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.