The Miscellaneous Rantings of Marie-Lizette
Yup, it's that time again! It's summer and the season for the World Series of Poker. I'm writing from Vegas, the summer mecca for poker players across the world...World Series Ho!
(Video by srslysirius.com)
Anyway, I've got a very busy summer planned. Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook already know that I put together a summer tournament package and sold it on 2+2, and so far I've already played the first of the six schedule events.
Yesterday was the first event of the 2012 WSOP, the Casino Employee's event. It's considered to be one of the softest fields of the Series so I gave it a go. I doubled up early with Kings vs. Sixes in what was a set over set all-in pot in the 2nd orbit of the event, then pretty much maintained a stack between 6K and 10K for the next 4 hours. I got moved around 3 times and, as so many of you know, it takes a while before you can get a feel for the game flow of a new table. Although I went into the 2nd break with 10K in chips, the 5th level had blinds at 150/300+25 ante, and in just two orbits I had lost 1K without ever playing a hand. I calculated that an average chip stack in the money (81 players get paid in Event #1) was 31K, so I knew I had a bit of work to do with 250 runners left out of the original 732.
Unfortunately, the first bracelet of the year was not to be mine...
I sulked a bit after busting out, then played a $125 satellite. I chipped up here and there, but in a satellite, it's best to just let people bust and wait for spots short handed. When it finally got down to 3-handed play, I was the short stack with about T2,500 of the T10k in play. Of course, I never saw a button I didn't like and I raised every time in position. Finally, the small blind got feed up and shoved against one of my button raises. By that time I had moved up to 2nd in chips so it was an easy call with . My opponent turned over off-suit, and we were off to the flop...and oh what a flop it was: ! The turn and river offered him no relief and it was heads up. We played heads-up for about 15 minutes but, just before the blinds went to 300/600, my opponent proposed an equity chop. I had him T6,100 to T3,900 and WhoJedi (who had offered me a ride back to my condo) was ready to headed out, so I agreed. Even though it was a chop, the small win made me feel better.
After getting dropped off, I enjoyed a quite Thai dinner that involved conversations of Steve Martin, of all people, and then called it an early night. I'm probably going to play a few more satellites today, before heading home on Tuesday. Then I return to Vegas next weekend for the $600 NLH Venetian Deepstack.
As you may or may not already know, I played on Live at the Bike last month.
When I first reviewed the video, I was upset by some of the comments that Bart and Dave made about my play, thinking that they just didn't understand my awesome game. I edited the show down to just my hands with every intent to explain my thinking and justify my plays. Then, I got busy with work and didn't have the time to dedicated to writing a long detailed blog about what a great player I am.
Now, I've finally had a little time to write my blog and I know I've always had a pretty laggy style, but I'll tell you what, watching this video a few more times, with an open mind, really showed me that I have a ton of leaks in my game.
I justified many of the plays I did based on the reads I had at the table, but I've reviewed some of the hands with a few friends of mine who have pretty good reputations as good poker players, and there is a general consensus is that I could have played some spots more aggressively and perhaps not been involved in certain pots based on my EV percentages and opponents range...even though I won them. Needless to say, when I explained my thought processes during a couple of hands the term, "retarded" was used to describe their interpretation of what I was thinking on more than one occasion. Basically, if I try to do this crap at a bigger game with better players, I'm going to be totally soul owned.
In addition to specific corrections and fundamental game theory, I'd have to say that the best advice I received was that just winning big pots here and there is not good enough when your game has leaks that can subject you to wide swings. The idea of winning big here at there is simply too results oriented. The goal is to win consistently over time and choosing those winning spots effectively.
I'm doing what I can to bring my game to the next level by engaging in thoughtful conversations with talented and successful poker plays and keeping an open mind to their criticisms and recommendations. I'm hoping that the next time I post a Live at the Bike session, I will be able to do so proudly. The next time I play on the show, I will use what I'm learning to make more intelligent plays in +EV spots rather than a mishmash of a handful of half-hearted moves mixed in with luckbox wins.
Good luck out there, and see ya at the Rio this summer.
Being successful in the poker industry is no small task. I struggle every day trying to be a better poker player, a better poker journalist, a better photographer, etc. But I don't eat, sleep and drink poker.
Although I have been playing poker for well over a decade now, most of the big names in poker are post-Moneymaker and children of the 80's. So, unlike so many of the young poker players I meet, I have a pre-poker life that includes having a 2 decade long paralegal career, being a young bride, a young widow, and raising 3 children, mostly on my own.
But other than being a mom, my past is just that... in the past. These days I focus on my poker career. Obviously my path through poker differs from most because of my role as the host of Live at the Bike and the many hats I wear in the social media/marketing end of the poker industry, but I enjoy the thrill of winning and dream of one day shipping a big one, just like any other poker player out there. In fact, a year ago I found myself sitting on the 10-handed final table bubble in the The Limit Hold'Em $50K Guaranteed at Commerce Casino with a very real chance of a nice payday and my first Commerce Bear Trophy. However, that final table was scheduled to reconvene on Mother's Day and I had plans to spend that day with my children. I knew I couldn't in good conscience return for the final table, so I loosened up my game and although I would never chip-dump, I poorly played AQ out of position in a multi-way pot and exited the event in 10th place. I then enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day with my family.
This year I chose not to play any events that would conflict with my Mother's Day plans. My children stand by me through so much. I'm often gone for weeks on end doing media coverage for tournaments or playing in them. I often wonder if they understand that my goals are centered around being successful so that I can provide a better life for them. Long story short, raising a family while grinding out a living in poker has been one heck of a mind twist and I'm never confident that I'm doing right by my family.
This past Mother's Day, one of my kids gave me this card:
Each of my kids has their own little nickname. The baby girl is my li'l MissBehavin' my middle son is my li'l Social Butterfly and the oldest, who will turn 21 on May 21st, is my li'l Monkey. Can you guess who gave me this one? I well up every time I read it. Thank you son, it shows me that I'm doing a decent job at raising you guys.