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An Introduction


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Hello everyone!

 

First, I must warn you, I have a tendency to be very long winded. If that bothers you, there's a real simple solution. Don't read it. I guarantee it took me longer to write it than it takes you to read it though. Writing is something that comes easily to me, so I can tend to ramble. I also really enjoy delving into the minutia of a subject and have a "problem" with hyperfocusing on whatever it is that is currently on my plate. I've been banned from 2+2, for no real good reason at all, and I really don't like the "live players suck" attitude that seems to prevail over there, so here I am!

 

A little about me:

 

I was a gifted child and always loved games and cards. Like a lot of kids I wanted at one time, to be a magician. I also somehow landed a mini-roulette table and tried to start a casino in my tree house, until my father found out and took it away, and then I was just another kid with a deck of cards and a pair of dice. My older brother taught me poker ... and I was absolutely thrilled with this "it's OK to lie" rule. I was a natural with cards. I remember as a kid I thought though that Doyle Brunson and Hoyle the guy who wrote books on rules and made decks of cards was the same guy. But hey, there was not a lot of info about the gambling world in Tucson Arizona for an 8 year old in 1978.

 

I still remember when my grandmother taught me gin. Again, I was good right away. I have a very good memory for numbers. As a matter of fact, if we get down to 1 card left in the deck in a hand of gin, not only can I tell you what all your cards are, I can tell you what that last face down card is. In HS my friends and I after school, around 4:20 in the afternoon, would listen to Pink Floyd and play cards. We played a little poker, but mostly gin and gin rummy. If there were 4 of us we would play hearts or spades. Never for money. just for fun. I feel like I have solved gin, so you really need to play a perfect game against me ... and what's the fun in that? I was also a bit of a prodigy as a painter and won a college scholarship when I was 15. I continued to play gin and poker in college, and even afterwards, winning the electric bill off my roomate on a regular basis. He eventually would refuse to gamble with me, especially at gin. For the 10 years I was in NYC (94-04) I focussed on my career as an Art Director. I worked for some of the biggest ad agencies and publishers in the world. It was rewarding and I was making pretty good money, but after some of the things I witnessed on 9/11, my life changed. The rat race became totally unimportant to me, and I went back to school, getting an MS from NYU in 2004 where I studied post production (film editing).

 

It's too late to say long story short, but my career has pretty much fallen apart. I'm often offended by the postings I see asking for a boatload of skills, and offering peanuts. I decided to get into education and was an adjunct professor for a couple years. In all my offtime, I would grind freerolls online. I couldn't figure out for awhile how players I have never played before seemed to perfectly counter my strategy. Then I found out about HUDs and Sharkscope. You can probably still Sharkscope my very standard stats. I was Architoothus on both Full Tilt and Stars. I was even a final candidate for the loose cannon on that show, Pokerstars Big Game. But ... just as they were considering me, BF hit. So, I pretty much missed out on all that sweet easy maneys, because I was focused on other things, like rebuilding my career. Eventually I gave up on that, and fortunately I live about a 10 minute drive from a casino, and I just grind hold 'em. 1/2 NL.

 

For instance today I made $265 in about 4 hours. That's above my winrate, but it's still better money than flipping burgers. I'm in a fortunate situation where I am living rent free in a spare house my parents own. The bad news is they are right next door. The other bad news is the traffic at my local room has really dried up. Weekends are good, but finding a good game, with even 1 fish is really hard. Couple young kids came in together tonight and sat at my table, and I'm sure they had the math down pat. They both left before they lost all their money. Smart.

 

So, that leads me to, I saw on 2+2, that Daniel said he has been playing for 20 years. I guess, technically I got that beat, even though I am only 43. I've been playing over 30. Granted, never full time, which btw, for some reason I can't do. I can only play optimally for about 4 hours at a time, and then I like to take about 48 hours to analyze my play before I play again. If I try and play too many hours, I will lose money.

 

Current roll is low 5 figures, and I'm not sure what I should be doing with the maneys. Just keep playing? I lost money last summer, because I played too many hours, and there were no good games but I played anyway. Problem is there's not a lot to do here when it's 110 outside. Maybe ... for the first time in my life, go to the WSOP? I've never paid more than $500 to get into a tournament (unless you count freerolls where I qualed by losing thousands playing live).

 

Cliffs:

 

Old school card player. It's always been easy for me to be good at card games.

 

Played online but recreationally, or to test strategies, never used a HUD. Was on a Mac, couldn't play online at all for a long time.

 

Went to school for graphic design, climbed the ladder in NYC, find myself back home (effectively) living with my parents (right next door).

 

Have built a decent roll, and play is good right now, but will dry up soon. I don't have a longterm plan.

 

And in regards to what Hachem and others have said recently about people losing touch with what used to be the real crux of the gameplan ... luring fish. Or, I dunno, I think Yang was a fish when he won the WSOP. He clearly didn't understand the level of risk he was taking. But the old saying stands true. "Don't tap the glass." I am the nicest guy ever when I win a big pot. Like tonight, I flopped broadway and this guy rivered a set and re-raises me. I really thought the J on the river meant we were chopping, so I shoved and he called and I felted the guy. I said to him, "I thought you had a king and we were chopping. Thought I let you get there." which is true, but I still had the nuts on the river. I know I can't lose there, just a cooler for him. Another thing I should mention is I am what some people would call an "empath". That means that I feel other peoples emotions. So, I felt bad for the guy. I even folded a hand to him later where I felt like I had him beat. It's not that he's a fish. He's a decent player, but I know how he thinks, and I know I can beat him, and I don't want him not being willing to play me again later.

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Also, it's been a tough transition for me, from a tough tournament player to a solid cash game player, but I finally feel totally comfortable playing cash. It's taken me years. I'm impatient, which can actually be a good attribute in tournaments.

 

P.S. Are you a racist McGee?

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1) That noose is a racially neutral one, I mean no racial overtones to it.

2) I assumed that AZ meant arizona, not asian. I assumed you were white. I certainly didn't think an "Adam" would be black. IT is to african american's that the noose is a salient symbol, and I wouldn't have used it if I thought you were African American, in fear that you'd confuse my contempt of your post with racial insensitivity.

3) As a white male, I have numerous privileges because of my skin color that I acknowledge, and prejudices that I'm not even aware of. I would wager that I hold much less racial prejudice than the average person of my gender/race/socio-economic status and geographical location, but I aknowledge that could be wish thinking. No one thinks of themselves as "that guy".

 

4)

b65jN.jpg

 

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I am probably whiter than you, actually. I can trace my last name to a boat from England in 1620. I have more than one ancestor that was on the Mayflower and my great-great-grandfather fought for the Union and wore blue. My parents divorced when I was 10 years old. One of them married a Jewish woman and converted to Judaism. The other one married a black man, who is Bhudist and a (now) retired art teacher. So, I sort of was part of a black family, from Queens NY. I have some pretty funny stories to tell about Christmases there and being the only white person around. I was once engaged to a woman who was Mexican and one of my best and oldest friends is Asian ... so, I reserve the right to play all of those race/religion cards.

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Part of my story is, I think Daniel and I have a lot in common. He's one of my favorite famous pros. I used to really like Farha, but I heard from a dealer I know, he stiffed him on a $250k pot that apparently he luckboxed in a side game. So, that drops him way down the list in my book. Daniel seems like a genuinely nice guy, and I really appreciate all the hard work he puts in, so the game has a legitimate good face .... and I also think it's awesome that someone close to my age, just crushed last year.

 

I'm here to let you know, the internet kids have not taken over the live games, which are still very soft at low stakes. Young kids that think they are good because they know the math ... are fish to me.

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"I'm often offended by the postings I see asking for a boatload of skills, and offering peanuts. I decided to get into education and was an adjunct professor for a couple years."

 

Too funny.

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"I'm often offended by the postings I see asking for a boatload of skills, and offering peanuts. I decided to get into education and was an adjunct professor for a couple years."

 

Too funny.

 

Oh ... it gets funnier. About a year after I got hired, Goldman Sachs bought the for profit school I was working for, and on my last day, they asked me to sign a grade change form and pass a student I caught cheating, because she was a good, paying customer.

 

I also helped a graphic design "template" company create content. They sell some of my ex-students work at a rate far below what you can hire them for. I don't deny that I was part of the problem, but I was really in a spot where I needed any work I could get. If it's over ... make something now while I still can.

 

I'm worried poker is also viewed by a lot of people as "make it before it's over" and don't get the long term picture.

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You can hire some young kid, $60k in student loan debt, fresh out of The Art Institute of X. They will know the software, think $15 an hour is great money ... even worse, you can hire Wordpress developers in India that will work for $3 an hour. At some point, in a global economy, that kind of skilled work, there is always going to be someone that can do it, and is starving more. It's a very similar thing to what I am seeing in poker, right now.

 

Casual gamblers are playing other games, because they are so obviously and quickly outclassed.

 

What's the saying about skinning a cat? You can do it only once. So who does that leave? Players like me. Regs with a lot of experience. Internet kids come in there, and get their asses handed to them for the most part. I did both, I understand both but ... look, if it was all math, someone with a Phd in mathematics would win the WSOP every year. It's not all math. The math isn't even that hard.

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GTO play is more important, and more difficult for most people to understand, but still not that hard for smart people to learn. There are a lot of smart people in the world. What we want is for them to do other things, and we find a way to get dumb people to play, so we maintain an advantage.

 

That's kinda the beauty of Hold 'em though. I trapped some kid on Friday night that hit a 2 outer on the river. I understand that is going to happen, 4% of the time, so instead of berating the kid, I just cursed my bad luck. "A two outer! Damn." and then said nice hand, and won it all back the next hand against someone else (a better player) when I flopped 2 pair against top/top. "Easy come, easy go." I said. Fish gotta win sometimes, or there are no fish.

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At any rate, that's what I have to say about poker "dying". Pros and even just regs like me need to learn to cater to our customers. And I guess that includes how I treat these young "internet" kids that come in with the hoody and the headphones ... I just hate them so much ... they think they are good, and they play like I did 5 years ago. Times have changed. Guess what, old school concepts like "tight is right" and "small ball" all of a sudden ... works pretty well. ABC poker, mixed with bluffing in good spots. Pretty basic, and hard to beat. Read based poker. Has anyone coined that term for live? Can we call it RBP?

 

I raised a kid today with 3,4 offsuit, c-bet on a 10,10, Q flop and he folded, and I couldn't help but show him my almost nut low. Complete -ev line that he would not expect me to take. Playing it exactly like I would play QQ though. And how often do I raise pre 5x with 3,4 offsuit? Almost never.

 

That kid sat down with another kid, and they had some kinda hair brained idea about how they could work together, until we just let them play hands against each other, and I singled out the weak one, and they eventually both left while they still had money. I messed up there ... I guess.

 

They learned though, it's not all about EV.

 

"See the skills!" - Ridalin kid, Smoking Aces

 

It's true that I want everyone where I play to fear me. That's taken me years to establish. Some still have not learned. They know I am good, but let their ego get in the way. Some of the better players understand they will make more money at a different table. Wont play me and I'd prefer not to play them either. So, I am taking that all into account when I am showing some "new kid" a bluff. I didn't show the table, just him. I think I said something like, "I'm pretty sure I had it." to make it look good. My aim was not to make the kid look bad ... it was to let him know, I am better at this game than you ... so be careful. I even followed it up with, "Pretty good flop for a bluff." and he was like, "Yeah, it totally missed me."

 

Anyway, hopefully I can contribute here a little. I think there is currently a niche for a poker forum where people are not banned for absurd reasons, and we can all talk to each other without EAD and folding AA pre, obv.

 

I'm happy to answer any questions regarding my opinions and even strat in poker, but if you have graphic design questions, I charge $30 an hour. 4 hour minimum. I still owe on my student loans.

 

I am nice to everyone. Even people that I don't like, and I know they don't like me either ... I don't want to get beat up in the parking lot ... so I am nice to everyone. DNegs showed me this was possible. And that I could regrow my fine light brown hair ... with peanut butter. Do you use organic? I tried Jiff or something ... no results .. yet.

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AzAdam,

 

I'd like to hear more about your empathic abilities. I'm a little tweaky and inarticulate right now. How am I feeling?

 

Thanks!

 

You have to be sitting near me where I can see your face.

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