Friday, July 16, 2010

Life can be time consuming

I haven't made a post in forever. And the worst part is, I've been playing some poker and backgammon! A few weeks ago, I went to Mohegan Sun with Chris and hubby Matt, Paulie, Liezl, Viet and little Luna. And it was a blast. We even got Darko and his new fiance to come up and officially break their big news. So with all this activity, why no blog post?

Because I'm tired. Or maybe bored. Too bored to write a post. I just haven't been feeling a lot of motivation lately to keep up with my blogging activities. Most of it has to do with the stress I've been feeling at home. Ali is neck deep in studying for the New York and New Jersey bar exams which are coming up the last week of this month and things at home have been a little dicey. Ali's been working like a fiend putting her heart and soul into her studies, but it's impossible to ask someone to wake up early and go to bed late every day for two weeks while doing nothing but going over 3 years of law school notes in between! At a certain point, a person's brain cracks and when that happens watch out! I've been as understanding as I can, trying to provide a good environment in which she can thrive. That means that I'm doing all the cleaning up after meals, not making a sound after I come home from work and generally absorbing any vitriol thrown at me without fighting back. A few days ago, I snapped because I had reached my limit and I fought back. After a few minutes, I was apologizing cravenly and shut my mouth again, like I should be doing. Basically, it's a struggle for both of us (her more than me) and we'll be really happy once it's all done.

There are other thoughts taking up my mental energy usually reserved for blogging. I'm nervous about whether Ali can get a job in this awful market for new lawyers. And I'm consequently nervous (terrified really) about what that will mean for us. Her student loans are coming due in a few months and her parental support will stop and it'll all be on me. The combination of the increased rent responsibility once her parent's stop paying her share and the gargantuan student loans might force us to move to Brooklyn if we can't figure out a way to make it work. And I don't want to move to Brooklyn.

Oh, and there's work. That's kind of important too.

So poker and backgammon blogging hasn't been my first priority. But I have a few free minutes now and I'm taking a rare weekend trip to AC (to leave Ali alone for 48 hours of solid studying), so here I am.

Back to that Mohegan Sun trip. The long and short of it is that I broke even on the trip. Maybe up a few dollars or so. I was up about +$400 at one point in the evening when I got dealt KK in the BB. A new kid, who had just sat down with $200 a few hands earlier, raised to $12. Even though he hadn't been playing long, I could tell this kid was relatively new to the game. He was with a college buddy and their teenage looking girlfriends were sweating them. He looked a little dorky. I've seen the type and they haven't been in the live games long enough to know how to read table situations. 4 people cold called the $12 and when it got to me I re-raised to $100 straight. The new kid shoves for $200! I had little doubt I was beating him but if he had rockets then more power to him. There's already $350+ in the pot so calling the extra hundred is a no brainer for me. But before it gets to me, it folds to a good player who's been at the table for a few hours with me. He tanks! I can't figure out what he might have that he's thinking so long for. He debates internally for about 30 seconds and then says, "All in!". WTF?!?!?! He has $400 to my $680. Now I'm floored. It folds to me and I say out loud, "If I folded this, this would be the biggest lay down of my career." I try to calm down and work it out in my mind and I reason that if the re-shover had AA, he either wouldn't have smooth called the initial $12 raise, or he wouldn't have tanked so hard on the $200 shove. Granted, he could've been acting, but if he was he deserved the academy award for poker acting. He looked really pained about the $200 shove over my $100 re-raise. Normally, 4 bets to you in a 3 way pot indicates AA. But I figured that with the clues at my disposal, my friend with the $400 probably had KK. I made the call and Mr. $400 indeed flashed me two black Kings to my two red Kings. Mr. $200 re-shover showed QQ. Mr. $400 gave me a little fist bump as we both breathed a sigh of relief that nobody had shown Aces. But then the flop was dealt and there was a Queen in the door. A third heart came on the turn, giving me a chance to scoop, but the river bricked and a $650 pot shipped to Mr. I-Overplay-Queens and Mr. $400 and I chopped the side pot. I had only lost $200 on the pot but it was the start of a downslide which would see me lose my remaining $200 profit. The hours of work I had done being patient and building up my stack had gone to naught.

Hopefully, this weekend will show better results.

On the Backgammon front, I actually haven't been playing much except for two sessions with Mr. Hustle down at the 60 Wall Street atrium. My first session I was up 9 points in the first 5 games and I was feeling great. But then the dice turned, and hard. I gave up 29 points in the next hour for a crushing 20 point loss. In one game, I had given the cube back at 4 when I was slightly ahead. A few good rolls saw me up by about 25 pips and I was cruising to the win. Just before bear-off started, he rolls double 6's with four checkers in the outfield to clear them all into his home. Now he's caught up in pips but I'm still up by a checker and I'm on the roll. The next roll, he rolls double 6's again! now he's up two checkers and after my next roll, he re-cubes me and I have to drop. Aaargh! I would have gone from -14 points to negative -10 points instead of to -18 points. An 8 point swing which was important. I stopped at -20 points and left, head held in shame.

But the next day I revisited him and tried again. After a short 35 minute session, I left with a +11 point profit and cut into my losses from the previous day. This time, I was just playing well and getting Mr. Hustle frustrated. When he's frustrated, he takes bad cubes and that's the only way I can beat him. He's much better than me at checker play, so it's harder to beat him that way. But if I can get into a situation where he has to roll his way out with miracle numbers and I give him the cube, he will inevitably take it. It's probably to his advantage too, because he knows he has a much better skill level on his side and he can quickly capitalize on my many mistakes. Just like poker, in backgammon, you profit more on your opponent's mistakes than your own skillful plays.

Hopefully, I'll have a lot of good stories to tell after this weekend!


HighOnPoker said...

Dude, I feel your pain in regards to the employment situation for a new lawyer. It's brutal out there.

Before you resign yourself to moving to Brooklyn, you should definitely check out my building. They just lowered my rent by over $200/month without me asking (well, actually $175/mo and I asked for more and they gave me $225/mo). My building's rents are pretty good and the building is awesome. If you want more details, send me an email, text or call.

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