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My Birthday Weekend

I just came back from a four-day weekend and it was nice. I took the time off for extended celebration of my birthday. I enjoyed my time away from the hustle and bustle of the real world. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't more than a little sad that my weekend has finally come to an end.

The bulk of my weekend was spent playing with my kids, watching movies with my wife, eating lots of food, and playing poker. I'll give a full re-cap after the jump!

My weekend started on Wednesday night. Rather than play any poker, I decided to spend the evening eating Chinese food and watching Die Hard with my wife. Good food, great movie, terrific company! A great start to my weekend.

Thursday was spent just relaxing. I played with my kids outside in the snow. I put in a solid winning session at Stars' $0.50/$1 SHFL tables. My wife prepared me a terrific breakfast of eggs, cheese and herb bagels, smoked maple-glazed bacon, hash browns (cooked in bacon grease), and all the Swiss cheese I could eat. And for dinner, the world's biggest and best glazed horseradish burgers topped with maple-glazed bacon and Swiss cheese. And for dessert, a peanut butter pie topped with Cool Whip and Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Did I mention that I gained a ton of weight this past weekend?

Friday was spent doing more of the same. A couple friends came over that night for some live poker. We played for penny stakes and I think I came out slightly ahead. I really liked the new Copag cards that I'd received from PokerStars. Great snap, great feel, and they didn't bend or break over the course of the game. I closed off the night playing some drunken Rush poker over at Full Tilt.

Speaking of Rush poker, I gave it an honest shot over the weekend. I put in about 1,600 hands over a couple sessions at the $10 SHNL tables. I also dropped over four buy-ins in after getting a little unlucky in terms of all-in EV and running into the top of my opponents' ranges. Although I can see the appeal of Rush poker, I had a few problems with the games:

  1. I really hate playing without reads. I never realized how many of my decisions were based on how I felt in a particular situation. Since I've never been all that great at no-limit hold'em math, I was definitely struggling at times.

  2. I realized over the weekend that I don't find no-limit hold'em as interesting or as exciting as limit hold'em. No-limit games are slow compared to limit hold'em.

  3. The games are so swingy. I originally thought that a tight-is-right strategy would be good for the Rush games. In fact, the opposite is true. Raising pre-flop with a variety of hands seems necessary to take advantage of the tight players. This aggressive play seems to cascade through the player pools with the end result being that the games were getting very aggressive when I was playing. 3-betting and 4-betting were getting to be far too common for a $10 max buy-in game.

The one good thing that I'll say about the Rush games is that they are fast. It was nice pounding out 1,600 hands in two hours. Of course, I could have flushed $40 down the toilet much faster at a blackjack table. I'll likely continue to play the $10 Rush games in an attempt to recoup some of my losses and work on my read-independent pre-flop and post-flop SHNL game.

Oh - and one last thing. If you plan on signing up at Full Tilt to get in on the new Rush poker games, make sure that you're get set up with a rakeback account. Playing 400-800 hands an hour without earning rakeback would be an incredibly silly move. I'm a huge fan of RakeTheRake and encourage all of my readers to make them your primary rakeback provider.

My weekend finished off with a couple more days of eating and celebrating with family. I played a bunch of $1/$2 SHFL at Stars. I managed to pick up Silver Star VIP status. I also purchased picked up my first $10 Stellar Reward for 1 FPP. I also cleared my first $50 2010 Reload Bonus after clearing 1,000 VPPs this month.

Now onto the presents that I received for my birthday. It should come as no surprise that the bulk of my gifts were related to poker. My wife bought me The Godfather of Poker: The Doyle Brunson Story and Deal Me In. And my mom got me Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker and For Richer, For Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker. On the non-poker front, my wife also got me the Ocean's Trilogy (Ocean's 11 - 13) and Marvel Zombies vs. Army Of Darkness. A pretty good haul this year, I'd say.

Things will get back to normal tomorrow. The only big change is that I'll be playing at Full Tilt for the rest of the month. I'm quite happy to just sit back and grind out some $1/$2 SHFL, doing my very best to make good decisions. I think I've come a long way in terms of tilt-control since my 400 BB meltdown a couple of months ago. I've still got a long, long way to go. But I'm learning to appreciate and embrace the ups and downs of short-handed limit hold'em. If you don't care about winning or losing, it's very hard to get upset at losing a to a three-outer on the river.

Have a good one!


Littleacornman said...

Sounds like you had a good one mate! I've just finished the Vicky Coren book and loved it.

Klopzi said...

@Littleacornman -

It was a great weekend. Vicky Coren's book is 3rd on my list. I'm just finishing up Deal Me In; Doyle's book after that.

I've heard good things about the book. I'm looking forward to it.

Memphis MOJO said...

Happy (belated) birthday!