The [bl]og of Poker
The Spanish Inquisition
Not anticipating her well-reasoned inquiries, I field her precise questions with vague answers, and her vague questions with precise answers. Trained it seemed at the Mossad school of Bullshit Detection, SuperGirl fails my attempts to placate her. Were it late in the 1400's, I'd say 3:2 SuperGirl de Torquemada takes pity on me (after all, I would have had exception oral hygiene for the middle ages) and spares me the Judas Chair.
Her points are annoyingly sharp. To summarize, how can I justify spending all day sitting on my ass, relying heavily on a consistent melange of adequate luck, bad players and a constant clarity of thought, all to earn less money than I do now without having to count on anything except my Zen alarm clock.
At my current job, clarity of thought is only required sporadically, and is more often times than not, deferrable! In poker, any mental lapse even out of a hand is irreparable. In my current role in the I.T. field, I have a myriad of excuses on which I can rely for productivity issues (lack thereof): colleague inadequacy, technology failures, management misdirection, my dog ate my thumb drive, etc.
In poker, no excuses except those horribly embarrassing ones that imply the incorrect play of others. There's always the "bad run of cards" mantra which has an inherent benefit of 1) having 'indefinite" time frame undertones associated with it, and 2) everyone can easily relate to being handed junk after junk for extended periods of time; however, there's a real fine line between "bad run" and "bad play", and I'm not sure too many players can make that distinction honestly.
Unable to address this argument without ample reflection, I try to move laterally in the discussion and convince SuperGirl that over the course of time, good and back luck will cancel one another out, leaving good or bad play to fight for the spoils. SuperGirl, whose experience in statistical analysis is limited to figuring out the quickest way to straighten her hair, suggests that though good and bad luck will cancel each other out, they'll do so only over the course of infinite (which she says using some kind of heretic mannerism) and that there's nothing to say or help predict that 25 years won't pass by with or without an ounce of "good" luck.
I'm overwhelmed by this logic. Not knowing what else to say, I utter one of those few collection of words one should keep securely vaulted right next to the masturbation schedule: "Why don't you come and watch me play?" ...
Next installment: Pandora's Box.
I've been less than faithful to this exercise since it's clear NONE OF YOU FIND ME OR MY WIT TERRIBLY INTERESTING!! If I could figure out how to link-up all poker related blogs to mine, I think I'd get some traffic. No one has read my posts but me. So, given this audience, I will not feel too bad about writing less frequently.
Now. Back to the casino -- equipped with five 100$ bills per the 'don't-change-a-thing' axiom, I wait at an empty table waiting my lot at the 10/20 H/E game. I grab a copy of CardPlayer and passively read about another young man's series of conquests on the tournament trail. Truly inspiring. I see that he is fairly spiritual. I will revisit this later as perhaps it is an underrated weapon in the Poker player's arsenal (after all, who better an ally than God would you like by your side heading all in down the River?).
My initials aren't exactly of the flattering variety, so upon hearing them, I quickly seek out seat#1 at the table to which I am dispatched. Standard fair of locals, knee high in either Wonton soup, or some variation of rice stir-fry. I'm waiting for the chip-guy when suddenly, Mr. VC in seat #3 and proud papa of at least $1000 in reds offers me a few black chips for three of my $100 bills. Oh man. I have but two superstitions at a poker table: First, never accept a seat-change at the same table no matter how good or bad things are going, and second, never buy another player's chips regardless of how many chips he has before him.
Having lost the nerve of my youth, I cannot tell Mr. VC to take his infected chips and invest them into a colonoscopy; furthermore, because I want to project a lamb chop, compliant-like table image and show nary an ounce of defiance, I effectively pawn my soul, accepting the bate of checks. What follows immediately is a sharp nauseating pinch, something that I imagine a full blown outbreak of e-coli to feel like, the moment I take possession of the contaminated checks.
I spend the next 8 hours going up and down with that dreadful $300 I accepted from the Keeper of the
Each time I went close to having to go all-in, I'd win a pot -- enough to perpetuate my constant receipt of 2nd best hands. Each time I threatened to crack the break-even barrier, I'd lose to the best hands in the entire fucking universe ... often courtesy of the Anti-Christ himself.
I thought I played alright, but if your hands don't show-down a winner from time to time, you are relegated ultimately to fish status. Just when I thought "it could be worse" and in for my whole stash, I get pot committed with two pair, and get whacked by a small set. I take out my last two $100 bills, but this time, I tell the dealer that I'm going to get chips from the cage. Before he has time to tell me that I need not get up, I am at the confessional, exorcising myself of VC's ill-will, and cleansing my cash and my soul in exchange for two humble stacks of low-society. And here's why I believe it:
The very first hand I'm dealt after 8 hours of toiling with the revolting sewage that is the excrement of someone else's bad mojo, is pocket Kings in medium position. I re-raise, and of course it gets capped due to a heightened perceived sense of my tilting over having been branded a loser for the last 8 hours and having to just re-buy chips.
Flop comes Ks-Kh-does it matter? I check-raise my stack all in and win a monster pot. Just a few hours later, I'm $350 in the clear, and VC looks like he's about ready to face the Vicar of Christ and go home about even by my guess, losing most of his wickedness and surplus chips to the sobering reality of statistical correction.
I lose $150 or so back to the field playing a bit 2Fast2Furious and decide that I will go home happy to have turned a profit (small as it may be), and successful defender of all that is holy and right.
As I go home, I do the math and see that I made 200$ tax free, inclusive of a confessional, hot & sour soup, tips, magazines, live Conclave coverage and free local calls. I then realize that 18$/HR is in fact fucking grind of a gig when it excludes health insurance, life insurance, accidental death or dismemberment, 401K, or vacation.
Important to note...not once was there a meeting, stupid email threads to delete, annoying colleagues looking for a fresh ass to kiss or a clock to watch down to 5PM.
The return of the Bankroll
I took her to SnootyVille where we traded $450 for what I mistook for a miniature version of a purse it purported to represent. Wrong. It's was that size by design. W-h-a-t-e-v-e-r. In a moment of genius which I'd anticipated and planned prior to arriving in SnootyVille, I point-out a matching wallet that I assured SuperGirl would be hers alone were she to release the remaining $ from my win for Poker use, which I'd cultivate into spoils and riches befitting Louis Vuitton himself.
Unfortunately, SnootyVille didn't have a layaway plan, and worse, instituted a draconian restocking-fee. I'd thought perhaps putting the wallet on the charge card, but thought perhaps that the powers-that-be might take offense at this defiant act of forgoing conclusion!
SuperGirl, gently handing back the wallet to the tall, flat-chested saleswoman serving today as
Snootyville's dungeon master, seemed sad and actually had that look we've all had at the realization of just how ordinary one's budget is despite convincing oneself of just how extraordinary one is. But, in the movie moment of the year if ever there was one SuperGirl, having never watched Rocky II, whispered "Win, baby, win".
Fighting back tears, I commanded the Sith Lordess behind the counter, already begun sizing-up other customers, to turn back and wrap the wallet (biatch)! I handed over my treasured Gold AMEX and swore I heard Jaba the Slut silently say "what's the matter Asshole, can't afford the Platinum Amex?" So, I made her wrap it twice.
SuperGirl loves her new accessories. While she tranfers her old effects to the new 650$ storage array, she encourages me to return home with more winnings. I begin to tell her that Poker isn't a money tree but more like a well. As I begun to unravel my intricate, heavily and oft analyzed allegorical treatise on Poker, I realize the moment I saw her nodding, momentarily vacuous head, that I'd been wasting my time. So, instead, I plan my return engagement to the casino and find out later that SuperGirl and her pack of fellow superheros look forward to looking beautifully accessorized and solving crimes.
Coming next: The Grind.