World Poker Tour, Here I Come!

…is what I’d say if I were really that good. =)

I may have mentioned before on here that I’m something of a poker fan. Yeah, I’ve hopped the bandwaggon.
But in my defense, I hopped it back a some years ago because of “Rounders“, before poker became a huge deal all over TV. (Thanks, Erik, for introducing me to the movie!)

So I’ve been playing now and then on some online poker sites. Well, playing a LOT of free games, and only rarely with any money. Tend to pretty much keep my bankroll (of a whopping $10 generally) for a few months before finally losing it. So, net loss there…but I get many hours of enjoyment out of it.

However, in live games I do not bad. I generally come home with a couple or few dollars more than I started with. Until this last weekend. I started the game with $5 and wallked out with $50. Most of the time I’m just playing to have a good time with friends. But this last time I played seriously; played really focused and to win. And I sure did.

Yeah, I dream of playing professionally. I watch poker a lot on TV, and often see some new guy at a final table who’d only started playing a couple years prior, or won their first satellite a few days earlier to qualify for the WPT. And I think to myself sometimes “that could be me.” But I’m going to need a lot more practice!

Last year we vacationed in Vegas for a week. I took $40 and played at the Excalibur at their $1/$3 Texas Hold-Em table and played for a good 6 hours I think it was. But I still kick myself over it. No, it wasn’t the money…that was $40 spending money strictly for that purpose. I figured I’d probably lose it and that’d be fine. It was paying for both entertainment and practice.
No, I still kick myself because I made the mistake of having a couple of free drinks the casino gives you. And being free, they use really cheap vodka in their White Russians. And cheap vodka gives me horrible headaches. Horrible. So after I was actually up to about $60, $65, I should have walked away when the headache started because I could barely think straight, and ended up losing it. (Again, it was spending money I intended to lose…until I actually was winning and up by $25.)

One of my poker heroes, Phil Gordman, advises to never drink while playing poker, and I agree. Even if it’s “top shelf.” But you know, you’re in Vegas for the first time, at a casino for the first time, you want to experience the whole feeling like a high-roller they try to make you feel. It’s fun.
Next time I’ll know just to drink while playing slots with the wife, and then actually buy better drinks. =P

Should have known. I haven’t been able to drink cheap alcohol since I was a freshman in college. Nowadays I don’t really drink. A bottle of wine every couple of months, a six-pack of beer every three or four months, and anything more than that maybe once a year. Except for that one time a year (usually my wife’s birthday) I don’t drink to get drunk or even buzzed. Usually it’s just because, well, with wine, I could go on for hours with my recent discovery of the amazing world of scents and tastes and experiences of various wines! Otherwise it’s just because an Amber Bach sounds really good.

No, I drank a lot my freshman year. A lot. And usually really cheap stuff (hey, we were college students!) So, not only have I acquired the condition of getting horrible headaches and chest-muscle pains when encountering cheap alcohol (not heart, but the actual muscles of my chest…really weird,) but I simply have no interest in drinking in order to drink. You know, I experienced the whole out-on-my-own partying thing and got it out of my system that first two years of college. Well, I guess I know I’m not an alcoholic. =) When you spend a year of college doing a lot of partying with the theatre department, and decide after that that getting drunk isn’t really fun anymore than only at after-wrap cast parties, and then after college no more than once a year, then there obviously isn’t a problem.

I also tried picking up smoking a couple of times. Twice, in Jr. High and then High School, I tried sneakily smoking for about a month each time, and just found it too disgusting to continue. Oh, nowdays I smoke a pipe during the Winter, maybe three bowls every other year. (That’s a single pipe bowl, not a soup bowl or something *g*) But a pipe is VERY different from icky cigarettes! =P

I did find last May, when my wife graduated college (we’re 34, it’s just taken her a while to figure out what she really wants to do,) Captain Morgan’s spiced sipping rum. It was pricey, but it was her graduation. =) Anyway, it makes incredible rum-n-cokes.

OK, so anyway. Back to the original topic. Professional poker. What I’d like to do is start making a bankroll. Start with an investment of say, $10. Use only that and the winnings it spawns to play poker with and nothing else. (We used the $50 from this weekend for some really nice fireworks.) For the local games with the friends, for any online playing, visiting a riverboat game or later vacations in Vegas…. Then if it gets large enough, enter a tournament. Maybe a World Series of Poker satellite tournament, or WPT. The point is, just use it for fun playing. But, if it ever gets to be 10,000, then maybe take off for three months and try to go pro.

Eh, it’s a dream. =)