Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

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    Wednesday, March 17, 2004

    You mine 15 tons, and what to you get?

    Blurred vision and a fat ass. I've been working like 15-hour days the last couple of weeks, and I'm bushed. Nice to have some OT, but I've been helping out with a project that requires dull, tedious, mind-numbing scutwork, and I can actually feel my brain going soft and mushy. Add the fact that I've been sitting at my desk pretty much non-stop, and eating fast-food and takeout during this time, I feel even more glutinous than usual. Need to turn over a new leaf. Need to start bringing my lunch every day. I swore to eat more fruit and veggies last week, and I kept my promise for about a day. Then I ordered a chicken parm hoagie and fries. When you combine stress, frustration, total inactivity, exhaustion, and a high-fat, high-starch diet...well, it ain't a pretty picture. Spring is coming and I want to look sleek, not like the stunt double for Jabba the Hutt.

    Not that the next 2 days will help any. I'm taking them off to enjoy the bestest 2 days in sports--the first round of March Madness. I'll be spending my time off, uh, sitting in a bar, eating fatty appetizers and drinking beer. 2 days of alcoholic stupor and hoops and deep-fried goodies. Nirvana.

    Poker has of course contributed to the general sloth motif. I sit in front of a computer all day, come home, flip on my laptop and stare at a computer all night. Because I've been working so much I've been playing less, and when I've played I've gotten my head handed to me. Haven't had a winning day since 3/9, losing about $120 in the process. I'm still OK bankroll-wise, but I think a hiatus is needed so I can get my energy back, get my blood pumping again, and start playing better. I've been in a bit of a rut, my play has again become conservative, with no verve, flash, or panache. Waiting for the nuts might be a good career move for a squirrel, but for a poker player it's the equivelent of watching paint dry.

    I may play a bit tomorrow before the games, but I think not. I think I may step away for four or five days, study some, and come back refreshed. Hoops the next two days, on Saturday I'm taking a community college class on starting your own freelance writing business, because I want to start my own freelance writing business. Sunday I think I'll take a hike in the woods around my house, maybe turn over our garden plot if the weather isn't appalling.

    I mentioned before the I was going to look through PokerTracker and look for holes in my game, and I think I spotted quite a few, though it wasn't exactly the PT data that led to these breakthroughs. Let me share a few with you:

    Feng shui--I play poker in my den, and when the room is a mess, I play lousy. When the room is neat, the carpet freshly vaccumed, the laundry not strewn about the room, I play well. I won the Grublog Classic after giving my den a serious clean. I haven't done my domestic duties lately because of work and my play has reflected this. Sloppy room-sloppy poker. I need that neat, confortable space to feel comfortable myself. From now on, do your chores before you play.

    Dump the kitten--We have a freshly minted kitten at home. Izzy is dark gray and cute as the dickens. She also has four paws loaded with feline switchblades. My hands and ankles look like I've been goofing around with a Cuisinart. But the cuteness mitigates the scarification.

    When I'm playing Izzy likes to snuggle in the crook of my arm. She's still really young, and she likes to bury her face in my elbow and starts suckling like I was her Mommycat. This is totally adorable. Except for the little fact that she kneads her front paws against my bicep and gives me little needlepricks that get my teeth to gritting. My arms have track marks like I'm on the junk.

    When I'm holding Izzy, and she's sleeping my arms, I invariably lose. I lose bad. I lose big. That Darn Cat has cost me hundreds. And when you get rivered by an inside straight when you hold trip kings and the other guy types, "Haha!" it's hard to let loose with a really spicy stream of profanity when you're holding a slumbering kitten. You have to bottle all that rage up, and that gets you headed down the path to Tiltsville. When I really get worked up the desire to throw something becomes acute, and if I tossed Izzy over the bar I better pray the cops get me first, because I don't even want to think about what my wife would do to me. So get the kitten bedded down upstairs so she won't distract or bring bad catluck.

    Counting chickens pre-hatch--Last week I logged on to Party and saw that they made me an offer--a 15% bonus on my next deposit. Bonus whoring, baby! I planned to decamp from Empire and push my bankroll up. I was still waiting for some money to come out of Choice Poker (estimated transfer time 296 hours) so I figured I'd beef up my balance and have a nice bonus.

    I played and lost a bit. No biggie, I'd get it back. But then I lost again. Not only did I lose, I lost the 15% bonus on top of the actual cash I had on hand. I started hemmoraging chips, I couldn't get my balance anywhere near to what it was. I was down nearly $160 at one point (including a $24 bonus) and I've clawed back $40. I shouldn't have started thinking about the bonus. I shouldn't have wimped-up my play in order to get a little extra cash. I have until the 24th to make my deposit, so I'm trying to ignore the bonus, play my A-game (poker is obviously graded on a curve) and let the chips fall where they may.

    Vyvyan > Gus Hansen > Thierry Henry--I watch TV while I play, but I have it on more for background noise than to get engrossed. Not that much on TV is engrossing, especially on the networks. But you'll typically find me watching 1 of 3 types of shows-- DVD's of British comedies, English Premier League soccer, or old WPT and WSOP shows. When I'm watching my favorite Britcoms--The Young Ones, Black Adder, Red Dwarf--I kick ass and take names. I was watching The Young Ones while I won the Grublog. If I've run through my BBC collection I'll usually throw in a WPT tape and watch some folks who know what they're doing play poker. When I do this is usually do fine, but I don't seem to have my huge nights while the mellifluous Mike Sexton calls the action.

    But when I watch soccer (or "football", as those adorable and misguided Europeans and South Americans and Africans and Asians and Antarcticans call it) I tend to get hosed. I remember distinctly a horror session I had while I watched the Arsenal-Chelsea FA Cup game. Shortly after Jose Reyes hit his corking lefty missile to tie the game I got killed by a full house to my ace-high flush, liquidating my stack. I will forever equate the "Gypsy King" to a nut-crushing kick to the happy sack. Far better to listen to Vyv scream, "Yes, WE'VE GOT A VIDEO!!!!".

    I did use PT to mine some actual poker knowledge. I've won the most money playing TT. I've lost the most playing JJ. Interesting. I really have to watch playing in early position--I've won money in every spot except under the gun (not counting the blinds) mostly because I toss in a bet and either have to toss it after a raise or because I hit a bit on the flop and then get raised or re-raised holding cards that aren't worth the trouble. Leaking chips like that is just as bad as getting crushed on a huge pot, if it happens over a long period of time.

    Need to start putting comments in PT and exporting them to Empire (and vice-versa). Need to start playing better. But more importantly I need to get off my dupa and engage in activities that don't involve sitting in front of a computer, eating food that was recently immersed in boiling oil, and drinking beer. Even if, as the song goes, "these are a few of my favorite things...". get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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