Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I’ll get right to it: I had my ass handed to me in a 25NL room last night. Even though I had mentally prepared myself to sit for a long session and be patient, the cards were just tempting enough for me to get a little bit ahead of myself, and therefore I found myself behind. Top pair on the flop, two pair on the turn, all the while the villain’s betting screamed set. LAG to the river to pick up trips, maybe a boat to my measly top pair. Who knows? I didn’t stick around to find out. I was down two buy-ins in short order. So much for my rise above my initial bankroll.

What we got here — at least in part — is a failure to estimate. I have been playing so much PLO lately that I underestimate the strength of an opponent’s NL hand, and paid the price. Or, I overestimated. I picked off a bluff, but in actuality I had made a crying call. The best I can say is that I didn’t chase. Still, I was off of my game and could only see it getting worse, so I quit.

Or rather, I switched over to PLO. And I continued to bleed, but just at a slower rate. Spreads and suited Aces went nowhere. Boats became underfulls at the river. Eventually, I shut off the computer, went upstairs and fell asleep on the couch while watching old poker championships on ESPN.. Dreams of battle, flops spread across a bombed terrain.
The DW came downstairs and woke me at dawn. “Go upstairs and get some proper sleep.” I obeyed and the dreams continued.

I go on dream-jags, especially in the last hours of sleep. I dream so much that it makes it difficult for me to wake up. Dreams are like drugs for me. Good drugs, but a bit addictive. I don’t remember which musical artist said it, but when we dream we are innocent. A sweet purge, even when the content is somewhat horrifying. Hey, that’s just me.

The sun is shining today. The bedroom was so bright that I knew it was getting late and forced myself to get up. I went over to the bench by the window to put on some clothes. I didn’t see the strange car in our driveway right away. Oops. Another drive-by sect gets more than they bargained for. They didn’t stay long.

This isn’t the first time that the evangelically-motivated have had the pleasure of a private viewing. A few years ago I was shooting my video, “Weed Killer,” in which I urinate on a weed each day until it is dead. As I was finishing a segment and readying to zip up, I looked up to see a van of women backing out of the drive.

Yes, the sun is shining today, and speaking of videos, I received an email from a gallery director today. It seems he wants one of my videos, Dear (sic) Repellant for an upcoming show that will happen in Portland and New York City.

There is a reason that my blog has the title is does. The life of an artist, farmer or poker player is not an easy one; or, at least, they have now been easy pursuits for me. Not that would expect them to be easy; just that perhaps I am naïve enough to believe that hard work should pay off. To date, this has not been the case, and to be honest, this fact has been a source of much frustration for me. There is a certain fickleness that exists in each of my “avocations.” In poker it is called “variance;” in farming it is the weather; and in art it is “taste.” Yet, within this lack of constancy lies potential for things to change for the better, perhaps the concept I embrace in order to remain involved in these pursuits.

Such is the case, at least with my art endeavors. An interest has been rekindled, perhaps because my particular “voice” echoes the times in which we now find ourselves, pared down and reflective. There is a partial reprieve on the farm as well. As I have written before, a past client has asked us to raise vegetable starts for them this year; and something I did not know until the other day, is that he is not using any other growers besides us for this product. We will have a good ROI.

As for poker, when I look at my win rate chart at Poker Academy, I see that I have had some rather wide swings in my roll. I know why this is, and it is nothing more than impatience. I get to a new level in winnings and, wanting the trend to continue, push when I shouldn’t. It seems that I need such a kick in the pants to bring me back to the game I should be playing. And eventually I manage to climb to new heights. This is the hope that I carry forward for my play at Stars, and indeed is the hope I should carry for all that I do.


James said...

Tom Waits=innocent when you dream

James said...

1) Your good ROI could be called an "Ubu Roi!"

2) You say your avocations make for a hard life. Imagine yourself sitting in a corporate office for 40-50 years. You, and most of us, would be better off where you are. Path least taken, etc.

3)PK put up my enhanced pic of you at his site. Hope you don't mind.

bastinptc said...

Thanks for the wise words, James. You sat in that game tonight and maybe now you see why I whine. ;-)

James said...

1) 4 hands after you left I was dealt TT45. A guy went all in, I called and took back $48 with a straight achieved on the river! I quit shortly thereafter, fairly close to even. In this case, I benefited from what you hate: I had no idea what I was doing, but lucked out. That was my first plo table ever.

Chris Ferguson says that plo is a game for people who like to gamble more than in nlhe, and for people who like to win against those who gamble too much. Causes wide variations in your bankroll.

2) Luck in poker is just a short-term factor. The pros all say that long-term, it is just skill with people, numbers, and deception, and guts. Just relax and smile at the bad beats.

3) Did you see the guy at the table who said he keeps notes on you? I said, "Don't ever challenge bastinptc." He said, "That is not what my notes show."

4) What did you mean about 'tipping your truck?'

Sorry for clogging up your blog with free advice.


bastinptc said...

James - No, I did not see that part of the chat. I would like to know which player said it. Perhaps the guy to your immediate left? I have played him several times.

Luck is part of the game. Glad you caught a hand. Otherwise your play was atrocious. ;-)

"Tipping my truck" meant that I was frustrated by the beats I was taking on the river.

And, clog away.

James said...

The guy who mentioned keeping notes on you was an observer: ZorlacMC. The transcript never shows him seated while I was there.

bastinptc said...

Yeah, I know him. I have notes on him too.