25 or 6 to 4
I've mentioned before about how I used to be a total tennis geek. My love for Johnny Mac continues unabated to this day, despite his soul-crushing attempts at game/talk show hosting. Climb into the way-back machine with me will ya, Mr. Peabody?
I was watching Breakfast at Wimbledon circa 1979. I don't exactly remember who was playing, but I'm going with Evonne Goolagong, because it's fun to say and I'm not afraid to admit I watched women's tennis. I was 12. A fairly hot, if slightly matronly, Australian woman in a white dress held a certain fascination. At one point, as she prepared to serve, the mannered ambiance of Centre Court was shattered by a swarm of insects. Ms. Goolagong bent and swerved from her attackers, the quiet congregation maintaining their silence, a silence which was soon shattered by the indomitable Bud Colins:
he shouted from the booth.
It was hilarious to me then, it's hilarious to me now. It's still an exclamation I use when faced with mock horror. Yet, like that swarm of bees, there is an underlying, if small, sense of fear.
Al, being that he is THE MAN, has organized an after party to follow the Aladdin Classic. With 40 different kinds of tequila.
I love tequila. It's the one potable that can get me going, turn a 'blah' night into a carnival. It's my ace in the hole. Scores of my acquantances can attest to this, have fallen victim to my insistence that a round of Tres Generaciones is all that's needed to cure what ails us. Shockingly, I find it even settles my stomach if necessary.
I love tequila too much. When it comes to the demon nectar, my emergency brake fails. Before I know it, I'm half a bottle in and talking to inanimate objects. Strangers berate me with "Hey man, do you HAVE to do that on my lawn?!?!" It's a fine line between stupid and stupider.
This party's gonna be awesome. And I'm afraid.
Danger Bees, indeed.
So, last night illustrated a recurring theme for me recently, drove it home with an exclamation point:
My endgame sucks.
Played a two-table $20 SnG on Stars, along with fellow bloggers Glyph and Jason (the former perpetuating a heinous blogger-on-blogger crime against the latter). My tourney/cards were relatively uneventful for a while, until I turned the nuts, checked 'em, and got the chip leader to double me up on the river. From there, I went on a rush and on the bubble, held nearly half the chips in play.
It did not take me long to piss them all away.
In the interest of context, it was aggressive play which got me to that point. Outside of Glyph, the remaining 3 players were tight/passive. I pulled a couple pots just with bets on ragged flops. I even stole one from Glyph when I got him to lay down what he said was AQ on a Kxx flop. OF COURSE I had AJ, dude. Didn't want to tell you then to keep you from tilting.
But there's a limit. There's also a guiding principle. And I violated it.
Four times I raised pre-flop as the first person in the pot. All were on the button or in the SB. All were legitimate first-in raising hands 5-handed. None were legitimate calling hands if someone came over the top. Yet, four times, the guy to my immediate left, who, prior to all this, was the short stack, did just that. I called all four times. And lost all four times. And bubbled out in 5th.
Now, I was unlucky to run into four hands which had me dominated (including AK, AK and AA) in less than 3 orbits. Which doesn't excuse the calls. They were bad plays, pure and simple. In fact, I fold all of 'em and I'm STILL the chip leader, despite dropping my pre-flop raises.
I honestly don't know what happened. Detached brain stem perhaps. That would be the only valid excuse.
Bottom line, you all have nothing to fear from me tonight if you see me at the final table.
Glyph managed 4th place money, getting no board love at the end, losing a coin flip and seeing his Hiltons boned by ATo. At the break, he and I were running one-two and I told him to take a screen-shot "before I fuck it all up."
At least I know my game, for good or ill.