Monday, February 14, 2005

Can't Spot the Sucker?

So, I haven't felt like updating my Commerce report lately. Lots of reasons.

1) I'm still running badly
2) I'm still playing badly
3) It's our anniversary today and I don't feel so lovey-dovey
4) I'm at a crossroads in my poker career
You know that saying, "If you can't spot the sucker...?"

I always assumed that meant something like a loose fish in a game where he is being totally outplayed. I thought the sucker was loose, couldn't read poker hands, drunk, new, etc. Maybe even a decent player, but one taking a shot playing way above his comfort level in a game full of sharks.

One thing I had never stopped to consider about being a "sucker" was that even tight players can be the sucker. Even rocks.

Sure, it takes a heck of a lot more work for a good player to get the chips from a rock. He has to be really patient and crafty, waiting hour after hour while the rock runs super bad. Waiting for opportunities to outdraw the rock. Waiting for the rock to overplay a hand while facing the scraggly board of his opponent (in Stud games). Waiting, waiting, and eventually getting all of the chips.

That night I lost $800 at Commerce playing 20/40 Stud 8? They just waited patiently. Four of them split up my $800 into $200 chunks. Sure, it was less than they'd given me over the past week, but it almost got them back to even with me.

Even the rock is sometimes the sucker. I have been the sucker lately.
I am truly stuck, for the first time since I learned poker from my dealer Mother.

Five years ago I could have gotten off of this plateau pretty easily with some high end help who had the time to take my money for coaching and catapult me into a higher limit Stud and tourney player.

These days? Well, Barry Greenstein said it best in his e-mail to me the other day:

"Any one who would have the time to mentor you is probably unable to make much money playing themselves."

In this day and age of winning with virtually no great effort, no one is willing to give up their money at the table to coach some half-baked wannabe Stud champion.

Even Mason told me last night that he would have no idea what to charge for coaching were he to offer it these days. He mentioned that even $300 per hour would be less than his hourly rate at the current fishy games at Bellagio.

Everyone I respect has given me a resounding NO to inquiries about coaching. None of them are even interested in a cut.

Why do I always come along about three years too late?
Getting over this hump is going to take more out of me than I'm prepared to give at this time. I think I need a break.

Bad beats, smoking, drinking, poor etiquette never affected me before at the poker table. Neither in cash games nor in tourneys did this ever become "personal" for me. No tilting or steaming, I just accepted the bad with the good a la Dr. Shoonmaker.

Now, even little, petty things are starting to annoy me and make me play badly. Just little, stupid things, for the first time in my poker journey. One of my biggest advantages in poker has now turned into a nightmare.

I think I need a break. I'll see you all soon.

Felicia :)