notes from
the MUCK . . .

How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Poker, anyone?

Last week, I posted a rather whiny blog regarding the bad streak I've been having in my recent poker games. Since then, I've received a number of emails asking me if things have picked up. Well, fear not dear readers, my luck has turned around (kinda). Put down the violins - I've seen some decent cards! Now the highest starting hand I've had featured a couple of cowboys, and some of my other playables actually hit on the flop. Since that last post I've shown down a straight, the nut flush, and even a full house.

Now, it's clear to me more than ever that I was, indeed, having a terrible run last week. That happens. But what has also become clear is that something else was going on, too. Yes, I had crappy cards, but should I have lost SO badly? Was I playing my best? The answer is no. I realize now that, by moving up to a higher level than I'm used to (even one where the players are decidedly not any better) I was playing with what they refer to in the poker world as "scared money." Looking back, I can't exactly pin down any specific errors I made, but I now sense that there must have been times when I could have made a move, a bold call, something...but didn't because I was somehow more concerned about losing $20 than losing $10. This is absurd, and makes for chicken-shit playing in a game where fearlessness is a vital component. Did I do anything majorly stupid? Maybe not. But I didn't do everything necessary to win, either. Looking back, if some soothsayer were to inform me that I wouldn't see a decent set of cards for the next 10 games straight, could I possibly have insisted on playing the same strategy that normally works in these s&g's? (Be patient, let the others knock themselves out, maybe play a couple of big hands if you're lucky - then get agressive once you make it to the money.) To a better poker player, the answer would be obvious. In the future, if my normal style of play isn't working, I need to be able to shift gears. Besides, even if I had made a bunch of (hopefully well-timed) moves and still lost all those games, I would've had a lot more fun doing it.