Posted by Barry Carter at 10:40 Monday, 20 April 2009
The great thing about having a new dog is you can blame him for EVERYTHING. Amongst other things, he is the reason for the blog taking a back burner, as well as poker in general, my hygiene and of course, my battle against obesity. Since we got Charlie, I have really started stuffing my fat fucking face way too much, largely because until today, we have not been able to take him for walks in the park. That changed over the weekend, we had the best two afternoons ever running with him and watching him experience the big wide world for the first time. He loved it too and he is absolutely knackered when he gets home.
I haven’t played a great deal, barely played at all this year. This month has been frustratingly break even, win a session, lose a session, rinse, repeat. My focus certainly isn’t there, that’s for sure, I am on autopilot a lot of the time and although I still love the game and literally find every facet of it fascinating, I can’t seem to translate that into my own time at the table. I need to do something different and at the moment I do not have the time for MTTs so I am playing a few SNGs, which used to be my bread and butter a couple of years ago, and I am loving it so far.
After two years of almost exclusively cash games, SNGs all of a sudden seem incredibly easy. I was always pretty good at them anyway, mainly because have always been good at bubble play (imo) and although you can’t ‘game select’ in the way you can cash games (My favourite thing about cash) there are so many players who don’t understand the bubble, even otherwise very good players seem to struggle with the concept. The bubble has always been my favourite thing about SNGs, even though SNGs are quite a crude ‘solved’ form of poker, I still get really excited on the bubble of an SNG and it still draws up unique situations that ICM doesn’t always have an answer to.
I used to play the $109 and $215 games on Stars, but that was before I multi tabled a lot and I am a little rust, so I am starting low for a few hundred games to remind myself of how to play them and see what the games are like these days. I also may have to get unbanned from Stars, which would mean paying off the $400 chargeback I still refuse to accept was my responsibility.
Writing is going fine, though not without a few glitches. If I have observed something in the last few months that I think is only going to get worse is that poker is becoming very corporate. Recently I have had to deal with agents which is a really odd addition to modern poker, one of them seemed ok but generally it’s a worrying change, how many poker players really need an agent? Especially the online players who barely leave the house. I interviewed a world famous player last month who was very happy with the interview we cut and literally at the final moment he pulled it because we didn’t give proper mention to his pokey little website that was never mentioned in the first place.
Loads of other crappy little bits and bobs like that have happened lately, can’t really mention at the moment, but if you ever bump into me ask me about a few of them, including the chap who is threatening to sue for basically $5.
Thankfully plenty of good things happen too when you are a poker writer, I interviewed Roberto Romanello last week and he cut a very good interview. I also interviewed Phil Galfond, who was nice enough. I also have become matey with a guy called Ben Wilson, another inspiring writer whom I am giving my many years (2) of wisdom too and his blog is way too good for him not to be getting paid for it.
But the best thing about life right now is the mutt, Charlie has learnt sit, paw, high five and now down and he is only 11 weeks old. He also is doing very well with toilet training and if he didn’t bite everything he sees he would probably make Lassie look like a retarded bulldog.