Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I wore my “Dead Guy” ball cap to the weekly pub tourney tonight. After a two-week absence, I was itching to play and looking to aggressively go at the game. Well, within reason. It is, after all a pub tourney, a freeroll, an all-in fest, a bunch of piss-poor poker players jamming with paint and naked Aces in the first two levels. Well, not all are lousy players, yet none are what would pass for above average. And I’ll throw myself into that group in that after two years in this particular game, for even though I know exactly how each of the eighteen people play and what their bet sizes in relation to hand ranges mean, I have only won a handful of times. I am not pulling the trigger like I should. My hat pumps me up a bit, or so I have been told. “Oh, bastin’s wearing his Dead Guy hat! Look out!” I was unusually boisterous one night 6 months ago and I happened to be wearing the hat, and the rep stuck, so I try not to disappoint.

I also warm up pre-game with a little loose play at Poker Academy. And in that several of the players read this blog, I let them know what I have planned for the night. Tonight, as I said my good-byes to my PA friends, I remarked that I hadn’t bathed for a couple days in order to blend in at the pub.

Oh, I know. It’s not very nice of me to say such things. And in actuality, only a few of the players have questionable hygiene. And again, some of my city slicker friends may think I have no room to talk as us country folks don’t go running to the shower every time we break a sweat. So color this kettle.

“Where have you been, bastin? You haven’t been here for two weeks.” It’s nice to be missed, but tonight I’m playing the curmudgeon (Poker Grump’s got nuthin’ on me when I put my mood to it.)

“Are we taking attendance now?” Bah humbug!

The guy to my left hasn’t been to a dentist in his adult life. What few teeth he has left are half-gone and brown. Really brown. I have Skunk on my right and he’s in some sort of low-affect stupor that I believe he believes is a way to disguise his hand strength and superior skills. Another player came to the table doing what I would determine to be the Thorazine shuffle. (I’ve worked in psychiatric hospitals, so I know it when I see it.) He repeats the same phrases over and over. “River boat Dan. River boat Dan. Wait! We’re not on the river yet!” He is referring to a kid at the table who took a hand on said street.

Dan is grilling me about hand strategies. It’s nice to be deferred to but I’m trying to play poker here! I throw him a bone with a pitch for PA, Sklansky’s T&P and the Two Plus Two site.

Blinds finally get to craps range and there are five of us left. I’m down to 4M and jam UTG with A3 off. Dan, a shorter stack than me, calls, and after some deliberation and squirming, so does the BB chip leader. Dan has AJ off and the BB has A8 off. The first card off is a 3. Sweet. The river is an 8. The BB tries to fist bump me. I HATE THE FIST BUMP. I flip him off and exclaim, “The winner doesn’t fist bump the loser! That’s worse that slow-rolling!” The table erupts into laughter.

Like any of them even know what slow-rolling means…

There, I feel much better.

Some of the above is fictionalized for effect. I did in fact say “Good game” as I put on my jacket, and then patted the BB on the shoulder.

“Night kids!”

“Night bastin.”

“See you next week!” (You can count on it.)

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