I'm in Jacksonville this week to audit a corporate client, and yesterday I was treated to something I just don't see in California: a thunderstorm. Now practically every summer afternoon in Florida there's at least the threat of a thundershower, but in Southern California they're few and far between. Yesterday's storm was, according to my client, the strongest in a year or two.
One of the skills of a winning poker player is patience. In cash games if you play maniacally you usually end up losing. In tournaments, though, sometimes patience must take a back seat to naked aggression.
Today I was in the cardroom with two of my friends. We were all seated in different games. Coincidentally, at about the same time we each independently came to the same conclusion to get up from our games.
There are days when all of us need a laugh. We're working hard, trying to make it through to the end of the day, and it's just one fire after another. That's what early April is like for a tax accountant.
Luckily for me my good friend Aaron was able to relay one of Mrs. Goldman's latest adventures. Mrs. Goldman doesn't need any rhyme or reason for her actions. And this one was a doozy.
Two clients came into my office recently, call them John and Jane Lucky. John is a professional gambler; his wife Jane owns her own business.
"Well, John," I began, "I see that you made $125,000 this year. Aren't you glad that under the Online Gambling Legalization Act of 2010 your business is treated just like any other, and you can take the net operating loss you had in 2009-the first time you had lost money-and can apply that against your 2010 income? That's going to save you a lot of money on your tax bill.
Scott was playing in a no-limit hold 'em tournament and had made the final table. Like most tournaments, the real money comes from finishing in one of the top three places. With seven players left Scott was languishing in seventh place.
I was playing in an online no-limit hold 'em tournament with re-buys when I was dealt Js-Jc in the big blind. It was fairly early in the tournament, and the blinds were $30-$60. I had about $3,300 in my stack. A middle position player raised to $150. Everyone folded to me and I re-raised to $450. He moved all-in and had me covered.
Sometimes it's not the action that's taken that you must be concerned with-it's what hasn't happened. I recently watched my friend Todd play such a hand.
Todd was playing in a $2-$5 blinds no-limit Hold 'em game and had built his stack up to $1,500. Two middle-position players limped. Todd looked down at 8c-7c from the cutoff and raised to $35. Both blinds and one of the limpers called.
As my friends know, I'm a big Mel Brooks fan. Mel Brooks' parody of the Robin Hood legend was cancelled after just 13 episodes...alas. When my friend Karl called me about some tournament hands he had just played and told me that "... things were rotten" I started to laugh. Apparently Karl isn't a Mel Brooks fan.
I've been playing poker competitively for ten years, and I've seen mistakes big and small. Everyone makes mistakes. I've seen them made by amateurs and professionals alike. The difference is that professionals tend to make fewer and they usually don't cost as much.