Friday, November 20, 2009

Stick's Quest for Fitness: End Month 4

07/20/09 = 243 lbs. (start)
08/20/09 = 235 lbs. (-8)
09/20/09 = 231 lbs. (-4)
10/20/09 = 223 lbs. (-8)
11/20/09 = 222 lbs. (-1)

Only lost 1 pound this month. But to coin a poker term: I think I "found my leak" this month. I guess it was that 12-piece pizza binge I went on that didn't do me much good. From what I have researched, 1 piece of a large-sized pizzeria pizza is 270-350 calories. So my pizza intake that day was around 300 x 12 = 3600 calories!! Also, regular crust is loaded carbs. I blame my binge that day on skipping lunch since I was cleaning up the garage all day. Bad boy!

But I feel like my fitness level didn't suffer. Seems like I'm still advancing in that department. I pulled another notch through my belt, too. I started reading "The Abs Diet" book by Men's Health magazine since that's where I think I need help. It's not so much a "diet" as it is a program or a plan. Seems pretty good so far.

The good thing is that I'm actually having fun at the gym AND having fun creatively putting together healthy meals in the kitchen. Now I'm in the kitchen more than my wife for the first time in 20 years. So only losing 1 pound doesn't discourage me. My fitness has still progressed and that matters most.

I'm 6' 3" and my goal is still 199 lbs. No timeline for that, so no pressure. Steady as she goes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Passive Poker Works?

As I moved down to 25NL for "tuning" near the end of last month, I found myself somewhat adjusting to the style of play I ran across. I noticed that there was a lot of cold calling going on and not much respect shown to c-bets. In fact, I could read fake c-bettors really well. So I had to dial way back on my aggression and see more flops in position by over-limping or cold calling. Then there was often draw chasers or 2nd pair/underpair callers who would pay off TPGK or better.

That meant I had to revert back to a more passive overall style. Post-flop play became more important than preflop aggression, stealing, & squeezing. And it has worked so far! Here are my stats for the 1st 13 days of the month:

The stats that stick out to me here are the low 34.1% ratio between my VPIP & PF raises AND my high 68.2% Flop Fold vs C-bet at 25NL compared to my negative W$w/oSD at 25NL. But my showdowns are hugely positive, which is a big change from how I was running at 50NL.

I'm not sure if this style will work at 50NL so I think I'll just ride the wave at 25NL for a while. Besides an anemic amount of hands played this month, everything else is going better than planned. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stick's Pick: Greatest Rock Song of All Time

Having been a radio DJ in the past and still having a very diverse & eclectic taste in music with some widely varied past musical experiences, I feel slightly qualified to bestow the title of "Greatest Rock Song of All Time" upon a worthy suitor. Of course, everyone's taste is different. Everyone's view is different. And everyone's opinion is different. Everyone has different criteria for what makes something the "greatest" to them. This all means that many people will most certainly disagree with my choice here. And that's fine. Free country.

But what makes something the "greatest" for me is difference. It has to be different from it's peers. Why is Muhammad Ali considered "the Greatest"? Because he was different. Michael Jordan? Different. I'm not going to run down all the little reasons why these guys were different. You just know. To the observant, it's obvious. Just as it is with other things like music. And in some of these areas, there is no clear cut "greatest". How different can food be and still be palatable? How can art be "great" when the human taste varies so widely?

So I'm not going to say that this should be everyone's "Greatest Rock Song of All Time". Tastes vary too much for that. But I'm pretty sure there are quite a few folks that would agree with my pick, even though this song was not a hit and didn't get a ton of play. Back when U2's "One" was released, Axl Rose actually called it "The Greatest Rock-n-Roll Song of All Time". Not too many people outwardly disagreed and I think it was because it was a pretty worthy contender at the time.

So now for my pick. It pretty much sums up what being "punk rock" is all about. It's not about the music or the clothes or the makeup or hair. It's a state of mind. It's about doubting the norm and being sick of the mainstream. Clones need not apply. It's not about being poor or abused, either. The video for my pick is it's own story that has more to do with Green Day's album "American Idiot" than with my song pick itself. There's plenty of punks who's parents are still together and/or are well off. But if you listen to the song (the video has subtitles to help you out), it's pretty much from the point of view of someone who has found out that there really are no white picket fences out there for most people. They inevitably have to find their own path and live & learn the hard way.

If you've ever wondered why punks are punks, listen to this song. The whole song. It's about 9 1/2 minutes long (video has an extra 30 seconds of dialog) and has 4 parts. With most TV shows being 30 minutes long (with breaks), consider this a shorter 10-minute audio documentary. And remember, the video action is really different from the song's meaning. The song is the key.

So now I present Green Day's "Jesus of Suburbia". Enjoy:

For those interested in the video also, this version is a bit different with some more story on how St. Jimmy breaks up with his girlfriend at about the 6:10 mark:

Monday, November 2, 2009

October 2009 Results

Simply put: My post-flop play sucks right now.

It didn't used to. I used to have a tight overall game that I could tweek when I had to. But then I started to increase my pre-flop aggression and steal %. This seemed to result in my perceiving opponents playing back at me more and pulling off aggro bluffs since they don't believe me. At 50NL, I was getting 3-bet more often than usual and it led me to think they were bluffing since they thought I was bluffing first.

So I'd either get my money in bad preflop/flop OR I'd get committed on the turn. I even took off a total of 13 out of 31 days, sprinkled in between bad sessions to make sure I wasn't tilting or something. The only thing that seemed to help was moving back down to 25NL the last couple of days of the month and playing a bit more passively there.

I did win $9 at a Halloween party home game, though. So the total end result was a -$364 loss for the month.

I even tried a few FT points SnGs and sucked at those.

So I've started to play a few more SnGs this month in hopes I can work on my post-flop play more. Since tournament chips are more valuable, maybe I'll be less inclined to get committed. We'll see how it goes.