Lady Luck Likes Me Fat and Drunk
Unlucky in love, lucky in cards, so goes the saying. And if you're unlucky in both, well, you just have to suck it up, buttercup. You can't get lucky all the time. Unless you're me, and you're me at the bar I go to after volleyball Monday nights. We go to the North Park Clubhouse to drink cheap Rolling Rock and eat fried food in a variety of shapes (disks, knobs, sticks, planks) to either celebrate our wins or, more likely, ease the pain of defeat. We sit down, Ricki comes over with cups teeming with suds, and all is good in the world.
At the start of the season you're given a card, and every time you attend it gets stamped. As time goes by you win prizes (T-shirts, glasses, gift cards) so, in a way, going there week after week isn't just about the drinking and gorging--it's an investement. I wonder if I can write off the depreciation of my life expectancy on my taxes...something to look into.
Everyone in the bar also gets a raffle ticket, and at halftime they announce the winner of a $50 gift card. For some reason, last season everyone on my team gave me their tickets to hold, maybe they couldn't be trusted to drink AND maintain control over a 1x2 inch slip of paper. Anyway, last year I think I won three times. It got to be something of a joke, the other volleyball teams were crowded around their tables, dispatching wings and beers, and here I go again trapising up to the bar to collect my prize. Maybe we didn't win the championship last year, but we very nearly turned a profit.
I didn't win last week, and felt slightly cheated. Don't they know who I AM? Well, of course they do, I shouldn't be so modest. The called out the number, I went down the line of tickets in my hand...yup, won again. Another fifty smackers. And when you think that beers Monday night are a buck during the game, that little plastic card means that me and my team will be nicely drunk next week, no matter how we do on the court.
Unless...unless I just blow them off and go there for dinner tonight, all by myself. Yeah, I can see that, me sitting in one of the cozy little booths off to the side, a nice quiet spot for a couple to nibble and whisper sweet nothings, except that I'd be there all by myself, just me and a menu and an appetite. "I gotta eat me fifty dollars worth," I'll say, slapping the card down on the table. "Get that oil hot and keep it hot. 'Cause I had a hungry day."
Nah, gluttony isn't my thing anymore. Not that I don't like the odd gorging episode, my stars, but I can't pack it away like I used to. Plus I'd like to lose about 60-100 pounds so I can actually see my fucking BMI score on the chart they keep in my doctor's office. Now, there's no goddam way I'm ever weighing 175 pounds again, short of some double-amputation. My last doctor was pretty cool about it, he told me to lose 25-30 pounds, but the idea of me getting down to 175 was, in his words, "a bit silly".
The bar I mentioned holds free Hold-Em tournaments every Wednesday night, been thinking of popping over there some night and see what its like. I was told that they get around 9-10 tables, one tournament starting at 6:30, the last at 9:30. It's part of that National Pub Poker Tour thingy, which means it's depressingly legal (no cash to be had) but, as Nick the Greek once said, "It's action, ain't it". Well, actually, no, it ain't. But what the hell. Plus Ricki said if you order dinner you get more chips. I could use that gift card to start with a freakish stack and run over the table. Nah, don't think I could eat that much.
There was a crackdown on charity poker tournaments here in Pittsburgh six or so months ago, but from the emails I've been getting they're still being held all over the place, just as many as before. And I've gotten emails from readers and from groups who I guess came across my blog telling me of cash games and tournaments and home games all over the area. And not penny-ante either, some mid-limit games, some non-tiddly no-limit. I'd actually like to start going to a few, but to write about, not to play in. Not at first, anyway, as my bankroll is at the moment only in theoretical form, but I'm working on a variety of writing projects and it'd be good research. Hey, if any of my local readers would like to be immortalized in print (names, places and faces discreetly disguised, of course) let me know. Just don't expect me to start playing $30/$60 when my most recent poker win involved me check-raising a guy over a platter of nachos. I need to get up to speed.