I have been invited into the Google Wave beta. It’d be a lot better if I had a reason to use it. Still, it’s fun to toy with.

I’ve moved up to 5NL tables in poker and finally unlocked my deposit bonus from July. It took a lot of grinding but I made it with 2 days to spare. Unfortunately, I think I’m about to receive another $100 bonus that only lasts for December, so I doubt I’ll actually get all of it. Some of it would be good, though.

My poker game is getting more confident. Now that I’m not feeling the pressure of getting my bonus money I think I’ll cut back on tables and concentrate on playing better rather than just pounding out hands for points. I’m still in the nanos but progress is progress, right?

Mr and Mrs Jones came to visit last week. It was nice to catch up with them for the first time in years. I think they enjoyed their stay here. I should really work out the tally for how many friends/school buddies have come to visit me since I got here. It should be quite a decent score, I think.

Marika and I are feeling pretty bored at the moment. We’ve been playing Turakas, the card game, now and then. It’s a bit tricky when it’s 1v1 but we don’t have much else to do. I’m very tempted to purchase some sort of board game but they’re all fairly pricey and I’ve not heard of any of them, apart from Monopoly and Risk, yet I don’t see Marika enjoying them that much and I don’t think they handle 1v1 too well. Maybe we can find some friends to play.

Today we’re going to the 4D cinema. I don’t know what that means. They play a film that runs for all of 5 minutes. I suspect we’ll watch that then walk around Lõunakeskus for a few minutes before stocking up at Rimi. What a life.

There’s no snow here. It’s just wet and miserable. I’m too lazy to even bother going to the shop to buy alcohol for myself as a means to pass the time.

Since I can’t use torrents on the apartment Internet connection here I’ve ordered a seedbox. Unfortunately the guy hasn’t set it up yet and it’s been about 2 weeks. Something’s gone wrong on his end but he has the order, so hopefully we’ll get there eventually and I can actually enjoy… things… again.

Oh, one last thing: I need a haircut.

This is the story.

I’ve had about 10 days to myself. I’ve not done a lot – mainly playing games, poker and atrophying. It’s been a cheap week.

My mum sent a care package so I have more sugary and chocolately goodness to engorge myself with. I’ve been too tight to go to the shops for the last few days so licorice and tim tams have been my main diet. Healthy, indeed.

Today I had a nice variational poker day. Again, I managed to perform the 0.93% feat of failing to flop a set with 35 pocket pairs. I really do hope my calculations make sense there. I’m sure they do. :S

Regardless, I feel I’m getting a lot better with all the grinding I’ve been doing. I’ve tried to play a bit more courageously in order to kill off being weak/tight. When I do it correctly it seems to play out quite well. Unfortunately I still misread a few situations but usually the mistake isn’t too costly. I’ve been consistently grinding out a positive bankroll, albeit a bit slowly for what I would like.

Soon I’m moving to Tartu. Not long after that I have to come back to Tallinn to catch up with my school friends. School friends who are now married. Daw. They have been for a long time, actually, which is nice. I remember their wedding. I don’t remember what year it was but it was a nice day. Goody.

Tim is back from the motherland some time today, via Riga. I wonder how he’s feeling. Probably fat and happy. For once.

P.S. I ate so much pumpkin soup I got really sick and don’t want to touch it again for a long time.

What the fuck was I just doing?

Inexplicably, I decided to try a different style of playing in my most recent poker session. Being really automatic, predictable and just not trying anything fancy at all. Nothing nothing nothing but strong hands or reasonable hands from good position.

It jarred me a lot and I tilted very quickly, losing my stack by jamming all-in with a paired queen to slowplaying aces. Sure, I was unlucky that he had it but I was also stupid for playing like a fucking moron.

I think I mistook the messages about playing “solid poker” and tried to clamp down hard on my (so far) winning style. I don’t know why I got into that mentality, I guess I was genuinely experimenting. Well, it was clearly a failure. My hard grinding from earlier was just pissed away.

Not to worry, I’m still ahead and have been reviewing my plays, trying to find leaks. My biggest problem seems to be keeping focused when I win early, as I tend to play too hard with shitty hands after I make a good profit. If I just keep to the style that’s been working for me I should continue improving.

Sorry for everyone that doesn’t care. I’ll post something more interesting another day.

Poker is poking me

So I’ve been studying hard and it’s definitely paid off. Lots of books and forums and bleeding eyes.

I leapt forward in my first 800 hands on Full Tilt Poker to a huge ROI but now I’m on a bit of a downswing, although I have misplayed a few key hands and it hasn’t helped me. The bigger problem is that my good hands either haven’t been paid, or I get sucked out on/lose to a crappy draw against the odds.

Today’s sessions have been very frustrating, to say the least. I managed to avoid hitting a set with pocket pairs 35 times in a row in over 600 hands – a probability of about 1.1% (I think?).

In fact, out of 48 pocket pairs today I only hit trips on the flop twice. In 960 hands!

Perhaps that’s evening out my very arsey but very well played burst of making good money on Triobet poker last night. I had a few huge and cheeky hands in a short time and took some folks to the cleaners.

So, I guess overall I’ve made about… $40 playing small stakes games for the last few days. I have to be happy with that. Just the bad streak ruins the fun.

Old and new

Ross leaves now for Los Angeles to become an acting star. He hopes. I hope so too, then I can dream about being in his entourage.

My copy of the new Wolfenstein game arrived today! Yay! The single player is quite well made albeit a little generic apart from the veil powers. I’m more interested in the multiplayer although I doubt I’ll be too competitive at it compared to how I used to be. Still, it’s nice having a copy to muck around with.

I came second in a free poker tournament tonight. By the time it was down to the final two of us we’d had enough and went all-in after about 10 rounds of checking and folding. I lost. No big deal, I got lots of play chips in prize money! Wahoo!

I haven’t been to the gym for a while. I know that hardly sounds shocking but the thought of it is nagging me in the back of my head. I might attempt to make the effort tomorrow. I’m probably going back down south with Marika in a week for a few days so I’m tentative about paying for a whole new month. That’s a poor excuse though, really, as I can quite easily skip exercise for up to a whole week. This lazy lifestyle will have to change some day.

Looks like Tim and I are moving out of our flat come the end of October. I don’t know what he’s doing yet and neither does he. I’ll probably be living with Marika and her student buddies in some tiny little room. Ah well. At least it will be cheap. I suppose I could just become a poker king… Meh. We’ll see.

I watched District 9 recently and really enjoyed it although the ending was a bit cliche. If you like science fiction you would probably enjoy this film. It’s hit #35 on IMDb’s top 250 somehow. I mean, it’s good, but I don’t know if it’s that good. I think it’s been somewhat over-rewarded for producing a solid movie alongside a clever viral marketing campaign, kind of like The Dark Knight did last year. I mean, #8 (for a while it was at #2 or #3) of all time? Batman? Really?

I wish I could talk about the latest book I’ve read but unfortunately I’ve been skimping in that department even more than my exercise. My eyes hurt.

Not my day

This won’t make any sense if you don’t know much about poker.

I just blew about $30 of money that wasn’t mine on poker today (which lessens the pain, at least). Talk about a bad beat.

Every time I had a genuinely strong hand, no one was in the pot. $0.05/$0.10 blinds and the biggest pot I could take in about 300 hands was $0.30.

Every time I tried something a bit more speculative (for mid-price calls) I got no action on the table.

Every time I folded a upper-mid range hand I would have had the nut flush on the flop.

Every time I tried to push people out of pots when I had a strong hand, people just kept calling (against pot odds) for draws, then hitting them on the river and beating my hand.

I ended up going balls-out in one hand, with 2 pair, jack high. I lost it to someone who was ace high and it cost me about $8.

The final straw was losing all-in with pocket kings to a guy with pocket aces. $10.

I’m very tempted to stick to video games from now on.

So, I'm learning a new game or two

“What games”, you ask?

Well, one of them would be… poker!

I’ve spent a reasonable amount of the last week chipping in. I’ve even been registering for free tournaments alongside Tim and Ross. We’re actually starting to do fairly well, considering we’ve only been into it for a few days. I’d say my biggest problem is getting bored and overplaying my hand instead of actually pausing to listen to my instincts (which usually scream “FOLD!”).

I’ve had a go on the cash games and had mixed results. I think that when I develop my patience and kill off the foolishness that I will start to do fairly well. To make this even easier, all the money I have in my accounts have been free gifts from people, so I’m technically up a few bucks already!

Of course, I don’t expect to make any profit from this. Not for a long time if even at all. It’s just fun to play something competitively again and it helps to do it with some friends.

Speaking of playing competitively, I don’t think I’ll be able to run the new RTCW2 even though I really wish I could. This poor laptop is hobbling along like a wounded soldier. Maybe more like a sick dog. Either way, I still have a soft spot for it.

I’m very excited that this game is coming out this month. I still have a hard on for RTCW1 and that’s where I made a lot of friends that I still keep in contact with today. In fact, most of them are coming back to play the sequel. I just wish I could join in the games with them. I’m still going to be involved with the community and that’s a big thing for me, as I’ve been waiting for something like this again for years.