Monday, April 19, 2010

Catching up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and there’s lots to tell.

First thing’s first. I got a new job and I love it, so far. After I got laid off from Merrill Lynch in January of ’09, I had trouble finding anything for a while until the summer when I got a contracting position at A.I.G. to automate their financial reporting systems. Flash forward 8 months later and I had done the work I set out to do. Things had been slowing down at the office in terms of work and I knew it was only a matter of time until my manager brought me into his office to tell me there was nothing more for me to do and I would be asked to leave. Out of nowhere, I get a phone call from a man I used to work for at JPMorgan all the way back in 2002. He said that he had joined a new project at Thomson Reuters and the work they were doing was similar to the work I had done with him all those years ago. Being a natural fit, would I like to come aboard? My answer: sign me up! No sooner had I agreed to the interview process than my current AIG manager did indeed let me go from my contract. Perfect timing! I got the position at Thomson and have been there since April 1st, again as a contractor working on a long term project that will go for at least 18 months or more. Yeah, I don’t get health insurance, but my hourly rate is higher than it was at A.I.G. and I can use the difference to buy private insurance when my COBRA runs out in November.

Speaking of November, I’m getting married that month! Ali and I have set the date of November 6th, 2010 to tie the knot at The Marriott Resort in Aruba. We went down there for a little scouting trip from April 9th-12th and thought it was magnificent. I don’t want to give away too many details before the big day but suffice it to say, the beach wedding was a great idea for us. We got to spy on a wedding going on down there and the atmosphere itself, with the ocean gently lapping at the shore 15 feet from the bride and groom, with the sun setting behind them throwing hues of pink and purple on the shoreline, was absolute bliss. We met with the wedding coordinator and managed to get a lot of planning done in the short time we had available to us.

Also, I played poker. I had a very successful poker trip to AC with Christine the weekend before I started my new gig and was able to rack up an impressive +$1,000 weekend playing $1-$2 NLHE. I didn’t have a single huge session, more like a bunch of small wins here and there that added up. +$150, +$290, +$210, etc… Most of the time my wins were of the basic flop and trap variety, but the donkeys were paying me off something fierce. I’ve also added value betting to my repertoire. Previously in my career, when I have a marginal hand on the river but my opponent is out of position and playing passively, I’d check the river in position for fear of being trapped. But I’ve been leading out for 1/3 of the pot lately and more often than not, I will be ahead by a kicker or my small two pair will best my opponent’s TP/TK. The value bet only has to work 2/3 times to be profitable, so I’ll do it in position when I feel my opponent has been playing weak and looking to keep the pot small by check/calling. The strategy pumped up my profits pretty nicely, turning $50 profits on pots into $70-$80 profits.

A few days after that weekend, I went down with Darko for a two day mid-week trip and left with around $100 profit for the two days. My profit didn’t tell the whole story though. I made around $800 playing $1-$2 NLHE and gave back most of it playing $10-$20 OE. The mixed game at the Borgata continues to be my Achilles heel. I have trouble resisting it, even though I know it’s a bad value. First off, I’m a losing player at the game. Not badly (I’m down around $1,000 on the game lifetime over a few dozen session), but enough to know I’m not beating the game. The two main problems are that the players all know each other, leading to a lot of soft play which keeps new money from coming onto the table, and the fact that the players are locals and quite good at the game. There aren’t enough soft spots to feed off of, which should be my clue to give it up and go for something profitable ($1/$2 NLHE!).

So a note to anyone traveling with me: Keep me off the mixed games!!!!

{Story about Backgammon player redacted at the request of the game organizer}


Memphis MOJO said...

Interesting post.

HighOnPoker said...

Nice job outting the prick. I don't think enough people recognize the importance of ones reputation in the gambling community.

bluejay said...

loved the post JAW. especially the line about pinks and purples being thrown on the rocks and stuff. would love to play some backgammon lunchtime if you can swing it.

BWoP said...

Congrats on all of the good developments!

So next time I see you we're playing mixed games, right?

Dawn Summers said...

Wooo congrats on the #rungood