Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mark Making

Home game night. It’s a full moon, I’m wearing my Dead Guy hat and I’ve brought a 24-ounce bottle of the ale with the same name.

As I don’t particularly care to play in the tourney, I came late, just for the cash game. Right away I could tell something was amiss. R, the guy who holds the game, has a new girlfriend. He’s been dating a couple different women. This one was in the bedroom watching TV. I think folks thought their game might be in jeopardy as there was some rumbling about her moving in already. R was smiling the smile of a man getting steady trim, so who am I to judge? If the gig works out and we have to move the game out to the workshop, so be it. Nothing a propane heater can’t take care of when the weather turns. If it doesn’t work out, maybe R will be dead money for a couple weeks. It could happen.

Enough people had busted out of the tourney so we started a 5-handed game in fairly short order. The edge remained. Even M, the jokester was in a mood, and taking it out on T.

We usually play .50/1.00. T insisted that we play .25/.50, Ok, we’ll play .25/.50. T is one of those people you want in a game. He always thinks he has the best hand when nothing could be further from the truth. Top pair or 2 pair (not 2 cards in his hand pairing on the board, but a pocket pair and the board pairs) and he thinks he’s got it tied up. He lost his buy-in in short order. The problem is that when he loses, he gets agitated; and I guess because he’s a big guy, he thinks that if he threatens bodily harm, people will back off of hands. After M takes down a pot with trips against T’s monster bottom 2 pair, the sparring ensues.

“Do that again and I’m gonna come over there and knock the shit outa you.” Yes, the audacity of having a better hand.

M is no small guy, yet he’s considerably older. He says, “I don’t have to go 2 hours with you. It won’t take long at all.”

T retorts, “Are you still talking?”

M fires back, “Why don’t you go piss on some tires, something you’re good at.”

I’m dying as I try to hold back my laughter. Such an oaf.

T wasn’t the only person at the table who was getting under M’s skin. W was there. W is a youngish Asian guy who talks a lot of poker smack. I know W from the casino. He’s a rather affable guy, if a bit superficial. Make that gregarious, and he likes being the center of attention. He never shuts up. He was sitting to my right, which is a good thing as far as the cards go, which I’ll explain in a bit, but it is also a bad thing because he had my ear. My good ear. I’m trying to concentrate on the game and he’s talking to me at a volume just loud enough to for me to barely hear. I’m his confidant?

“Last hand I had flat tire. I woulda won”

I have no clue what he is talking about. “A what?”

“A flat tire.” He asks with some incredulity, “You never hear of flat tire?”


“Jack-four. If you get a flat tire, what is jack for?”

“Ah. Unfortunately I am not caught up on all of the poker jargon. I tend to disregard such as ephemeral, opting to concentrate on what is going on in each hand.” Really, I phrased it pretty much like that.


“Do you know what “ephemeral” means?”


“It means transitory or lacking endurance or longevity. This too shall pass. Maybe I should have said superfluous.”

After that, he toned the chit-chat down a bit. Yet, the table was still a captive audience, or so he thought. W is pure LAG and everyone knows this. J2 is his favorite hand. “Jack-deuce, never lose.” Say that at the casino and everyone says, “You know W, eh.” W leads out with $6 after a couple limps, everyone folds ad he shows a pair of sixes. “Six dollar for pair of sixes, right? I have best hand.” Wrong table, W. These guys don’t always back down, and they will pack like wolves. How much did W lose? $100 or so. Tons for a ,25/.50 game. After he left, R says, “And you guys were bitching and moaning when I told you W would be here.” He does liven up a game.

But with W out of the picture, I shall continue to paint the portrait of T. He’s tatted up pretty good with a nice Ace of Spades on his tricep, Harley verbiage with “fidelity” and other such bullshit, on one shoulder (he’s wearing a wife-beater) and on the other some busy red and blue images I didn’t bother examining too closely. It may have had an eagle in it. Of course. R, Sirius was programmed to a 80s station and T insisted he change it to a classic rock station, which according to T is something along the lines of Def Leppard. (I had to google to make sure I had the correct spelling.) R caught a jazz station while searching and I suggested he hang with that for a while. It was some 50s Miles. A great groove with some amazing minimal harmonies. You never saw a bunch of guys squirm so much. The shit was kickin’ but these shit-kickers weren’t catching it. I came right out with it: “You’re just a bunch of fuckin’ heathens! That’s what it is.”

T starts screaming, “I’m gonna kill myself if we have to listen to this crap.” P chimes in, “I’m gonna kill you (T) if I have to listen to this.” R finds the Motley channel and T calms down. “Hey, I recognize this song.” I repeat: “Fuckin’ heathen. So narrowly defined, confined to your little square box.” I was pushing it and wasn’t so sure that anyone would have my back, or that I could get my knife out of my pocket in a timely manner, so I toned it down after that and went back to waiting for my turn at T’s reload.

I wish I could say it came. I turned a straight on the button and minimized my risk with 4 people still in the pot. T caught a river flush and made it abundantly clear he had done so. Good job, nice hand.

It was getting late and I had told my dear wife that I would pull the plug at 2 AM. A few hands later I caught a set of sixes after calling a 3-bet that turned into a family pot. I bet the pot and called it a night, up $15 from my initial $60. Nothing stellar, but hell, I got a blog entry out of it.


Cardgrrl said...

Any night that shows a 25% ROI is not to be sneezed at, bro!

PAPro_SandMan said...

Hairy barbarians.

I once worked with a smug individual of half-English, half-Scotch heritage who sneared at we vile Americans drinking ale directly from the bottle. Anyone caught in this heinous act was forever hence labeled "hairy barbarian". An obnoxious man, far too British for my tastes, but the title stuck and I have now claimed it for my own usage.

I'm surprised such a group continues to assemble. Sounds like the tension can run fairly high if those threats were made as anything more than jest.

In any case, well done limiting your losses. This sounds like very much like a group that would get under my skin enough to put me on tilt. I've lost many stacks to crap poker players for exactly that reason, sad to say.

Forrest Gump said...

Hey Sandy, I happen to be half english, half scottish and half irish.

I'm also not very good at math.


PAPro_SandMan said...

Yes, my comments could be misconstrued... I could as easily label certain people "too American for my tastes", even though I am born and raised a Yankee myself. It's not so much a label of citizenship as a collection of typical, often undesirable attributes common to a given culture.