The Fat Lady Holds Her Tongue
The other day I threatened you people with a 5000-word monster post. I had a few things to write about, and some weird coincidences to tie them all together. Then I got sleepy and deep-sixed the idea. But what nearly moved me to write was getting knocked out of the tournament at the bar the other night. It was no big deal, a bad beat, they happen. But I really didn't have fun while I was playing. Part of this I chalked up to being exhausted, but I started to seriously think about giving up poker. Oh, I don't mean never playing again, with friends and family and whatnot. But no longer playing and/or thinking about it "seriously".
Not that I've played much (if any) "serious" poker in the last year. But as I left the bar and walked to my car I thought about it. All the strategy guides I have, all those books I've read, the stuff I've written...maybe it's time to move on to another hobby/obsession. I spend a lot of time thinking about poker because I write about it so much, maybe I should remove one part of the equasion and see what happens.
To be sure, I write about other stuff here as well, because I don't think you want to hear about the heads-up matches I have with my cats (Bert is by far the best feline Hold-Em player I've ever seen, ferociously aggressive). I drove home and decided not to decide anything. I was, after all, really beat.
Get up the next morning, go to work, check the email at lunch, and found a message from Party Poker that they'd stuck a few bucks in my account to lure me back into the fold. I only have to play 9,700 raked hands or so before I cash out, but I appreciated the sentiment. I felt a slight fillip of anticipation when I read the email, like when you're sitting in a restaurant and you see your waiter, burdened down with plates, heading straight for your table.
Got home, threw some laundry on so I wouldn't have to play volleyball in chinos, and downloaded Party's latest update. Of course the news is that you can now play blackjack there and also make side bets on what color the flop will come. Somehow I feel this is a bad move on their part, though at the moment I'm not able to properly explain why. Perhaps later.
Went to volleyball, went to the bar, came home feeling pretty awful. On the way home I came so close to hitting a deer I could see Bambi's tongue sticking out through his mouth. Why do so many of God's creatures want to run out in front of my car. Anyway, I thought I'd check to see if the download worked, and if it'd actually run on my computer. It did, and it does. OK, maybe I'll go see if the table graphics have changed. It seems to me that they have, slightly, since I played there last. Oh, there's an empty seat? Maybe I'll sit down for a few hands before bedtime. What the hell.
I sit, fold 10-4 two hands in a row. It's nice, hearing that "thfft-thfft-thfft" sound again as the cards are dealt and the clink of chips. I'm dealt a queen, and then another queen. It's folded around to me and I raise. One caller. Flop comes ten-high, I bet, the guy folds. I win the pot. The CONGRATULATIONS! sign pops up and I hear fireworks explode in my ear.
AND IT FEEEEELS GOOOOOOOD.
A few hands later I'm dealt queens again. I re-raise a guy, he calls, flop comes king-high, but I bet out. He folds. HE FOLDS. I win another pot. Yowza.
I'm dealt pocket sevens, and raise. I'm heads-up with a guy who has 5 times as much money as anyone else at the table, though there are two players ripping him for his terrible play. I'm disappointed to see fools who still tap the walls of the aquarium--don't they read my column? The flop is ragged, but with two overcards. He checks, I bet, he calls. Another overcard on the turn, and there are now 3 hearts out there. He checks, I bet, he calls. Last card is another heart. He checks, and I check, figuring he's going to call no matter what. He has K-4, no heart, no pair. I win another pot.
And that's when I bailed, a quick hit and run job. With my wafer-thin
bankroll I needed a nice start like this. Hey, when I started playing about 2 years ago I started out with not much more money than this, and I built it into the vast Mean Gene multimedia empire. It felt good to play poker again. It felt good to win a pot. It felt good to fold
, for God's sake. I had fun. As Chau Giang said last year during the WSOP (while, it seemed, rubbing his nipples), "Poker is nice...I love play poker".
Oh, by the way, I do realize that this post GUARANTEES that the next time I play I'm going to be metaphorically tied spread-eagle while Lady Luck kicks me in the junk. I'm down with that. Mean Gene can take it. Well, so long as it stays metaphorical.