“What time do you want to have dinner?”
Dear Wife: “I think it’s going to be too hot to use the stove. Can we hold off?”
“But I already wrote on my blog that we were having the tuna tonight, and that I was blowing off the pub tourney in order to barbeque.”
“Ha! Well, I don’t want to heat up the kitchen by cooking rice (basmati). Why don’t you go on to poker. It’s going to cool off tomorrow, so we can have the tuna then.”
“Well, I better get going then.” And with that, I scurried off to the pub.
The parking lot was pretty empty, signifying a slow night and just a handful of players, 11 to be exact. May wasn’t there, nor were several other regulars. But those who did attend were diehards.
I actually caught hands, and from the get-go, I started to amass chips.
Was I on my game? I actually made a few bad calls that were crippling. A guy who calls himself “Skunk,” and who has the world’s longest mullet, went all in when a heart-laden flop came with a K. This guy pushes at the drop of a hat. He had lost a pot earlier with 92 off when he pushed on a 9. I figured much the same here and my K9 may be good. I had him covered and called. K 10.
I had to grind back up, made a wicked bluff, caught a straight and was back in the game. Skunk was to my right and limps with 3 other players to my AA. I counted up the chips on the table and raised 3 times that amount to $16000. Skunk is my only caller. No, check that, he puts me all in for my last $8K and flips over J 10 off. Thank you Skunk. I am now second in chips only to Babs.
Babs is fairly new to poker and has taken to playing several nights a week. Babs never shuts up. Because she had an early dinner, tonight it was all about how hungry she was, and what her food options would be when she got home. This preoccupation would help me later in the game. In the meantime, I made a stupid call when she raised big on the turn and I called. She had caught her boat and I was drawing dead with a pair and a str8 draw. I couldn’t put her on her hand even though the board was scary as hell.
I was once again crippled and had to fold a lot of hands that would have taken the pot. In fact, I was so beat up that I was down to only having enough for the blinds. I had to fold my BB when nothing hit. I was down to my SB with K6 off. K high held and I quadrupled. The next hand I doubled up through Babs as she was still talking about food (Maybe I can have some diet jello. It’s too late to have any real food.) and went “fuck it, I’m hungry” all in and my AQ held. And just like that, I’m heads up with the chip leader, Paula.
Paula has about three times my stack. Paula is a sweetheart. She’s also the table Mom, reminding everyone that they owe a blind, it’s their turn to act, etc. She gets mild shit about this. Her husband is dealing. Paula is not so crazy about being heads up with yours truly. Most of the players in our weekly tourney know that I can play and know the game, despite the fact that I have only won this damn thing once in the two years I have been playing.
Well, I have to say that my two-plus years at Poker Academy paid off. I set a strategy. I played very cautiously at the start, folding a couple small blinds and never raising her limps. The chip situation stayed about the same for the first ten hands. Then I started pushing. Raise with 92c, bluff a flop when she is telegraphing that she didn’t hit, and finally getting it all in with AQ against her Q9s. She went all in with her remaining chips and I called for a mere 2K and J3 off in the BB. J high wins the tourney.
I say my good-byes and walk out to the truck. It’s late. I call my dear wife to let her know I’m coming home.
“I hope you won.”
She squeals with delight. I love it when she squeals.