If you'd like to advertise on this site, please email me to discuss details and rates.

Looking for Love

I've really gone and screwed myself up here. After reading Matusow's biography, Mike Matusow: Check-Raising the Devil, and reading about all the non-hold'em WSOP 2009 event re-caps, I've got a hankering for Omaha again. Why do I keep doing this to myself?

My poker "career" has followed an erratic course since I started playing years ago. First it was sit n' gos. Then I jumped on the limit hold'em bandwagon for quite a while. When I failed to break into the $1/$2 games, I got sick of poker and wound up playing sit n' gos again.

A couple months later, I heard about the new hotness that was no-limit hold'em cash games. I played the $5 tables then quickly moved up to the $10 and $25 tables. Since I quickly realized that I was not a no-limit hold'em expert after a huge sample of 5,000 hands, I jumped back to limit hold'em and dabbled in the $3/$6 stakes around the time my oldest son was born. I quickly realized that I was too tired to play $3/$6 (read: a crap player) and gave up poker for a bit. I was going to withdraw my entire bankroll from Neteller but my wife convinced me to keep at least a grand online...just in case. My wife knows me much better than I know myself and I'm glad that she convinced me to keep the "dream" on life support.

After the announcement of a second child on the way in early 2007, I decided that playing video games would not pave the way for my family's financial freedom. I set up some new bank accounts and online wallets in the Spring to help me get around the UIGEA's impact on the poker world. I was quickly back to playing the $25 NLHE.

I jumped back into sit n' gos as my second son was born. I'd made the move to the $50 NLHE 6-max games but was afraid to play at these stakes given the discovery of even further levels of exhaustion brought on by two kids born exactly 51 weeks apart. I was a zombie and played zombie sit n' go poker. I seem to recall hitting a pretty awful cold streak in sit n' gos during my youngest's first few months of life. I believe my record is forty-five sit n' gos without a win.

After Christmas 2007, I jumped back into no-limit hold'em cash games determined to make a real run in the new year. The first few months of 2008 played out like a dream. Over February 2008, I don't think I lost more than a couple sessions. I was able to average an hourly rate in the range of $30 - $40 at the $100 tables which is pretty incredible. I even popped up to the $200 NLHE tables with quite a bit of early success by playing some solid short-stacked poker.

All good things come to an end though. My game went cold in late March and early April. I left poker again, struggling to come to terms with my inability to maintain ridiculously unsustainable levels of poker success.

The rest of the year was spent bouncing between NLHE cash games, sit n' gos, and video games. My bankroll leveled off as my confidence in my ability to play poker dropped off the charts. I didn't want to play losing poker so I just stopped playing. I had very limited success playing some heads-up no-limit hold'em during this time but I gave up far too soon after encountering the first signs of variance in my results.

When 2009 started, I was pretty gung-ho with poker again. I'm not sure why but I was feeling the bug; in my case, stomach flu. A bad case of the stomach flu in early January turned me off video games. I'd been spending a lot of time with my Xbox 360 in the weeks leading up to my two hour dance in the vomitorium; my brain associated video games with my queasy stomach.

My goals for 2009 were to learn PLO, play a bit more heads-up poker, and continue to focus on NLHE cash games. And in typical fashion, I've gone nowhere with any of these goals.

PLO was fun but I gave up when I failed to win every session. Same thing went for heads-up poker. And the NLHE cash games haven't been working out this year either.

Where do I go from here? I have an answer but not the answer. I'm going to continue donking off buy-ins at the $100 games on Full Tilt with the occasional shots at the $200 games. I'd also like to try my hand at limit Omaha 8 (or Omaha Hi-Lo, if you prefer). And I may also sit down at the $50 PLO games again once I've had time to re-learn all that I've forgotten...which is not much.

I guess my rise to fame and fortune will always be greatly limited due to my inability to handle adversity and my curiosity with all forms of poker. I hate focusing on just no-limit hold'em when I know that there are other games being played out there by others. And though I'll admit that no-limit hold'em is one of the more profitable forms of cash game poker that one can play, I can't help but wonder if I'm missing the point by focusing so much on money.

I signed up with Deuces Cracked again last night and began downloading as many mixed game videos as possible. I've got some limit O8 videos on my Zune right now. I'll also take a look at Razz and even games like Stud Hi and Stud 8. I'm sure there's a game out there with my name written all over it. Who knows - maybe my game is something really obscure like Badugi or Five Card Draw.

Regardless of the games I play and the success or failures that I encounter, my one hope is to rekindle my deep passion for poker. I need to find something about poker that grabs hold of me and makes me want to really work on my game.

I just want to love the game again.

No comments: