Thursday, August 18, 2005

Terry Metcalf

Unless you are an old diehard Football Cardinal fan (back in the St Louis Cardinal days), you may not of heard of Terry Metcalf. You may of heard of his son Eric Metcalf who went to the University of Texas and played with the Browns. His father, Terry, was just as exciting to watch. He was a little guy.. probably 5'9" and in the 160s; but did that guy have some moves. One game in particular that I remember watching was a play that started as sweep to the left (like many dozens of plays that he had done before) and with his speed, he would find the corner and make good yardage. Well, this particular play, the corner wasn't there, so instead of running out of bounds or pounding out a yard or two, he completely reversed his field and started the other way. The bad news was that when he got to the other sideline, it was closed off as well... so again, instead of running out of bounds or getting a yard or two, he reversed his field again. A good ending to this story would be that he found a hole (ala Marcus Allen in the Superbowl) and ran 60 yards for a touchdown. This story, unfortunately, doesn't have such an ending. After reversing his direction again and running to the other sideline, he ended up with a 1 yard gain... albeit, one of the most exciting one yard games that I have ever seen. That play always stuck with me and as it happened, I was in the Cardinal locker room a few weeks later. Joe Gibbs (now the Redskins coach) was the offensive cooridinator for the Cards at the time and also a friend of the family as we both went to the same small church in West St Louis County. Anyways, I went up to Terry Metcalf to get an autograph on a football card that I had of his (I was about 12 years old at the time) and asked him about the play. I told him how much I enjoyed that play and I asked him how he felt afterwards.. was he tired? He took what seemed at the time a while to answer and in full and eager anticipation I listened. "Yes", he exclaimed and that was the end of it. He signed my card and went and did a TV interview. Also, during that visit to the locker room, myself and a friend went up to the then Head Coach, Don Coryell, and asked him why he never had a smile on face while at their coaching. He proceeded to tell us that there wasn't much to smile about when out there on the field... and again, that was the end of that. I was always taken back by that comment.. How can football not be fun?.. It's football, for crying out loud.

Anyway, where is this going? This year of poker playing has brought back old memories of these two boyhood idols of mine. Here lately, I have 2 or 3 good sessions only to reverse my field and have a whopping bad session that erases the gain to only 1 anemic yard. And after all that playing, it just makes me tired... I can almost bet dollars to donuts that I don't have a smile on my face anymore while I'm playing. How can I not be smiling? It's poker for crying out loud. When I first starting playing, it was so enjoyable. I wasn't in it for the money.. I just wanted to play... and I loved it. The good news/bad news story is that I was moderately successful in my first year. Wow, I'm thinking, maybe I can actually make some money at this.... so there started the Grind.. This is about December of last year... where I started playing limit poker... why??? because that is what you do (I thought)... If you want to prove your stripes in poker, you need to learn the theory and be able to best other poker players at the limit tables.. at least here you won't have the huge swings that bigger time NL would bring. Well, after making $750 in three days to then give back $500 the next day is just mind boggling and it is making me tired. Before, I didn't know any better and expected to lose... I didn't know I was getting sucked out on 2 outers (unless I had premo, premo hands); but now knowing what I know, it makes me (quoting ScurvyDog) throw up in the mouth a little.

So again, what is the take away from here... and here are the things that I will thinking about the rest of the month. Maybe I do need to get back to NL as that it where my success has been.. especially on the tourney side. I definetly see more Single table and multi table tournaments in my future. Do I actually move up in limits as was a possible suggestion? I just don't know.

On the bright side, I am really enjoying the HU Challenge and hope that we do it again soon as I am all but eliminated this time around. I had a great match with DNasty that lasted a very, very long time. I never did look at the hands count; but it had to be up there. I had him all but out; but then got over aggressive with a KJs that never hit... and the rest was downhill from there. Good Game D.

I then played Mr High On Poker himself and also had a good match that ended very badly for him. I probably had him out chipped a little at this point when I picked up the rockets... The flop came something like 3A3... a little bit a betting going back and forth and on the river we ended up getting all our chips in... and as he was calling, he something like "bad timing"..... I turn over rockets.... and then he said "FOR ME".... as he turned over A3. Bad beat there brother.


GaryC said...

Nice write-up, Will.

I'm old enough to remember Terry and Eric Metcalf. Barry Sanders always reminded me of Terry Metcalf, I guess he was alot better at it than Terry was, though.

I don't know what challenge Jordan has in mind next, but I'm in. I've enjoyed meeting and playing poker with all the bloggers. My wife calls them my new on-line buddies. She's beginning to remind me of my mother.


ScurvyDog said...

I don't think switching to NL or MTTs or SnGs will exorcise the demons that mention, as far as the struggle to have fun playing when one bad session can wipe out a week of hard work. I can't even say moving up in limits helps, as in some ways it just magnifies the swings, both good and bad.

I still struggle with making peace with the randomness of poker results. The only other equivalent competitive hobby I've pursued to the same extent is chess, which in some ways is the absolute worst game to play before migrating to poker. They seem similar in many ways (and are), but your toughest opponent in chess is yourself, which you can defeat with enough hard work and study. Your toughest opponent in poker is sheer randomness, which is always going to occasionally kick your ass, no matter what you do.

All I try to do is to control the things I can control, as far as poker these days. Losing isn't fun, and it shouldn't be fun, so I just try to find something to take away even from the junk kicking sessions, even if it's something as simple as turning off the computer and not chasing losses. I think the sad reality is that poker inevitably gets less consistently "fun" the better you get and the higher you play, and I'm not sure there's much to do about that.

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