It wasn’t the promise of prime rib smoked and cooked to perfection on the Traeger grill. Nor was it University of Oregon versus Ohio State on the forty-some-inch HDTV. R has a pretty nice set up with both appliances, but I have never been a fan of bloody meat or one to care much when it comes to football. In fact, it wasn’t a promise at all that found me to R’s all-day poker event today, but the prospect that I might have repeat performance of last Saturday’s game. Oh, and the camaraderie.
I had been looking forward to this day since the beginning of November. It’s a festive day at R’s, and many of the regulars from the home game make an attempt to be there. I believe he had twenty people attend last year. This year we started off with six.
The low turnout was good news for me, because it meant there would not be a tournament, at least not until more people showed up after the Rose Bowl. We would be playing a cash game for a few hours. Yummy. (Speaking of yummy, for the record, I brought a big salad to share with the group, chock full of baby greens, carrots, radishes and green onions. It was superb, if I do say so myself. The salad and a baked potato suited me fine.)
We started the poker game at a table rather far away from the TV, which was okay with the group because the football game had not yet started. We broke for dinner just before the game was to begin, and watched the opening minutes with plates on our laps. After eating, we took seats at the table right in front of the TV, and it was determined we should maintain the seating arrangement we had pre-game. This put me directly in front of the TV, my back to it, more or less, but with my right ear, my good ear, bombarded with the rather loud audio. Not the best set-up. Yet, since I was the person least interested in the game, it was probably best that I had that seat.
As one might expect, the football game slowed the poker. Not that it mattered for me, for just as it had been at the first table, I remained solidly card dead, and blinded away more than half of my stack over the first four hours. I shit you not. No, I shit you a little. I played one hand and my Ace was out-kicked. I bought in for $80 (.50/1.00), and had dropped down to $32.50. Sheesh. I started mulling over whether I should reload or call it a day.
R’s girlfriend, G, was the dealer, and announced that we would be playing Crazy Pineapple. Dealt three cards, we would decide which one of the three we should throw away after the flop. I was dealt AA6. Now, preflop it is typically a family pot in Crazy Pineapple. This hand was no exception, and from middle position, I chose to limp with the rest. The board was harmless enough, so I bet the pot on the flop, and only Fuck Phil called. The turn was a blank and I took the eleven dollar pot.
Almost a complete orbit later, R says he wants to try O8. I was in the CO with the not-so-promising 8s8hJhKd, yet with another limped family pot, I was in. The flop was 7 9 T rainbow. Nice. It checked around to Santa who bet $2. PF raised to $6, and, of course, I jammed my $37 into the middle.
I need to back up for a minute. When I first walked in the door today, FP greeted me with a raised middle finger. “Well,” I said, “Happy New Year to you too.”
“It took me two hours to win back my money after you left last Saturday.” He was still smarting from the big Omaha hand, poor thing. And now, in O8 I have re-raised him all-in. (Santa hemmed and hawed but eventually folded.) “I’m calling just to see if I can suck out.” He was drawing to and hit a lower straight than my made straight. Yummy. And I was almost even again.
Just for FP, I announced, “I’m going to deal Omaha every time I get the deal for the rest of the night.”
I received another middle finger, and FP retorted, “Then I will sit out. It’s a stupid game.”
The deal never got around to me again, as more people showed up and folks were itching to start a tourney. I did, however, get to limp with 78c from UTG+1 just before the game shut down. Yes, they did get there, and in the last half hour of play, I ended up $10 for the day. Not bad (better than the Ducks), even if I did lose a little hearing in my good ear.