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

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Thursday, December 30, 2004

    Just About Ready For The Inactive List

    Just a few scribbles to end the year, as I don't think I'll have my latest stupid big-post ready for for tomorrow. Tomorrow I think will be spent doing domestic chores before heading out to a party to chime in the New Year. May 2005 be a more peaceful and civil year than 2004, and may Mother Nature spare us a bit of her wrath in the 12 months to come.

    Although politically I lean further to the left than the right, I usually find myself reading more conservative blogs than liberal. I've wondered why this is, and I've come up with a few rationales. One, like most folks I enjoy getting outraged, and reading the relentlessly self-congratulatory and oft-underbrained screeds many righty bloggers pump out keeps my heart going at a good clip. Two, like most folks I enjoy cringing, and reading the relentlessly whiny and oft-underbrained rantings of many crybaby lefty bloggers makes keeps my stomach churning. Three, I've been resisting the urge to greatly expand the scope of this blog and try to wedge myself into a different segment of the blogosphere, and reading the liberal blogs makes me think more and more that I SHOULD try to jump in. Frankly, I have other things to worry about (poker, volleyball, beer) than trying to shape national political discourse 1 person at a time. So we'll see.

    It's been a good year for poker bloggers, that's for damn sure. What started as "we happy few, we band of brothers" has mushroomed into a vast posse of boys and girls playing games both big and small all over the world. I think a big post just about the poker section of the blogosphere is in order, but that I think will have to wait. It's my lunch hour, I'm just riffing, and I don't have the time to bash our 15,000 keystrokes.

    I had a big score myself last night, taking 2nd place in a $5 SNG to increase my bankroll a whopping THIRTY-EIGHT percent. I've decided to focus on SNGs on the advice of Richard Brodie, aka the Quiet Lion, aka charter member of the Shana Hiatt Extreme Fan Club, aka multiple World Poker Tour casher. I emailed Richard after reading his entry about his triumph at the main event of the Five Diamonds Classic at Bellagio. I didn't care about him bossing around Gus Hansen or knocking out John Juanda--I just HAD to hear about Isabelle Mercier, whom he sat next to. God, just her NAME gives me the willies. I'm sick.

    When the Lion roars, you listen, and after reading my whiny post about my limit troubles he recommended NL sit-n-goes. Which I should've thought of myself, since according to my PokerTracker stats I'm little more than a break-even low-limit player but a veritable whiz at SNGs. So I refocused on what I hoped would be easier pickins, and went to work.

    I actually had to play pot-limit, because every time I tried playing a NL game the table was full by the time I got there. PL is the much more refined and sophisticated game, and therefore right up my alley. Sat down, played tight, everything broke about even, and I went out on the bubble. Nothing much to say about it, I played the cards I was dealt, stole a bit here and there, got caught with 2nd best once and lost 1/2 my stack, and when we got 4-handed I didn't have enough chips to play patiently or scare anyone. I hoped the other three would mix it up and maybe I could sneak into the money, but they circled 'round me like 3 hyenas waiting for a hobbling wildebeest to fall off the pace.

    But I came second in my next go, thanks to a ludicrous beat. Me and this one guy locked horns a few times, with him getting the best of me when I held A-9 and flopped two pair, only for a third club to show on the turn and for me to get check-raised all-in. He showed his flush, which was nice of him. What wasn't so nice was what I did to him a few hands later. I held J-7 in the big blind and saw a free flop of K-7-4. I called a small bet with my middle pair, and when another 7 appeared on the flop it was time to push in the rest of my stack. The guy thought, and thought, and thought, and I figured he had a king and was trying to decide if I had a seven. Nope. When he called he turned over 4-4, making me wonder what took him so long to call with a boat. I was ready to click the YES button on the ol' DO YOU WANT A TOURNAMENT HISTORY? screen when a miraculous king appeared on the river. "That was sick" I typed in commiseration.

    I went up and down, up and down, but after playing Lycra-tight all game I started pushing and got respect for my raises. Eased into the money, which I so desperately needed. I played well, which means I didn't play horribly.

    Which, alas, I've done since I got home. I've played 2 SNGs, and played perhaps the worst I've ever played. In the first I gave away my entire stack when I had AK two hands in an row, had QJ on the flop and pushed it and was called. Idiot. And the last hurts to think about it. I was down to T200, but fought back until we got 4-handed. One guy had T6000, I had T1300, and the other 2 guys had about T350 each. How I managed to finish out of the money is hard to explain. Both bottom-dwellers doubled up on the chip leader, and then I played the worst hand in my life. Funny, that's about the 3rd time I've written that this week. I was on the button, I had KQ and only about T400 left. I pushed all in. The big guy called. And the guy in the big blind called...because he only had T50 left. I could've just mucked my hand and hopefully the big guy knocks him out. Which is what happened--he knocked us both out, but because I started with about T25 less, I ended up in fourth place. And I can't afford bubble finishes, obviously.

    Well, let's keep the good times rolling! I just got knocked out again. I had KsQs, with about 6 callers of my raise. Flop comes AsJsJd. So I have a Royal Flush draw (odd, that will lead into my next poker post) and I push it. One caller. Rag on the turn, he puts me all in, I call. I hit my flush on the river...only to realize he was holding AJ and flopped a full house. Only the 10 of spades could've saved me, and of course it didn't come. So I'm out again.

    Down to $15, meaning I have 2 bullets in my SNG gun. When I started this post I had five, ugh. Maybe I'll go trolling the blogger table, if I can find them. 'Cause it looks like very, very soon I'm gonna be back on the sidelines again. A very tough run of cards, I have to say.

    Fortunately I have some poker stuff to write about that doesn't involve my play, plus some other junk. Ah, the poker playing was cutting into my writing anyway. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or cut your hand and squeeze the juice over the wound and deal with the pain...

    UPDATE: Found the blogger table, as insane and crazed and fun as I imagined. Played another SNG, took the chip lead, went to the river against a guy who needed 1 of 2 jacks to know what happened. Took 5/6 of my stack, and I lost the next hand when my KQ went up against KK and JJ. One SNG left in my quiver, don't think I'll play it tonight. The Moon is not in my House tonight. Maybe drink some paint thinner and go to be. Just a brutal run, just brutal. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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