Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Slow Ride

Thr Granada Bowl, ground zero for 6th-graders with a hankerin' for video games, was a good four-mile bike ride from my house growing up. While kids don't measure distance, only reward, this particular trip was notable for its length and is lasting impression.

There were six of us, soccer teammates and long-time friends. But it's a cruel world at 11, a prime "Lord of the Flies" period of development. I lagged behind my friends in a crucial area: bicycling equipment. While they cruised along, eight, ten, even a dozen gears at their disposal, I pedalled furiously in one. My aging Schwinn, banana seat and all, was no match as the ride reached its halfway point. Winded, increasingly frustrated and downright sad at the widening gap between me and my partners, I contemplated turning back.

Nothing harms the soul like being left out. Maybe you were passed over when sides were chosen at recess. Maybe that first crush unexpectedly, but summarily, rejected you at the roller rink. Whatever the source, the pain is unmistakable. A dull, unreachable ache with no salve or remedy.

Please forgive my over-dramatization, but I felt left out yesterday. Disappointed and helpless to the reality of not playing in the Aladdin Classic.

Which is not the point.

As we reached the corner of Holmes and El Caminto, one of my friends realized how far behind I'd actually fallen. He stopped and waited for me, encouraging others to do the same. They ignored him, but Darren waited anyway, and rode along side me the rest of the way to the bowling alley.

The point is, I expect to meet a lot of Darrens in Vegas in two months.


I've been kinda burned out on online poker lately. I've been playing too much, playing too angry. I see a bad beat around every corner. Not the best mind-set to have.

But I tossed away some Frequent Player Points on Stars last night on a WSOP sub-qualifier. It was exactly what I needed. Little pressure, relatively short time committment and having my big hands actually hold up--with one notable exception.

Only 124 entrants and the final table got a pass to the next qualifier. I chipped up big early, even while playing ultra-tight. First, I limped in EP with 55. Flop came 985 with two diamonds. I bet the pot and got two callers. Turn is a queen of the non-diamond variety and I bet the pot again (which is now up to about 500) and get one caller. A black queen fills me up on the river and I push, assuming a fold from missed flush draw. But no, he calls. With A8o. Interesting.

Then AQ became the hand of the night. I yanked two big pots when my Big Slick held up against the Mrs., though one of the busted players claimed my win to be "BS." We all had a pretty good laugh at that one. After the second one--where I had the AK on the button and AQ in the BB pushed all-in pre-flop, I was the chip leader with about 50 remaining.

The tables remained pretty loose into the second hour and I had nothing to play. Msrginal hands out of position, crap in position. Got the Hiltons once in Level 6, but no action. Even so, my stack was in good shape relative to the blinds and I stayed in the 10-15 range overall.

Once the antes kicked in, the table got a lot more aggressive. A pre-flop raise would usually take it. It was at this point where I looked down to see the Hiltons again in the BB. There was a 4x raise to 800 from MP and a call from the button, making the pot already over 2K. So I pushed. Perhaps not the best move. The MP raiser folded, but the button called with AQs. Well, I got my money in while.....

Ace on the flop. And he had me slightly covered. Out in 23rd.

I could have perhaps given myself some fold equity by just re-raising instead of an all-in, leaving me ample chips to still mount an assault.


So, the dear and patient wife was giving me a hard time yesterday about how I failed to wish her "Happy Birthday" before I left for work Tuesday. Yes, yesterday WAS her actual birthday. We had, however, celebrated it on Saturday, complete with kick-ass food, drink and presents. We also celebrated it a little on Sunday with other family members. In my mind--and in my defense--the Birthday Celebration had already occurred, in rather drawn-out fashion.

It was pretty funny when I wished her Happy Birthday this morning before I left for work.


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Maudie said...

You will have a great time in Vegas - tournament yes or tournament no - trust me. 8^)


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