That State of Mind TM
+ Life. Poker. It's a State of Mind.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007 

The METRO Davao!

The Metro Madayaw, our first class poker room in Casino Filipino Davao, is hosting it's first major tournament this coming weekend, The San Pedro Festival Poker Tournament! It's a 2000+300 Buy-in with optional rebuy and add-on. Nick G's gonna be flying over to play, and as much as i would also like to go and play, things are pretty busy here too.

Check it out if you'll be in the southern Philippines this week, or if you know any poker aficionados from Davao who would like to play some good poker.

Thursday, June 14, 2007 

The Downswing

Here is a really funny article by '1.21 gigawatts' from pocketfives about the poker player's arch-enemy, the dreaded downswing. The past weeks has been a testament to how harsh this game can get, since ive lost all my profit for the first two weeks and then some. On the slow road to recovery though. Trust the math, i say. ;)


The Downswing
by 1.21Gigawatts on 3/29/2006 06:31

On a dark and gloomy day in May of 1572, it rained in the Atacama Desert.

Then, 400 years later, it finally rained again.

Talk about a dry spell.

And if you've played poker long enough, you've probably experienced the same thing. Maybe not 400 years, but it can sure feel that way. It's when nothing is going your way, your opponents keep getting the best of you, and the cards are running as poorly as Stephen Hawking in a footrace

(I'm going to hell for that one.)

Everyone's been there before, and everyone has their own story to tell. Still, that doesn't make it any easier when it's been two weeks since your last winning session.

The downswings in poker can be brutal. So brutal in fact, that you begin to question your own skill level - not to mention your own sanity. You start asking whether or not you're even good enough to play this game. And sometimes when it gets really bad, you start wondering why you ever loved this game in the first place.

But hey, that's poker, right? A game where the law of averages works in its most volatile state. Where you're either on the heater of a lifetime, or stuck in a three-week drought of misery. It's never easy, even when you think you know everything there is to know about the game. Because you always have to deal with that one thing:

Variance. And there's no stopping it.

Still, the variance pill becomes harder and harder to swallow with each losing session.

"Forget it," I said to myself earlier tonight. "I just flat out suck."

I have lost all confidence. I am Jack's crumbling self-esteem.

It's the low point in a poker career; the worst run of your life. When you're completely card dead and all you have left to rely on is a crappy continuation bet on a ragged flop.

It's when you pick up pocket Jacks and say to yourself,

"Please let there only be one overcard on the flop, because I'm sick of seeing all three."

It's when everytime you raise with A,Q or 9,10 you get repopped by the guy in the small blind who hasn't played a hand in hours. And then when you do pick up Aces, you win nothing but the blinds.

And don't even get me started on pocket kings. I'm so fed up at this point, the only cowboys I want to go near are the two guys from "Brokeback Mountain."

But it's not like you're always missing the flop. It's just that when you do connect, you're running into monsters anyway. But that doesn't matter, because top pair, weak kicker never looked so good. I guess that's where the bad play sets in. After 89 missed flops in a row, a simple flush draw begins to look like a thing of beauty.

"You mean I'm not a 6-to-1 dog right now!? Hell, I'm all-in then."

That's when it becomes the last act of a desperate man. Sure, I'm probably drawing dead, but how many times in life can we say we got all our money in with a 15% to win? It's a proud moment (during a downswing) as far as I'm concerned.

It's when the only pots you're not losing, are the ones you get to split 3-ways.

It's when you've completely given up on small pocket pairs, because they stopped hitting months ago. It's when you sit and play for three hours and 380 hands, and the only full house you see is another lousy rerun on Nick at Nite.

It's when you finally do flop top two pair, your opponent loses connection and sits out, and you get to check it down with him while he's away (thanks to disconnect-protection).

Lucky you though, because he rivered a set anyway.

But hey, that's poker. And that's variance. Get used to it. And make sure you're never playing above your bankroll. Otherwise, a two week drought could temporarily put an end to your poker career.

Just know that the swings happen to everyone, even the best players in the world. And that eventually, it will all turn around. The good cards will come. And it will rain again.

And like they always say: When it rains, it pours.

Saturday, June 02, 2007 

The Return of the Comeback

It's been a while... i miss this place. So many things have happened since my last post. The last two months have really beena crazy circus, what with the elections and everything that comes with it. Speaking of which, i have officially lost whatever iota of hope i had for this country's system.

I witnessed, first hand, blatant cheating and disgusting political tactics. My mom ran for re-election for her city council post in Pasay. Everyone who knew anything about our local city politics knew she was a shoo-in, and even the INC (a huge block voter) put her in thier ticket, which they rarely do for independent candidates. A few days before the election, she received a text from one her her political rival's "hound dogs", so to speak. "Nung huling election, pang anim ka. Ngayon sisiguraduhin namin pang pito ka na." In Pasay, only six councilors are elected per district. Election day comes, and my mom is in panic. We got word that in several precints, dozens if not hundreds of her votes are being voided! The reason? My mom's name is Antonia, and she goes by the nickname "Ate Tonya". They were not counting her votes that didnt have "ate" in it. Sickening. She also lost in one of her strongest bailiwicks, a depressed area where she spent a lot of time helping out and doing projects. People came up to us and said that men were going around giving 500-1000 pesos to people to NOT vote my mom.. we couldnt believe it. And when counting came, i personally witnessed 5 votes magically turning into 51 votes in the final tally. In the end, my mom held on to a slim lead for 5th position, then slid down to 6th, and in the final day, went down to 7th, where she finally lost by a few hundred votes. I really pity this country. I was so disgusted. I really cant see this country going anywhere in the next 50 years unless we have a bloody revolution or something.


Poker-wise, Ive been seeing my fair share of hands and games lately, but seldom in the live games. Yup, I'm now officially an online micro-grinder, putting in the hours
in Super7casino, a DGN poker network member site. I blindly stumled in my first few weeks playing and losing, getting a feel for the game. Down to $3 at one point, I finally stumbled upon Chris Ferguson's Bankroll Management System, with which he turned $1 into $20,000 over a period of time. It got me rocking the ring games, and in a few weeks, i somehow turned my last $3 into $135+! It works SO well, you have almost ZERO risk or ruin. And thanks to the convenience of Super7, i was able to withdraw $80 instantly and enjoy the fruits of my labor hehe. I'm now on track to making a daily grind of an extra $200-$300 a motnh, if i run well ;) Not bad for something i do for fun eh? Pang kape-kape... hehe. And it's so easy to withdraw and deposit too!

So if youre looking for an easy and convenient wasy to scratch that poker itch anytime anywhere, just tell me and i can hook you up instantly. Dozens of local
players are already playing and enjoying the online poker scene too!

In other news, the long awaited opening of the The Metro is expected to be delayed once again,and because of... what else? Two words: Electoral Protest. Sucks to be caught in the crossfire but all we can do now is sit and wait. Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Speaking of the live poker scene, there has been a lot of action everywhere! You can find a game anytime, anywhere now, which is a good thing. But ive also heard people complaining about some organizers and how they run their games. From blinds changing on the fly in a 22,000 peso Million Guaranteed tournament to Guaranteed pots being given only if they hit the amount of players needed to fill the pot. Geez. I guess it's a fact of life that there will always be some people who will do anything to make a quick buck. Let's just be aware of these things and be on the lookout for scammers.

On the upside, there are also great games all around. Even the PPT has learned from their previous fiascos and made a great payout structure and blinds schedule for their P3M tournament. The PBT is thriving in their new home in the Hyatt and more and more people are playing in their home games and elsewhere.

so there... whew. I'd like to congratulate a couple of guys from the crew. Dirty ice cream and Sunshine, congratulations on the new baby boy! That kid's first words should be "All-in" ok? Also, congrats to the boss, or should i say "Hon. COngressman"? hehe! Time to churn out the poker legislation!

So there. I'll update more often for sure. I'll also post my progress from my ring game adventures... I've been making about $6 an hour in the last 3 days doing my daily grind, that's at an average of 3 hours a day only. As soon as the stats get more substantial, ill post the updates hehe.

Till next time... watch your backs!

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Quote of the Day

  • The best poker I've ever played has always entailed peace. A relaxed comfort. Eyes open, ears open, radar up. Absorbing my opponent's every message. Taking them as they come. Not mixing what those messages are with what I want them to be. It's like an aerial view. A view from above the myriad luck-dependent reactions of those many people who never gain such a peace. And when you gain that view, that peace - when you'd rather have the truth, no matter how disappointing, over a false hope, no matter how desirable - then you're a player. The hand you're on slips into a stream of thousands of other hands, no one of which, because of your lofty view, seems unduly important, no false fearful emotions rise within you. When you gain the peace of lofty perspective, you're a player, and when you're a player, you're free.- from "King of a Small World" by Rick Benett
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