Archive for October, 2006

28
Oct
06

The Beginning…

Finally. For years I’ve thought to myself I should blog my life or at least some portion of it. Today – after registering for this space over a year ago, it’s starting. I’m not really sure where this will go, but it should be an adventure. So whether you are reading this within days or if you’re my grandchildren reading this many years from now, I hope you enjoy.
Today is also (as Angie will remind me every week until the 1 year mark) our 3 week anniversary of being married. We were married on October 7th, 2006 (although our dating anniversary is the 6th so I’ve already botched the date to the return lady at Bed Bath and Beyond :) ). We started dating on August 6th, 2002. Briefly, we met on match.com where she contacted me. We went to BluWater on our first date where she ordered a beer and I had a very “sophisticated” glass of wine. Years later, we’d laugh at this as I’m now drinking beer (which I hated when I met her) and she’s drinking wine. And of course, we went bowling afterwards – I mean, what else would you do on a first date? We’ve been inseparable since the first date having built a house together just 6 months later. Given that we’ve been “living in sin” for so long, people keep asking me if anything is different now that we’re married. I didn’t think there would be, but there is one thing that stands out more and more to me everyday – I love Angie more. I know that sounds funny, but I can’t describe it any other way. I certainly didn’t love her less before, but now it just seems to be overwhelming all the time. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Most of this blog will likely end up being about poker as it consumes most of my thoughts when I’m not thinking about my friends, Siren – our dog, or Angie. My ultimate goal today is to be able to become a professional poker player. Yep that sounds strange, but I am confident I could make this work. I’m not sure yet if I really want to be one of the big pros that everyone knows – if that happens great, but it’s not a must have or fail part of the plan. I started playing poker because of one of my best friends – Panos. Our conversations intrigued me, and I had always had this thought in my head that there had to be a way to just “get money”. Poker seemed to be it. So I was poking (no pun intended) around on the internet and found online poker sites. Bingo – I’m a smart guy – let’s start playing. So I deposited $600 bucks on June 4th, 2004. Needless to say I deposited another $600 on June 17th, and so forth until I was about $4-5k in the red.
This clearly wasn’t going according to plan. Along the way I had been reading and playing in home games to educate myself, and finally learned about bankroll management. So I started playing at the low level tables – like .10/.25 No Limit instead of 5/10 Limit. I slowly worked my bankroll up to earn it all back and ended up having my best month ever less than a year after I started in May 2005 – taking home nearly $20k in cold hard cash. (Well almost, there’s this great thing called taxes…)
The world is changing though with new (unconstitutional as they may be) laws about online poker and bank restrictions, so we’ll see how that plays out in the future, but for now there’s no online world for me unless I’m out of the country.
To end, I’ll share one of my favorite live poker hands that has a tendency to be told often by Panos at our home game. I was at Tulalip playing at the 3/5 NL tables (where you can only buy in for $200 max – stupid). I’d been there a while and had amassed about 800 in chips. Panos was at the table. I’m in seat 9, he’s in seat 7, Mr. Bling Bling is in seat 6, and seat 1 is a quiet Asian guy. Mr. Bling Bling literally has a huge chain with a large silver medallion that says “Bling” on it, and when he spins it, it lights up the fake stones in it. He’s half drunk and quite boisterous. Bling boy makes a raise to open the betting after Seat 1 had already called. I look down to see AK suited hearts. I move to raise, and Bling says something like “I wouldn’t do that”. Normally, I’d let this go, but the way he said it gave his hand away as AA. I was 100% sure this was what he had. My raise was in Seat 1 calls, and AA re-raises a bit (but not enough). I call, Seat 1 calls.
Ahh, the flop – 2 hearts with T3T. This is where things get a bit more fun. AA checks, I check. Seat 1 bets. Bling bling raises, I call. This all went at normal speed. Then in the next 1/2 second – the following happens. Asian says “I call All In”, Bling calls instantly (all of us knowing he’s already beat), and both Seat 1 and Bling flip up their cards. The action is still on me. Well Mr. Bling Bling has AA as expected, and Seat 1 has JT. I didn’t really want to call the rest but there is now nearing 2000 in the pot, and it’s like another 400 for me to call. Given Seat 1 had said “I call” before he said All in. I started there with just wanting to see the next card without having to call it, but the dealer wouldn’t have it (or course not – it’s Tulalip – what was I thinking?). Panos is looking at me like “Fold – you’re clearly beat – wtf are you even thinking about?” I’ll tell you what I’m thinking about – a HEART. After enough arguing with the dealer, I look at Panos and say “Fuck it, I call” pushing my chips to the middle. The pot is now over $2200 – the biggest pot I’ve ever see on this limit table at Tulalip. Turn is a K (clearly not a heart as that’s already in my hand). This is good – now I have more outs to make a boat. The river is the beautiful heart that avoids pairing the board or Seat 1’s Ten to give me the pot. It took my a good 6 hands to stack my chips and then I had an octagon of red $5 chips surrounding a stack of black 15 $100 chips that I had to send to get colored up.
So if things go well, perhaps I’ll be writing this from Vegas or somewhere else as a poker pro before the end of next year. I’ve got some work to do on my game, but I’m ready and willing to put in the time. 
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