Monday, June 30, 2008

More Stuff


I reclaimed the Club One AA title by beating Steve Basham 15-13, 6-15, 11-3 in a very exciting and exhausting racquetball contest last Thursday. My energy was very low throughout the match, though I felt good beforehand. I was sufficiently loose and warmed up, having arrived at the Club at 4. I warmed up on the court from 4-5, then took a shower, steam and sauna from 5:15-6. From 6-6:30 I warmed up my backhand and the match began promptly at 6:30.
The first game was fairly even. I may have jumped to an early lead, but then Steve evened the score at 8 or 9 and then jumped into the lead. It was 9-12 when I scored a point. Then Steve scored and it was 10-13. I then scored a few points off my serves. At 14-13, I served a drive serve to the right side, fooling Steve into thinking I was serving to my left. My right-side serve went perfectly along the wall without touching it, and I won the first game.

I changed shirts and socks, determined to win the second game, but Steve played phenomenally well in game 2. I was hitting passing shots that he kept cutting off. I mixed up my serves, but Steve was deadly with his return. Everything was working for him, and he was suddenly ahead 5-14. I scored a point, then he scored a point and we went to the tiebreaker.
I changed my socks, shirt and head scarf again. I did not want to lose. I was ahead 2-0 and felt good. Steve evened things up at 2-2. I then scored three points, up 5-2. Steve scored a point and it was 5-3. I then scored three more points, up 8-3. My serves were still hard and Steve was making mistakes. He wasn’t playing with the same intensity that he displayed in game two. I scored the next three points and the match was over. I was SO happy! I really wanted to take the title back. Now I have it. I’m the club champ once again. I’ve had the title 6 or 7 times now, more than any other player. That makes me feel very good!


I will not be playing in the 2008 WSOP this year. I tried, not as hard as I could have, but I did try and came close twice, but no luck in the end. My poker playing is developing. I’m reading important books and thinking about the game differently. My first priority is to figure out and beat the $1/2 limit game, which is something I have not been able to do yet. I’m reading an important book called How to Beat Tough Hold’em Games which has been a godsend. I’m playing to play a lot more poker in July and get back in the swing of playing many tables at the same time.


I’m writing and reading more. I feel I’m a much better writer at 44 than 24 or 34. I just seem to know what to worry about and don’t worry about what not to worry about. Not too long ago I worried about everything, especially writing right. Now I just write.


Adult Children of Alcoholics. Hmm. I’ve definitely got a lot of work to do but I feel I’ve made a great deal of progress in dealing with some of my most difficult issues. Lots of ideas have come to me and Gwen from our family issues with alcohol. More on this later.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another Day

What a surprise, lots going on, too much it seems. It's difficult, as always, to prioritize my time. I'm interested in so many activities, which is why I need to plan, plan, plan.

Last weekend at Gwen's was one of the more interesting family get-togethers. With the Nicole crisis brewing and our family taking measures to will her toward treatment, the entire process has unearthed the big white elephant in the room, the family drinking and how it has impacted all of us. Mom feels a bit vulnerable, I think. She should. She will die of drinking if she doesn't do something.

I'm reading "Under the Influence," a book about alcoholism that Gwen bought for me. I'm really proud of Gwen and the battle she has waged against her own drinking.

In the poker world, I tried to win a WSOP seat last weekend and failed. I came close, but no cigar. I am getting better and better at that game, though. One of these days I'll do well. But it doesn't look as though it will be this year.

Still troubled by the death of Tim Russert. He is a great inspiration to me. I want to create a list of folks who have impacted and influenced my life. He would be right up there with his winning smile and optimism. The reality is I'm not nearly as happy as I would lik to be. So much of that is me, though. What more do I want or need from life? Not much. I have everything I need. Really, I do. Work, work, work!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Good but Not Great

I’m really not great at anything, but pretty good at many things. I love playing games. I've never truly excelled at any one game, but I like learning the strategies behind winning. I like to win. One of my favorite movie lines is from Patton: America loves a winner and will not tolerate a loser. I feel this way about myself. It's difficult for me to tolerate losing. It's been a lifelong ordeal trying to keep from taking losing personally. I feel it so completely. When I've lost a game I should have won, I go into total respiratory shock. I want to punch holes through walls. You'd like I'd get used to it. I don't.
Like most people, I tend to overplay my abilities, thinking I’m actually a lot better than I really am. I was like that in the dating world. So what if I was 5'6 and balding with no real career to speak of. I thought my natural wit, charm and good-guy tendencies would win women over. HA! What a delusion. They saw something, the women I wanted to charm. Or nothing. I've been a big loser in the dating realm.
Poker: I'm getting better, but can't bring down a tournament or satellite. The table I played at today was good. I played straight up poker, nothing fancy, and lost half my stack with second best hands. I just couldn't get anything going, and then my AK ran into AA. I used to do that a lot. It's been a while, but I can be pretty good at it when I'm up for it.
I Haven't played any limit on Stars in a while. March was so brutal for me. I think I lost 400 or so. I've been a big loser on limit lately. But what's been working well for me lately has been the double shootouts. This weekend I took two and came in 2nd on the other two at the first table. Not bad. I've been using the ICM strategies and they've been working well. The players at these low-limit DSs are not very good. Way too passive when the blinds get big.
Today was my first Sunday Million tournament and $650 WSOP. In the Sunday Million, I pushed all-in in the small big post flop with AQ and the button called with A8. An 8 hit on the turn and I was out. Had I won, I would have had 16K in chips. Really disappointing.
In the WSOP Satellite, I ran into AA with my AK and that was that. Pretty ugly way to go in both tourneys. I had great cards in the WSOP satellite. Had I had those cards later in the tournament, I would have won a seat. They were incredible cards.