So Friday afternoon I get a call from Auntie Jo, inviting me to Foxwoods Saturday for a day of poker and fellowship. In keeping with my new attitude of "be less of a miserable solitary bastard," I gladly took her up on the invite. I got there uneventfully and within 5 minutes got a seat right next to Jos and Cranky at table 22. Cranky was seat 8, Jos 9, and I was seat 10, right next to the dealer.
The first dealer dealt me absolutely nothing good, and as is my wont, I told the next dealer I was expecting better things from her.
The second dealer dealt me absolutely nothing good, and as is my wont, I told the next dealer I was expecting better things from her.
See the pattern? To say I was card-dead doesn't begin to tell the tale. I didn't have anything worthy of making a move. When I was in position and conditions were right to steal, I'd get 7-2, 8-4, just absolute shite. It was a god damned miracle that I only lost about $40 of my buy-in over four hours of cash game play.
One thing that really got under my skin was when we were chatting amongst ourselves. I mentioned blogging and Josie said something like, "Oh, you're not going to do another post about stupid guns?" At which point seat 6 says, "hey, nothing stupid about guns!" So we got to chatting and he mentioned that he just picked up an M4 rifle, which I thought was the Viet Nam era M4 until he told me it was like the one he shot in Afghanistan (lots and lots of repetition of names because for the military, M just means "model," which is why there are ten M1 rifles, an M1 tank, etc. etc.). Since it's an automatic weapon I asked him if he had his Class 3 license and he said, "no, I don't ever buy my guns legally. I don't want the government knowing I have any of these."
That turned me off right away. I gave Jo an earful of this as we drove home, but there's nothing that pisses me off more than something like that. The firearms black market is the REASON there are so many anti-gun laws, why those laws make sense. Lookit: the more important the thing, the more critical it is to follow the rules associated with it. With poker, people have money on the table, in some cases their entire fortunes. The rules of poker are so rigidly adhered to because there's so much at stake. The same with guns, because despite the rhetoric, guns DO kill people - especially black-market guns. The black market of firearms is why the bodies pile up in the streets with no one left to mourn them. It is the fucking scourge of the country and if it didn't exist, legal gun owners wouldn't need to be hounded by an anti-gun lobby who all of a sudden would have nothing to do. But guys like this, who feed the fucking black-market, make the anti-gun lobby both powerful and relevant. And it makes life more difficult for those of us who follow the rules. I'm grateful that he served the country, don't get me wrong, but as a civilian he's just another fucking scumbag. And he doesn't deserve anyone's respect.
Anyway, back to poker...
As we were just about to wrap up and head to the grill in the poker room for a $9 cheeseburger (which, it must be said, my Angel Josephine paid for with points - thanks J-J-J-Josie!), Cranky earned her nickname for the first time in my experience.
She had J-J, and the board was really low, like 9 high with two diamonds. She might've bet out low, or maybe min-raised, or something, but the villiain, who had Axd, stayed in with his draw. Alas, the A came on the river, he bet out, she called, and he turned over his pretty weak-ass rivered pair.
And Cranky flipped. Well, relatively speaking. She didn't smash anything, or start screaming, or do anything that would have gotten her thrown out of the joint, she just got...cranky. But I had never seen her even come close to losing her temper. For someone who named herself Cranky she's one of the most even-tempered cats on the planet. Just not right then. She said she was leaving, and by God and sonny Jesus, she got up and left. We found her near the cashier on the way to the grill, at which time the madness had passed, as it were, and was her normal convivial self.
So we have dinner, and Josie and I head upstairs to play a $110 deep-stack tournament. We part ways with the Crankster and register. I requested to be at Jo's table and for a miracle they allowed that.
Josie started off running roughshod over the table, including me. Around the fourth hand I raised it up with 99. It was folded to Jos, who raised it to like 1/3 of our stacks. As I was contemplating shoving, thinking that she might be trying to run me down, I noticed that there was this warmth in my chest - then I realized that Josie had those Manson lamps of hers staring a hole right through me. I thought, no way is this girl bluffing with that kind of strength on her face, so I folded, and sure enough, perhaps to be kind, she turned over KK, validating my decision.
However, two hands after that I was moved to another table. But since I already had my blind in, I hesitated getting up, intending to ask the brush if I should play this hand since I was in it already. Before I could get the words out of my mouth he looks at me like this was my first time in a casino and says, "THAT means you get up and move to a different table."
Really? Thanks, boss. What would I do without you and your just delightful sense of humor, which others might find acerbic and shitty but which I find NO END of entertaining?
Anyway, I move, and limp along to the break, a few minutes before which I get moved to yet another table. Alas, Josie comes up to me having been eliminated. I don't remember the details; perhaps she can fill in.
Last hand before the next break, my luck changed for the better. Jo and Cranky were sweating me when I looked down to find QQ. I shove, being somewhat short, and get a nice triple up. And after the break, my luck and my karma both held for some time. I chipped way up and was kind of having my way.
Until, once again, I get an all-time fucking cooler.
As BB I held Q7. One caller, no raisers, I knuckle the table. Flop comes QQ2. I play it cool, so does he, check check. 5 comes on the turn. I check again, he bets out big, like 11K. I put him all in; I have him covered but not by much. I figure either he folds and I win a big pot or he calls and I win a fucking monster. To my great delight he calls.
With Q10. He had the other god damned Q and his 10 played. And I was left with maybe four BB's. A few hands later I shove with 77 and lose. GG Crafty. Again.
Could I have gotten away from that hand? I don't think so. I would never raise a stinker like Q7 with just one caller - the risk wouldn't be worth the reward. The villain had won a pot or two with second pair, and folded a few draws on the river; I had him pegged as a subpar player. I suppose I didn't have to check the flop but if I'd bet, he'd have raised and we'd have just been in one street earlier. You guys tell me: what could I have done to avoid this fate?
Anyway, I find Josie stealing the house's money at the blackjack table and we go home. She was richer by dint of Dame 21, but I was both poorer and bitterer.
Sometimes I hate this game, I really do. But it was fun chatting with Cranky and Josie, at least, and that's not so awfully bad. And Rob - you would have LOVED Josie's outfit. I had to whisper in her ear that she needed to adjust herself like three times. In hindsight, I'm wondering why the fuck I did that.