Sunday, April 20, 2008

Perspective

I want to thank Evy for a post she made the other day about attitude. We all want to win. We all want our pockets to hold up, our flopped straight to beat the position trips. It doesn't always happen. It's about making the right decisions, and first right decision (for me) is to have fun. Good runs, bad runs, in the end, it's really a problem of privilege. I have a few extra dollars that allow me to play the great game at varying levels, with varying talent. The blogger games bring a general amount of good cheer and friendly banter. I dont have the right to bitch about any particular play. No one ever forced me to make a bad play, or a bad call, but I have done it. And for every bad beat that I have taken, I have given at least one in return. I am not immune from the ups and downs. BUT there are times I find myself being the BUTT....Hopefully I will do that less.





I started this blog when I started playing on line poker again. I played back in 2003 and 2004 on Party Poker. While there were some very big swings, I was genuinely a break-even player. . . except for this: the hours I spent on line playing. I eventually could not justify it. I was spending too much time, as opposed to too much money. I hoped, in one element, to be able to monitor the time I was spending in getting back into this. I hope the blog gives me a chance to read and write about aspects other than particular play on a particular day.





I have played enough to know I am not the most patient, most strategically sound, most disciplined, best stack or bankroll manager all of the time. However, I am not bad at any of these particular aspect either. Mentally, I am much better at riding the ups and downs, and I feel like I am becoming a more fundamentally sound player. I can put together longer periods of good play than I ever have before. I am faster to walk away when I am not running well, and quicker to shake of a bad session.





Really, I think it is the blogger aspect that is making the most difference ( what I read, not what I write). To all of you ladies and gents who host the tourneys and write about your play and your attitude, thanks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Life

Life is like a big jigsaw puzzle. . . . Only the edge pieces aren't so even. Sometimes it falls together pretty easily, other times you just have to walk away and get a new perspective.

Now here's the rub, I love life, but fawkin hate jigsaw puzzles. . .even the ones with smooth edges and big easy pieces.

Sometimes I'm the bug, some times u'r the windshield. Then again, sometimes I'm the bug and u'r the sole of a shoe, or a lizard, or a frog, or the Orkin man. And sometimes I am a pocket AA bug and you are a 7, 4 frog waiting to slurp me up me up. Either way, I am the fawkin bug

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Home Games

I have not had a drink or a drug in over 18 years. Big whoop de do. It certainly is not a moral decision. I just can't handle the stuff. Actually, I am allergic to it. I'd get drunk and stoned, next thing you know, I'd be breaking out in spots. I break out in Savannah, or Columbia, or Charlotte, or jail. Damn if I'd know how I got there. I exaggerate. . .but not by much. By a grace which I am not quite certain of, I never went to jail. Not that I was not eligible, 18 years ago I was a much better candidate to be needing a lawyer. . .not to be one. Personally, I think booze, dope, sex and gambling should be legal--or at least decriminalized. We already have enough people in jail for drug offenses. To be quite honest, I think it is a waste of time, space and money.

On the other hand, I don't count. Our elected officials, and our law enforcement officials are hell bent on legislating and enforcing the right wing view of morality on we the people. As I type, they are trying to crack down on the rash of in home poker games in my part of the country. It is actually against the law to play games involving cards and dice in this here gulag that we call a state. It appears that this law makes playing Parchesi and Monopoly illegal, too. I guess it follows that Parker Brothers and other game manufacturers are akin to the meth labs, and Wallmart, Toys R Us and other retailers are like the local pushers. What about parents who buy these illegal games for their children, does this make them unfit? Will DSS be stepping in to take those children out of that obviously abusive and dangerous situation?

Maybe I jest; maybe I exaggerate. Our local law officers aren't joking though. It would seem that law enforcement would have enough to do, but know this, the local sheriff compares this law against card playing to the law against murder. If it is as serious as he claims, people who violate the law and help others to violate the law should be wary. . . parents and retailers, beware. Big Brother has you in his sights.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Tribute: Happy Birthday, Pop

He was born on April 7, 1933. His birth certificate said his name was John Long. My brother, sister, mother and I never knew this until after he was gone. He was born to a single mother. She was about 35 at the time. He would not meet his father until he was 17 - the same age his father was when he was conceived.

As it was told to me when I was older, his mother's first husband died leaving her a widow. She went to the country to stay with friends. She was neither educated, nor of means. There was a young man there helping out with work needed around the farm. One thing led to another. It doesn't take rocket science to figure it out. He was born in an old house at the foot of the original Cooper River bridge. It was not a nice area of town.

His mother was a bit unsettled. She would leave him with friends or relatives while she took off for weeks or months at a time. One woman his mother left him with took it upon herself to tell his mother enough was enough. While there was no blood relation, he would come to affectionately refer to her as his grandmother ("Mrs. M"). If mom left him with her and took off like she had been doing, Mrs. M was going to do what she could to look out for the boy. Mrs. M was not a young woman. She had raised 10 children of her own and those children had children of their own. In his words, she needed him like she needed a hole in her head. But She went to the Judge because she thought it was in his best interest. At that time it was the Master in Equity who decided such issues- there was no Family Court.

The boy was 5 years old when it started. He was confused. That his mother loved him, he had no doubt. What her circumstances were, he neither knew, nor should he have known. But he was confused, and he was scared. Some of the places she had left him were not so nice. He was an extra mouth to feed for people living at subsistence level in the depths of the depression and barely had enough to eat themselves. Mrs M wanted to adopt him. At 6 years old a judge took him into chambers and asked him where he wanted to live. The weight of the world--his world-- was on his shoulders. He knew his mother loved him, but there was no stability. He knew Mrs. M loved him, and she was always there. . . .

His name became "M"- after he was officially adopted. His brothers and sisters were the age of his parents and his mother/grandmother was an old woman. (These surrounding facts caused my siblings and I much confusion in later years.) He wore the same ragged jeans for a year. Shoes that did not match. Rice and beans made up many a breakfast lunch and supper. If he complained he was whipped. If he did not do his chores, he was whipped. It was a different life . . .a different time. She was as poor as the proverbial church mouse. Yet she provided all of the food and shelter she possessed to protect and feed him. She had next to nothing, yet she shared what she had. And she taught him by example to do the same. She kept a pallet in the back room where many a homeless person looking for a little shelter from the elements came to stay. He did not know how they found her home, but he watched as she share generously from her meager stores with others who were down on their luck.

When he was old enough he took a paper route. He bought clothes and he bought the necessities that he had been deprived of earlier in life. Throughout the rest of his life he would always be known as a sharp dresser. He even worked in Men's clothing his whole adult life. Sorry, I digress.

When Mrs M died he was a young teenager. He stayed with others who were generous enough to put him up. He made it through high school. Somewhere in there-around sixteen or seventeen--he attended a funeral where he was introduced to a man who was about 34 or 35. This man was his father. Both his mother and his father were known to me as grandparents as I grew up. And let me tell you. . .I was confused until my grandmother died. That was the night he explained these things to me. . .in his words. She died when I was in my early 20's. my grandfather died while I was in Law School. (my mid 30's).

I had the best father that anyone could have ever chosen. Not perfect. . .by no means. . .but damn good. He was principled and honest. He went to work every day. He fed, clothed, loved and raised his family. We never knew hunger or want or fear of uncertainty. He came a long way. . .not without scars, but without bitterness. In 1988 he buried his son. . .my brother. That was and is a tragedy that no parent should have to go through. It broke him for a while. It broke us all. Personally I learned some great lessons in that sorrowful time. And it took more than a few years to get through it. but the lessons made me appreciate just what I had been given, just what I did have. This tragedy could have torn my family apart. I think it brought us closer together. I am grateful to and for my father for that fact. When I was 17, I could tell you how rotten my parents were. At 35, I knew I could not have hand picked a better family.

He died on March 17, 2005. He is respected, missed and loved. And even now whatever I do, I want to make him proud.

There was no big brother looking out in those days when he was conceived and growing up. Most human actions were still self governed. No Fox News to spread shock and lay blame at the foot of the "evil liberals." No Nancy Grace to convict a poor woman in the court of popular opinion. No, these events took place in the "good old days" before the big brother decided to poke his nose into every nook and cranny to root out the evil events that occur in the private lives of it's citizens. Before the Nixon's war on drugs, Reagan's war on the poor, and Bush II's war on our civil rights, poor people still had problems, and life was hard, but they weren't put on trial or in jail for simple human shortcomings. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just playing. . .praying

No foolish gibberish to put down. Just enjoying a nice little tourney at the Mookie. I have not posted for a while, and I am trying to be more diligent. I am a little happier with my game this week. My concentration and my patience seems to be improving. . . .lol, just means my pocket J's and pocket Q's held up. I'll probably get knocked out on some silly, self imposed donkomatic play 30 seconds after ending this post. . . let's hope not. I



Dear poker gods : please help me to play tonight like I have half a brain, have half a courageous heart, and all the luck at the time it is needed. and don't let me forget to have fun. amen
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