Feeling Good

When I got home from work I saddled up for some online play. With three tables of $0.50/1 going I played pretty well. I managed to get in just over 460 hands and take down almost $40. What’s more important than the win is the fact that I’ve played good poker for my last two sessions, dating back to last week.

Early on I was flopping sets left and right. Of course I lost 3 of them to 2 flushes and a gut-shot straight. I didn’t waste extra bets though, which is a good sign. I saw it coming and just called the river bet. I got sucked out on a few times, but I make a few suckouts myself when I originally thought I was ahead, only to spike my long-shot on the river for the winning hand. Some days it just all evens out. This was one of those days and I took advantage of it.

I’m getting better at laying down a hand when it’s clear I’m behind. A few weeks ago I was playing all of my monsters to showdown and it was costing me precious bets. I still caught myself doing it a few times, but I’ve improved 200% in this area already.

I can’t say enough good things about the Poker Tracker Guide though. Before purchasing the book I had no clue what to look at when evaluating my play. Now I simply spend a few minutes after a session reviewing some key hands. It’s really helping my game. Today I only cold-called a raise twice pre-flop, with 44 once and 99 the other time when several players had already called the raise. I ended up flopping a set of 4s, which paid off nicely. It’s simply amazing how well the concept of odds works in limit poker. Let keep it our secret though…don’t tell the fish!

Review: ESPN's TILT

Last night was the final episode of ESPN’s original series TILT. I had watched every episode of the series and I have to be honest; I thoroughly enjoyed every episode of TILT.

A lot of people have bashed the series, but I think they were expecting something different. I wasn’t expecting any poker lessons or any deep looks into the poker world. I was looking for an entertaining TV series that involved the game of poker and that’s exactly what the worldwide leader in sports delivered.

I tuned in each week wondering what would happened next. I became more interested in the overall plot and side stories than I was in the poker aspect of the show. I think this is what ESPN was going for and simply used poker as their lure to reel us all in. After all, I would have never watched the series if it involved blackjack players instead of poker players.

Some of the arguments against TILT I’ve read are justified. I’ll be one of the first to agree the producers did make mistakes, but what show on TV doesn’t? Too often we look for the negative things about a show, movie, or book and fail to appreciate the work for what it is. I highly doubt the producers ever planned to make this series a realistic look at the high stakes poker world or else they would have included a lot more of the high profile players and they wouldn’t have made some of the mistakes they did.

TILT was meant to be an entertaining tale of poker, gambling, love, friendship, murder, and corruption. That’s exactly what it turned out to be. I commend ESPN on a job well done in that department.

Now, I must say that I was disappointed in how the series ended. In my opinion, there are too many unanswered questions, but maybe we’ll see TILT 2 in the future. What happened to the court case against Everest? Did Eddie and Dee hook back up? What about Miami and Clark…where did they go?

Overall I’d have to give TILT a B+.