Taking My Meds; or, A Little Success Cures All Ills

Sunday, February 20th, 2005, 11:28 pm

After my cri de coeur (or is it cri du coeur?) last night I resolved to shut my yap and stop whining about losing at poker. There are bigger problems in the world (gee, you think?) and the fact that I have a hobby that I apparently SUCK at is no reason to flip out in public.

So after a good night’s sleep…actually, I didn’t sleep well. Went to bed at 3AM, slept till 11, had bad dreams all night and woke up feeling as bad as I have since I got sick. Too sick even to go over my friend Frank’s house to watch the Daytona 500. Instead I sat down and cranked out my next article, which made me feel a lot better. Then I watched Jeff Gordon hold off Dale Jr. to win the race, which made me feel even better because I like the idea of 500,000 people spending all day watching a sporting event and going home hugely pissed off. My wife made kielbasa and saurkraut and mashed potatoes and it was all so insanely good I almost felt better. And so I felt emotionally equipped to sit down and play some poker.

Moved my money to Stars and played a 2-table SNG. And won the damn thing. I go 0 for about 28, and then I run out and win one. And a close run thing it was–I never had chips really until we got 4-handed, and I had to watch the shortstacks go all-in and survive like 5 times in a row. At one point I had $2500, one guy had $1000, and another had $200…and the two short guys went loco and built their stacks up above mine.

I waited to bubble out again and in my mind I was inventoring all the sharp knives in the house, when I won the (substantial) blinds 3 hands in a row with 99, QQ, and AJ. I’d folded about 98.9% of my hands at the final table so when I raised I got respect. Suddenly I had chips, and suddenly we lost a player and I was in the money. True, I only had $2200 compared to three guys with about $8000, but I was in the freakin’ money.

Not once did I go all-in without holding the best hand, and not once did my hand not hold up. I had AA beat AQ to knock a guy out, had AQ beat K-10, and when it got to heads up the chip split was 50-50. Which didn’t last long because the guy I was playing against inexplicably turtled on me. All night he’d been raising, raising, and re-raising, to the point where I folded some iffy hands knowing I’d have to commit if he played back at me. And yet heads up he lost his moxie. I bet out after the flop like 4 hands in a row to gobble up pots, and once I had the chip lead I just beat him down to the felt. I ended up making a nice call with middle pair when he went all-in with pocket 8s (well, I thought it was a nice call) and lo and behold I won.

So I’m not totally incompetent. Just mostly.

Watching the WPT “Hollywood Home Game” and just saw Wil Wheaton get knocked out. I still don’t know why the hell they don’t have Evelyn Ng (or anyone else) deal for them. I cannot fathom why, in this one instance, they insist of having the players deal for themselves. Someone should’ve probably explained to Andrea Parker that calling an all-in bet with 4th pair isn’t such a great idea.

Man, this flu has really taken the wind out of my sails. I’m glad I at least got an article done, at least that gives me something to chalk up in the “plus” column for this long weekend. I’ll let y’all know when they post.

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