draw 3(!)... but managed to draw to the best possible hand. *sigh* I didn't worry about this too much, I just wanted to make sure he stayed around long enough for me to take it back off him. Unfortunately he left while the job was still incomplete, though I was up for the first mini-session.

For a while I was the lone person at the table, waiting for someone to sit down with me and see if we could get a table started. I was overjoyed when one of the regular bad players sat down, though I was less happy when he won the first hand and then immediately left. Nice.

Eventually, however, the joint got jumping and I was joined at various times by Gracie and SoxLover. Both of my blogger brethren eventually left, and I was left to fend for myself against the denizens of 2/4 TripleDraw. But I was playing well. Despite being down $40 at one point I was slowly but surely extracting money from those around me. As the night went on people came and left, and finally I was down to HU with a player I had pegged as being extremely ordinary. My opinion was proved correct as I bludgeoned him repeatedly. Eventually he said that he had to leave, but would be back later. I checked the time, decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and told him I was going to crash.

The win was big (though not quite big enough to erase the losses from Tuesday!), but more importantly my confidence was restored. Now I have to work on keeping my focus, and continuing to improve my play - not to mention keeping my equilibrium intact. I still have a goal of working my Triple Draw bankroll up to a level where I can have another shot at 10/20. I considered using the winnings obtained from playing poker in Sydney while I was on holiday to fund taking another shot, but I am undecided. I would take more satisfaction from working my way up from 1/2-3/6, but we will see how we go. Maybe I'll just buy myself something pretty instead.

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