Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Oh, right. Manners.

Banky's out playing squash (his new obsession), the baby (when, officially, can I stop calling him the baby, anyway?) is sleeping, so here I find myself in front of FullTilt. Lately I only have time for 15-30 minutes here and there, so I've been limited to small-stakes ring games....but since I have more time tonight, I decided to fire up a SNG.

Just as the game starts, another player wished everyone good luck.

I honestly did a double take. It's been so long since I've been at a poker table with strangers where there was any sort of geniality. I was a little shocked.

And then I remembered how poker was when I started playing. People would say good luck, and good game, and nice hand (or GL, GG, and NH). It was rare that anyone spewed the venom and hate that I saw so much that I started tuning the chat out (or outright turning it off at times). When did everyone get so mean?

It took me a few seconds - but I responded to the other player, wishing them luck, too. I busted early - I hope Ms.Friendly goes on to win it...

Monday, September 28, 2009

7 years

In an attempt to find an appropriate picture to commemorate our 7th year of wedded bliss, I took a quick scan of Banky’s pics on Facebook, and discovered something shocking.

It appears that being married to me has made Banky turn to the bottle.

Happy Anniversary, Babe! Hope the next 7 are as filled with margaritas as the past 7 have been. Oh, and love and joy and all that other stuff, too.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Giving today a chance

I always liked the first day of school. It was nerve-wracking, but there was always a sense of promise, of a fresh start - this year, things will be better. I will be cooler, I will have more friends, I will be smarter, and I will actually do my homework. And of course, there was the new clothes, which were always just a touch too heavy to wear in early September, but I wore them anyway.

I'm not going back to school - but I want a new wardrobe anyway. If I can't actually have a fresh start, at least I can get a new pair of shoes...


Been suckered into playing every day on FullTilt (at least for a few minutes) in their Take 2 ring game promo. I both love and hate poker equally. Poker is like the worst boyfriend you could ever have. Makes you feel beautiful and then screws your best friend. But I come back for more, because I CAN CHANGE HIM. *sigh*


Kevin Smith did a 24-hour tweet-a-thon on Twitter yesterday/today. I only saw a handful of his tweets this morning, and this one resonated with me...

ThatKevinSmith Via @Tkide "give me some inspiration to make it through the work day" Today could rule. Give it a chance.

Today could rule. Give it a chance. I like it. I like it a lot.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The edge of the universe and trip Kings

Yesterday, my mind was blown not once, but twice.

First, Bankwell and I have been watching Journey to the Edge of the Universe. We PVR’d it awhile ago and have watching it in bits here and there (mostly because the visuals & narration are at the exact right frequency to send me into dreamland). The content, however, is anything but snoozeworthy.

The documentary combines actual images from telescopes & space probes and combines it with CGI to take the viewer on an exploration through the universe. Pretty trippy.

We stopped last night when we reached the Crab Nebula. I’m learning all sorts of fascinating tidbits – like stars are actually nuclear reactions – freaky! But what blew my mind was when we got to a black hole – something so dense and with such strong gravity that not even light can escape – everything that approaches the black hole gets sucked in,...the narrator said something like this: “what happens when matter goes into a black hole, we do not know. We have reached the end of human understanding”. Whoa.

I’m pretty sure this is out on DVD – I highly recommend it.

And then, my mind was blown in a completely different way in a $20 SNG last night.

I get pocket Kings in late position and raise 3xBB (I’m so predictable). Blinds call and UTG limper calls.

Flop comes 10, 6, 3 two diamonds. Checked to me, I bet about 2/3rds of the pot.

Blinds fold, limper calls. Hmmm...does he have a set?

Turn K (not a diamond). Yippie!

Bet 2/3rds of the pot again (looking rather silly mind you, because I’m left with only about 400 chips...I thought it was a total ‘call me’ bet).

Limper calls. Must have a flush draw.

River 9, no diamond. He must have missed his draw – not likely going to make more money….but I’ll give it a shot. So I go all in (which coincidently puts him all in as he had slightly less than me).

He thinks for a bit, and calls. With A3. No flush draw, just a 3 that paired on the flop. HUH?

I had to check the hand history twice. He called all the way with bottom pair, and then called off his whole stack on the river.

I have absolutely no idea what he was thinking. Most of the time, when people play ‘badly’, I can understand how they might have justified it to themselves (hell, I’ve done a lot of justification of my own craptastic play), but this? It just left me scratching my head.

I managed to use that nicely wrapped gift to finish 2nd while also making a little profit in a PLOHL cash game. Yay me!

Friday, August 14, 2009

How having a baby has ruined my poker game (and why I’m ok with it).

Annie Duke played the WSOP 8 months pregnant one year. How she did it, I do not know. I lost my poker game sometime around month 6. I think the growing baby living in my uterus somehow siphoned all my brain juice (that’s a medical term, yo), and I became unable to make any proper analytical decision.

Sample discussion of a typical post-game analysis:

Banky: Why did you call that raise?

Me: Um. I don’t know?

Banky: There was a 4 card flush on the board.

Me: Um. Yes.

Banky: What did you have?

Me: I forget.

But, you know, pregnancy can do weird shit to you. So I chalked it up to my status as a human incubator, and shrugged it off. Then I actually had the baby and, well, that was some insanity all on it’s own. ‘Nuff said.

When I finally (after 7.5 months) started getting some sleep, I thought my game might come back. Nope. I still suck. I chase flushes and open-ended straight draws are my own personal kryptonite. Raising pre-flop is a foreign concept to me. Value-bet on the river – why would I do that?

Why this has all happened, I’m not quite sure. I’m only half kidding about the brain juice – my memory really is for shit these days. But maybe it’s something more...maybe karma has decided that my life is an embarrassment of riches (good job, hot husband, and now a lovely happy, healthy, little boy) and decided to smite me with the poker game of a blue-haired old lady at a charity casino. If that’s the case, then I’m cool with it. I’d rather lose to a 2 outer on the river because I checked the whole way, then change anything about TartWell – because he, dear friends, is the stone-cold nuts.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I post, therefore I am.

I write about myself on Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal and here. And you know what? I’m just not that interesting. I am, however, narcissistic, so I shall continue.

Last Thursday was the Season Final game for the Poker League. I was once a regular fixture in this game – so much so that at one point, Banky and I had attended more games than the league host (he went out of town for 3 weeks, and we hosted the weekly games at our house in his absence) – but this season I barely qualified to play in the final, just barely squeaking out the minimum 4 of 12 games to play.

I think part of my ennui with poker these days is because I am playing like shite, and I know it.

My starting requirements are so loose – I can find almost any reason to call. 10 5 off suit? Well, you know a 5 or a 10 is needed to make any straight. And with two suits, I have TWO chances to make a flush!

Loose starting requirements are ok, to an extent, but only if you’re able to pick up orphan pots. Not when you check/fold when you miss.

I know this, yet what do I do? Call-Check-Fold. Call-Check-Fold. Call-Check-Fold. Oh look! I have no chips left. Push with AK, get called by 1010...and I’m out!

Booo. Poker sucks. But it really doesn’t – I’m just not enjoying myself. The league games (the only live poker I’ve been able to squeeze in) just aren’t what they used to be. The games are too small, and all the people who make me laugh are gone. There are still people whom I like – but no one that I really look forward to interacting with.

If I’m going to burn money – I might as well do it while getting a few laughs at the same time. I need more pokery FUN.

I definitely want to stay playing Woody’s game again. Those boys always make me laugh. And I think it’s about time the TartWell residence hosted another homegame.

Any takers?

Monday, May 04, 2009

When the opportunity of a lifetime comes at the wrong time

Dude. It’s been forever since I blogged or read a blog (other than other mommy journals and Julius Goat’s LOST recaps).

I haven’t played poker online in...I can’t even remember.

My live poker has dwindled to maybe twice a month.

The Pokertart is feeling decidedly less...tart, these days.

I just caught up on all my bloglines feeds. It felt weird – almost like I was eavesdropping. I’ve been pondering why, after it was such a big part of my life, poker has fallen by the wayside. I do still watch it on TV (oh lordy do those GoDaddy commercials featuring Vanessa Rousso make me cringe), but for the most part, I’ve put it on the back burner. Of course, H has a lot to do with it. Becoming a parent sucks a whole lot of energy out of you – but there’s more...I think it boils down to an opportunity I turned down, and how it has made me view poker.

When H was 4 months old, I turned down a ‘dream’ job in the poker industry. I had verbally accepted, but it took over 6 weeks for the contract to get put through, and by the time it arrived, I was simply too exhausted, physically and mentally, to contemplate taking a new job, especially one that would require travel, as this one did. I don’t regret my decision – I love my current job, and I know I made the right choice for where I was in my life then. But I do wonder what might have been had I taken that job.

I think a part of me is afraid to embrace poker as I did before I had H, because if I do, perhaps I’ll find myself full of regret. If I dive into the poker world with as much enthusiasm as I had a year ago, will I long for a life I turned down?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

The other day, Banky mentioned that he’d like us to try and win our way to the 2010 WSOP. H will be almost 2 then, so will definitely be able to stay with my parents for a few days. I kind of like the idea of working towards a goal in poker...and I’d still like to be the first woman to win the Main Event.

C’mon now, a Pokertart can dream, can’t she?