Saturday, April 24, 2010

Playing Online

Is it me, or is it everyone else?  Who's fault is it?  I hate fucking online poker, yet that's what's available.  Someone called online poker "methadone" for poker addicts and dammit I can't find a better metaphor than that.  Ever see someone on methadone....walking zombies.  I've been "lucky" enough to see plenty of them.

I commute into Boston daily for work and there's a methadone clinic next to my T-Stop.  One day I was waiting for my bus and had time to pop into the coffee shop and there were people outside the door begging for money with a dazed look on their faces....more inside the coffee shop, all walking zombies engaged in serious profound conversations, but not really being able to talk.

They were everywhere!

I started noticing a pattern.  I saw more of them when I left work early (talk about using negative reinforcement to keep me in work).  And they all looked like they just shot up or something.  Not easy people to look at, nor do you want to make eye contact anyway.  Most missing front teeth, battered and bruised.  The women were tarted up something awful, but not looking good if you catch my drift...looking diseased and tarted up at the same time.  Not a winning combination. 

And I have a problem with homeless people asking me for money.  I give it to them.  Especially women.  I know, I know....give a drunk money and he'll buy booze and ditto for drugs.  But man, it's fucking cold in Boston in the winter, and if that drunk needs a bottle to keep him warm, well I'm thinking he needs my dollar more than I do.

Don't get me wrong.  I've wrestled with this alot.  I used to give out Mickey D's value meals in lieu of giving a buck.  Once, years ago, (maybe 15 years ago) I gave the winter coat off my back to a woman in the street.  Yes, I did! and getting home was fucking cold (I'm always cold unless it's 90 degrees). 

As I've gotten older I've reeled it in, but yeah if you're looking for a buck on the street, I'm the chick to ask.  But the walking zombies, they don't get a dime from me...and that's saying something.  I just don't want the eye contact and there's too many of them and one of me.  So I have to say "No" which is really hard for me to do.  If you ever dated me in the eighties, you'd know that. ;)

But back to online poker and the zombies who play that. 

I have far greater success in live tournaments so in the past few months I've played less and less online stuff.  The crazy bad beats get to me as do the crazy calls.  My mind still says to me, if you can do it live, why not online?

Live has so much more information there for the picking.  Tells and patterns just waiting for the observant person to pick them up.  Then there's the female thing.  I ain't no model and don't garner alot of attention ANYWHERE except at a poker table.  When I'm playing in a tournament I'll have men stopping by periodically to check out my stack (OF CHIPS!) they'll be discussing my every move and I don't know if this happens to you, but 75% of the time I play a tournament, men will congratulate me on my play and tell me what a great player I am. People stop by and shake my hand. IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.

So why can't I do the same thing online?  Is it me, or is it them?  Does the anonymity of online play breed bad play?  Does it breed bad calls that you'd be too embarrassed to make live?  Are the trillion bad beats indicative of a corrupt game site?  Do I play looser online?  Bluffing is pretty much out the window online, although I use that bullet only once per tourney.

I don't know, but I'm telling you now that I'm making it my business to find out.

I played 3 games tonight.  First one was a tournament and I was out before the blinds went up.  1,500 starting chips and the first hand I played was A-J suited.  I called a raise and the flop was J-4-2.  I bet pot and got called.  Plenty o chips in the pot now.  Turn was a 7 I bet half pot and most of my chips are in there.  He has 250 less than me and goes all in.  I'm worried he has trips (trip 4s or dueces) but I call.  He has A-10.

Yup, fucking Ace Ten.  Brilliant call on my part.....until the river, which is an ace and buh-bye.

So I play a 9 person one table and I came in 2nd.  Decent play and decent reward.  Okay!

Game 3 - Tight, smart, playing.  No fucking around and I'm doing great.  I have about 2,200 in chips after 20 minutes and they increase bit by bit.  Doing just great.  Down to 4 players and I get K-K and I bet 5 times the blind.  Big blind calls me and the flop is Q-4-4.  He checks and I check.  Turn is a 10.  I bet pot and he calls!  I figure him on a Q.  Don't think he'd call that much with a 10.  River is an Ace and he goes all in.  I FOLD.  He shows his Jack/Ten.  Argh!!!!  My fault for giving him the free turn card.  His fault for thinking it was good, my fault for agreeing with him.

I ended up bubble.

So we have 2 losses and a 2nd place finish.....which puts me about even for the night and I don't dare play another.  God only knows what could happen....but I have to practice up so I'll be at it again soon enough.

I know a couple of young guys that want a chance to take my money.  One's a Canadian and one's New Yorker.  How can I say no?

I don't know that the New Yorker necessarily wants to take my money so much as play poker with me.  But come on, why do we play poker?  TO WIN MONEY.  Well that's not the entire reason.....

And the Canadian boy - he wants my money fo' sho'....maybe a little too much!  It's the reason he's playing!  He wants Auntie Josie to foot his Mookie buy-in!  As if that'd happen!

So if it isn't just to win money, why do we play poker?  I can speak for myself and tell you why I want to play against the Canadian.  It's not to win money, IT'S TO WIN.  The money's a nice bonus, but I like winning, plain and simple.

Game is on Wednesday night and I'll be ready.  If you're looking for my write up Thursday morning and you're having trouble finding my blog, well just click on Schaubs' blog.  You'll find Very Josie on his blog roll, where I belong.

Play smart,



The Poker Meister said...

Not quite sure why you lost with 2 pair vs. his rivered one pair, but I'm assuming you had KJ not AJ... otherwise, online poker truly is rigged.

However, if you want less variance, play more tables. Otherwise, each decision and bad beat will feel like it's the most critical of your session.

Fact is that you see FAR more cards online than live. You're going to have to face FAR more decisions online than live. Like I said to Jordan, if you're not playing with a HUD, you're at a huge disadvantage. Also, your local player pool is far less poker savvy than that of the internet; I've seen so many home game players come to AC or play online just to get destroyed - akin to a high school basketball player being used to the varsity treatment only to find out that he can't even make the college division 2 a walk on team...

Josie said...

Jew Boy II,

You make some good points, like the analogy of the highschool player being crushed in college, but I'm not talking about home games. I cash and win alot at the Seabrook poker room, which is a combo of old guys and young earbud/sunglass wearing kids. Then again, that still ain't AC or Vegas.

Never played a tourney in Vegas so I dunno how I'd measure up, but I'm planning on finding out.

I don't see myself investing in a HUD, but never say never. I don't enjoy the online thing enough. And I've won a quite few tourneys online too, but then brought my buyins way up, way to fast. Bu-bye.

And yeah, I fucked up the typing of that hand. I didn't have two pair, that's for sure.

Less variance = more tables?? You think that's true?

Thanks for the insights....very much appreciated.

dbcooper said...

1. Did we date in the eighties? if not we should have . I like you never saying no
2. I never give money to our street peole here. It just enables them to stay on the street and use.
3. You mention a Canadian wanted your money then I had to reread and you said young (definately not me) (of course I already have your money).
4. I hate online poker too. Just passes time for me. Like the Zombie reference.

5. Gotta disagree with the Poker Meister. We have the young internet kids come to our live poker and they are lost in a real live game.
6. This Wednesday are you playing the Mookie again??
7. They aren't checking out your Chips Josie unless the guys in Boston are different.

Memphis MOJO said...

As I've gotten older I've reeled it in, but yeah if you're looking for a buck on the street, I'm the chick to ask.

Downtown Memphis has many programs for these people. They can get a place to stay, they can get meals, etc. Yet, panhandling is a problem.

It may sound harsh, but they have an expression: If you give them money, YOU are part of the problem.

Josie said...

Hey Coop,

1.) If we dated in the 80's you'd remember it. Trust me on this Babe.
2.) I know! like I said, I'm not as bad as I used to be.
3.) You nitty old man! I want a rematch!!!
6.) Yeah I'm playing The Mookie again cuz I have to teach a YOUNG Canadian a lesson.
7.) :P

Josie said...


You make a strong point that I can't argue. I'm gonna reel it in even more. You're absolutely right. Oh, and YOU'RE the original nitty old man. :)

Mojo's the one who coined the phrase, and I'll be using it for years!

Gary said...

Here's my rule for spare-changers: Never give money to a clean-shaven panhandler.

Josie and I have had private discussions about this and we've come to an understanding that allows both of us to save a little face and retain our dignity: Our understanding is that she is the better live player and I am the better player on-line. I think this is because she is more observant of tells and human behavior and I play a more math-y game. Also when I'm live there's a little more of the twitchy degenerate gambler in me than there ought to be, and Josie can restrain herself along those lines better than I can.

And let me just say this about you giving the coat off your back to a stranger: It was ridiculous, and foolhardy, and magnificent. This is why people adore you after five minutes; it certainly isn't your rack ;)

What the hell is wrong with me lately? I'm being nice to people. I must have a fever or something.

Josie said...


My rack is magnificent TOO. It's just that when I play cards at home, I'm in my PJ's so you can't really tell.