...while Los Angeles burns.
If I seem like I'm over-reacting to this season's Southern California wildfires, it's because one of the signs of the apocalypse is me atop the BBT2 points leaderboard. Make sure you have fresh batteries in the flashlight, lots of water and bullets.
Though my swank desert apartment complex is not threatened, the skies are black and the air is filled with ash and dirt, bourne by the 60 mph Santa Ana winds that are forecasted to last a couple more days. My mouth and respiratory cavities are packed with particulate matter and no matter how many microbrews I've downed in the last two days, I can't get rid of the grainy taste.
They say to be successful in tournament poker, you ahve to win with Big Slick and be able to beat Big Slick. I don't think they were talking about beating AK with 98o and 94s, however. That's what I did last night, open-pushing those hands and getting called in the blinds by stk and GCox respectively. I flopped a 9 each time to continue drawing sooty breath.
I was short because my opening table was a minefield. Saying it was "tight" doesn't really explain it. What it was was "good," and folks were not going to be giving chips away with marginal hands. Except me, of course. I folded AQo and TT pre-flop to pressure at that table; nevermind that Hoy had The Hammer on the former.
I dropped a Platinum Hammer at the Final Table, three handed. Button raised to 8K, jj called in the SB and I pumped it to 26K. They folded; I showed.
Little Vegas tidbit for ya. I was playing the 1/2 NL game at The Venetian, waiting for Div to show for their nightly tourney. This was on Sunday and I was hurting, despite the fact I'd slept much of the afternoon. Saturday night was a debaucherous blast, starting at Pink Taco and ending at Spearmint Rhino (I would wager, an alien would be hard-pressed to correctly identify the strip club from those names). I had just gotten my first beer of the day from the boobified waitress and it had yet to calm my dehydration or unsettled stomach. What I'm sayin is, I was a little on edge, which is the one excuse I can offer, though it's really not a valid one.
Second orbit or so and the table's fairly solid. Clever player in Seat 10 already trapped me into giving him $60, two tighties to the left of me, chubby guy to my right is good and gregarious, which, naturally meant he took the huge suckouts of the day (rivered quads against flopped nut flush anyone?). I only see two targets, a French woman in Seat 8 and a middle-aged drunk wearing a LeBron jersey (with a t-shirt underneath) in Seat 2. In my BB, LeBron raises to $10 behind a couple limpers. One cold call before it gets to me and I look down to see Presto. I call, as do the limpers. The flop comes 655.
LeBron bets $20, I call and limpers fold. Turn is a whocares (actually, think it was a King). I check and LeBron bets $40. I don't Hollywood much. I'm less acting than counting my chips. I've only got $72 more on top of the $40. Is it too much for him to call? He's staring me down pretty good, so I think he might have AA, which means yeah, he'll call. What is he thinking? Will another call here be totally obvious? It would be to me. But I just call anyway.
And realize, as I put my chips out, that I'm shaking. It's faint, but I am. And here's the thing. The more energy I put into calming the tremors, the worse they get.
The river is a 4 and because I'm now shivering like a naked man in an igloo, I just shove in the $72. LeBron takes his sweet time and I'm actually tottering so badly now that I'm making audible sounds. LeBron is staring me down and I then do the dumbest thing I could possibly do. I take a drink of my beer. I look like Geri Jewell and the amber liquid sloshes against the sides of the glass, prompting at least three people at the table to start laughing. Fortunately, LeBron isn't one of them. In fact, he's the only one who didn't notice and he pays me off.
Gregarious Chubby Guy says, "Show me the '5!'" and the table goes bonkers when I show 'em both. Then they start giving me shit, the One Seat saying something clever and the Brit to my left responding, "you should have felt his leg. Like a jackhammer."
I was a little embarrassed. Rookie. Not as embarrassed as LeBron who kept saying things like, "I raised pre-flop. I didn't think he'd call me with a 5." LeBron's poker reads do not take post-flop action or full-body convulsions into account.
Got out of there with a little profit and played well in the tourney, not shaking once. Then again, I didn't flop quads again, either.