Thursday, December 16, 2004

Red Hot Poker

This really shoulda been the title of my blog. Damn it. "One on One" was one of the finest films of my childhood and if you've seen it--and recall it--then the double meaning will cause you spasms of laughter. Or not. Perhaps it's only me. Anyway, a toast to Robby Benson and G. D. Spradlin.

As you may surmise, I'm on fire. I'll get to that. First though, check out all the Vegas trip reports from the bloggers. Any link to the right will do. Iggy also provides links and updates to all the new convention content. These guys and gals are a riot.

I actually have first-hand knowledge of what it's like to meet a bunch of people whom you know only through the internet. I may have mentioned my A's obsession once or twice and how that obsession led me to an online community of like-minded folks. Eventually, as it must, such relationships led to a groups of us meeting in 3-D back in 2001. A's spring training in Arizona. There is some trepidation in these kinds of things. Fortunately, we had at least one common denominator. More fortunately, there was alcohol. And we left that weekend as friends. The spring training meet is now a regular occurance, with more and more people joining in. In addition, we expanded the palate of our frivolity to include a Vegas weekend the past two years (in November, to bookend the baseball season). This past trip, we had A's fans from as far away as Mexico City. To my mind, it's unusual for a large--and growing--group of people to connect so well. But maybe not. Common interests (baseball, poker, tiddlywinks) are certainly a gateway to those relationships. But surely it's more than that. Maybe this internet thing isn't as impersonal as the psychologists would have us believe. Maybe one's perception of others is able to penetrate the relative anonymity of the medium.

Regardless of the sociological implications, I'm glad y'all had a good time. I resolve to horn my way into the next one, if only see the look on Al's face when I ask for a splash of cranberry juice in my quintuple SoCo shot.


Now, this has been my finest week of poker in a long time (knock on wood). Took a 1st and a 3rd in two $20 SnGs last night and also made a bit on the $25 NL tables. On the latter, I doubled up with TPTK, then narrowly avoided losing it all seconds later. Got AA one from the button and raised five limpers to $2. Two callers. Flop was QJ8 rainbow and I raised a small all-in bet ($3.50, I think) to $10. Got called by UTG. K comes on the turn and my inner self starts screaming that I'm in trouble. UTG checks and the voice demands I check right back. I was right. River was a 10, completing the nut straight for me and severly disappointing UTG, who indeed had A10. Could I have laid down my rockets on the river if I didn't catch? Something to ponder. Regardless, I made it up to her later when I donated $10, her set of 9s topping my pocket 10s. Final tally was +$11.80.

My SnG win was an interesting tble to say the least. Still had 10 players in midway through Level 4. Partly due to some serious pot chopping. I was in the lead to triple up early on when all-in with Big Slick of spades against AQo and AJo. Sadly, two pair came on the board and I won 19 chips. Better than a suckout, I suppose. Also split another pot later with the same hand to another AK. Fortunately made some hands later. Second night in a row, pocket 7s was the turning point. This time, I flopped the set and cracked JJ. Then won a coinflip with my AJo against 9s.

Ended up heads up with a solid player. He was also a fun guy to have at the table. A lot of witty chat. I don't chat a lot while playing, but he sucked me in and we had a running commentary going most of the night. So, a random shoutout to SuperZP. Thanks for the good time and for letting me win.


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