Three steps forward, one step back

Tuesday, December 30th, 2003, 5:18 pm

After my big weekend I had a feeling I woudn’t do so well the next time I played, and that bore out. I started off OK, going up around five bucks, but then I had to deal with my new kitten (imagine an adorable Cuisinart with legs) who was mixing it up with my 2 big cats. I had to leave my table and the next one I joined was noticably tougher. Lots of pre-flop raising, not as many callers…fish, perhaps, but the quicksilver, toothy kind. I was looking for the thick-bellied bigmouth bass type, so I switched tables.

I just got a bit unlucky is all. I did my check-raise thing twice and won twice (God, I love doing that). But I took two big hits that put me in the red. I had KQh, and caught the third heart on the turn. I raised up the pot and had two callers, but a fourth heart showed on the river and I ended up looking at the ace at the showdown. The hand that really screwed me came soon after. I had the A-6 of clubs, and the flop came 9-9-9-. No one bet the flop, and the fact that I had an ace meant that if no one paired I might win just with that. But a six came on the turn, giving me the full house. I bet and couldn’t scare anyone out. I got scared when a queen came on the river. It was checked around to me, I bet, and this time I was re-raised. Well, if this turkey though he was stealing MY pot he was outta his freakin’ mind.

It wasn’t a steal, of course. He had the queen. After that I think I folded about 30 consecutive hands, the best being J-7 offsuit. I was getting groggy and lost another pot at the showdown when my kings were beaten by trip 7s. I went to bed eight bucks cheaper. But considering how lousy my cards were I couldn’t be too disappointed.

Coming soon (maybe tonight), an essay on Phil Hellmuth. I’m gonna try to get away from merely reporting on my own play and get more into poker essays and reportage. Like on tonight’s Celebrity Poker, if it’s a new one. God, someone call the cops, the real Phil Gordon has been kidnapped and an automaton has taken his place. Buy him a Rusty Nail or something.

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