Friday, March 07, 2008

Avoiding Becoming “Ring Sour” (& Some Friday Funnies)

This week Vera Valmore asked me that question all poker players -- especially those of us marooned in non-pokery environs -- love love love to be asked:

“Do you think you might like to go to Vegas this summer?”

Didn’t take long to reply.

It could happen. This might be the summer I finally make it to a World Series of Poker. We’d probably shoot for a 4-5 day excursion, I’d imagine. Gotta look over the calendar and see what might work.

We’ve been to Vegas a few times before, more than once to see the Fédération Équestre Internationale World Cup which happens in Vegas every other year. As I’ve said here a few times, Vera rides dressage, which is one of the areas of competition featured in the FEI World Cup (along with jumping, eventing, and driving).

Speaking of dressage, Vera mentioned to me the other day something about a phenomenon occasionally affecting horses in which they become what is called “ring sour.” When I asked Vera what that exactly meant, she explained that such a horse has begun to express signs of being discontent with its routine -- specifically with regard to training for shows, being used for lessons, and other activities that take place inside the ring. The horse becomes increasingly less manageable and often simply needs a break from the customary pattern (e.g., getting turned out to roam freely for an extended period). That old bromide about how “you can lead a horse to water” comes to mind here . . . .

It is tempting to apply the term “ring sour” to poker, although to do so probably glosses over the precise meaning of the concept. I’m sure most players have experienced this feeling of boredom or restlessness, particularly if they find themselves playing the same game at the same stakes (and perhaps with the same opponents) day in and day out. I know I did during that long stretch of nothing but limit Hold ’em that characterized the first year or so of this blog. Then I moved over to PLO and more recently have been playing the mixed games, all of which has helped prevent me from becoming “ring sour.”

I suppose the idea could be applied even more broadly to the cash game-vs.-tourney distinction. I don’t play many tourneys, and so even though I’m playing a variety of games at the cash tables, I could see becoming weary of the non-conclusive nature of the perpetual ring game. Another good reason to go play Saturdays with Pauly tomorrow. (And I invite you along.)

Will definitely let you know if & when a WSOP trip falls into place. (Indeed, just the idea of it is enough to stave off any feelings of being “ring sour.”)

Meanwhile, if for some reason you’ve been feeling sour lately, let me point you to a few Two Plus Two threads that will help brighten your mood. (And no, there ain’t no Hawbakerian applesauce happenin’ in any of these whatsoever, as far as I know.)

This first is a thread that started last month called PA calls Jman "worlds biggest nit" jman220/Edit: Will The Cat Make The Jump? I think I remember the guys on the Two Plus Two Pokercast refer to this one. Lotsa funnies here, but for my money, post #45 gets the prize for truly inspired absurdist wit. (As is the case with all of these, do read from the beginning for the full effect.)

Then check out this seemingly sincere suggestion from a new poster to Eliminate Sunday Million that didn’t take very long to veer headlong into unchecked lunacy.

Finally, this one began yesterday afternoon and appears as though it may have some potential: FTP Avatar as a tell.

Have a good weekend, all.

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Blogger Ignatious said...

wait a sec - vera does dressage?

my wife rides and trains dressage. full-time.

how very odd.

3/11/2008 11:10 AM  

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