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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    Friday, October 14, 2005

    The Fat Lady Holds Her Tongue

    The other day I threatened you people with a 5000-word monster post. I had a few things to write about, and some weird coincidences to tie them all together. Then I got sleepy and deep-sixed the idea. But what nearly moved me to write was getting knocked out of the tournament at the bar the other night. It was no big deal, a bad beat, they happen. But I really didn't have fun while I was playing. Part of this I chalked up to being exhausted, but I started to seriously think about giving up poker. Oh, I don't mean never playing again, with friends and family and whatnot. But no longer playing and/or thinking about it "seriously".

    Not that I've played much (if any) "serious" poker in the last year. But as I left the bar and walked to my car I thought about it. All the strategy guides I have, all those books I've read, the stuff I've written...maybe it's time to move on to another hobby/obsession. I spend a lot of time thinking about poker because I write about it so much, maybe I should remove one part of the equasion and see what happens.

    To be sure, I write about other stuff here as well, because I don't think you want to hear about the heads-up matches I have with my cats (Bert is by far the best feline Hold-Em player I've ever seen, ferociously aggressive). I drove home and decided not to decide anything. I was, after all, really beat.

    Get up the next morning, go to work, check the email at lunch, and found a message from Party Poker that they'd stuck a few bucks in my account to lure me back into the fold. I only have to play 9,700 raked hands or so before I cash out, but I appreciated the sentiment. I felt a slight fillip of anticipation when I read the email, like when you're sitting in a restaurant and you see your waiter, burdened down with plates, heading straight for your table.

    Got home, threw some laundry on so I wouldn't have to play volleyball in chinos, and downloaded Party's latest update. Of course the news is that you can now play blackjack there and also make side bets on what color the flop will come. Somehow I feel this is a bad move on their part, though at the moment I'm not able to properly explain why. Perhaps later.

    Went to volleyball, went to the bar, came home feeling pretty awful. On the way home I came so close to hitting a deer I could see Bambi's tongue sticking out through his mouth. Why do so many of God's creatures want to run out in front of my car. Anyway, I thought I'd check to see if the download worked, and if it'd actually run on my computer. It did, and it does. OK, maybe I'll go see if the table graphics have changed. It seems to me that they have, slightly, since I played there last. Oh, there's an empty seat? Maybe I'll sit down for a few hands before bedtime. What the hell.

    I sit, fold 10-4 two hands in a row. It's nice, hearing that "thfft-thfft-thfft" sound again as the cards are dealt and the clink of chips. I'm dealt a queen, and then another queen. It's folded around to me and I raise. One caller. Flop comes ten-high, I bet, the guy folds. I win the pot. The CONGRATULATIONS! sign pops up and I hear fireworks explode in my ear.


    A few hands later I'm dealt queens again. I re-raise a guy, he calls, flop comes king-high, but I bet out. He folds. HE FOLDS. I win another pot. Yowza.

    I'm dealt pocket sevens, and raise. I'm heads-up with a guy who has 5 times as much money as anyone else at the table, though there are two players ripping him for his terrible play. I'm disappointed to see fools who still tap the walls of the aquarium--don't they read my column? The flop is ragged, but with two overcards. He checks, I bet, he calls. Another overcard on the turn, and there are now 3 hearts out there. He checks, I bet, he calls. Last card is another heart. He checks, and I check, figuring he's going to call no matter what. He has K-4, no heart, no pair. I win another pot.

    And that's when I bailed, a quick hit and run job. With my wafer-thin bankroll I needed a nice start like this. Hey, when I started playing about 2 years ago I started out with not much more money than this, and I built it into the vast Mean Gene multimedia empire. It felt good to play poker again. It felt good to win a pot. It felt good to fold, for God's sake. I had fun. As Chau Giang said last year during the WSOP (while, it seemed, rubbing his nipples), "Poker is nice...I love play poker".

    Oh, by the way, I do realize that this post GUARANTEES that the next time I play I'm going to be metaphorically tied spread-eagle while Lady Luck kicks me in the junk. I'm down with that. Mean Gene can take it. Well, so long as it stays metaphorical. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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