Saturday, May 21, 2005

Money Spent and Money Lost

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...


The maniac sat down at my table and I knew right away he was a classic overbetter. The preflop raises I had been seeing were of the 3-4xBB nature and this guy sat down right away making them 7 or 8x. On trash hands. I'd seen him suck out on a few players with garbage hands catching garbage flops. I simply tightened up, waiting in Hellmuthian fashion for the time to strike.


Rewind 4 years ago to Mrs. Blood's birthday. She's not to hard to read in the realm of birthday gifts, she just comes right out and announces what she wants. It's almost like playing cards against someone who shows you their hole cards everytime. How can you lose?

Those who know me know of my geekiness. Sure I shroud it in weightlifting and heavy metal, but deep down I ponder if my next CPU purchase will be hyperthreaded or able to handle 64-bit instruction sets.

So nobody should really be surprised that when I bought a 8x (yes, 8x!!!!) CD-burner for the Mrs. for her birthday, it wasn't quite the gift she was expecting. She lets me know every year how badly I screwed that one up.


Maniac looks like he can be bought off a hand by a better one, so I still proceed with caution. I work my starting $100 stack to about $165 when I'm dealt pocket J's. Maniac, in early position, pre-flop raises to $12 in a sea of limpers. I call to see a flop of all under cards. Maniac who has me outchipped puts me all in. Based on what he's been playing, it is an easy call. He shows AK and has 6 outs with 2 cards to come.


Fast forward back to this year and I've arranged a different birthday present for Mrs. Blood. We live only minutes from downtown G-Vegas and her parents live only minutes away from us. Still, over the years, we've found it quite difficult to find nights alone where we don't have to wake up to the sound of the mini's chomping at the bit for breakfast. We get babysitters now and then, but the late night fun is always doused with an early morning reality of parenting a 5 and 7 year old.


The turn was another harmless undercard and my hopes rise. I'm pretty silly like that. You'd think that after the 2 and 3 outers at Mandalay Bay back in December, I'd never take another pot for granted. I didn't this time, either, but I will admit to a glimmer of a winning feeling prior to the river.

'twas a K. Capital K - for KRAP. I see a $330 pot slide in the other direction and I have to quit. My mind is soiled for any further play that evening. I pick up the guitar and turn the amp to 11.


Booking a room at the Westinn Poinsett hotel was easy. Drinks before hand went down easy. Aside: If you ever order the "large" margarita at Cantinflas in downtown G-Vegas, bring a friend. It's really a two person drink. End aside. Dinner was excellent. There were a dozen roses at our table, none of them red. Mrs. Blood dislikes red roses and instead favors the pink and the orange. On our very first date, I gave her a pink one - no need to be presumptuous, but I wanted to spark some interest. It seemed to work as she's kept that thing ever since. The walk downtown past the new bridge overlooking the falls was easy too. Waking up in the morning was easy, breakfast even easier. A waffle, an omlette, and I'm good to go.

Time to check out.

Time to pay the bill.


That number looks familiar.


During the next session that I played, the maniac found me again. I failed to take any notes on the guy, but I didn't forget this time. "Maniac" I typed into the notes field. Surely he was drunk the last time and didn't play poker like this all the time. His first pre-flop raise told me otherwise. Same guy, same betting patterns. I vowed vengeance. I thought it would come in the form of AK on an A-high flop. Maniac bet out $20 into a $25 pot and I pushed. He called with 97 hearts. The flop did have a 7 and two hearts on it, which I eventually realized when the heart on the river came. Not again.


Even though I spent such an inordinate amount of money on the Mrs., it was worth every penny. She loved every calm, relaxing minute of our day away. It was fun for me too, but I'll never admit it. :)

I'd do it again too, it was money well spent.


The calls I made against maniac were calls I'd make again, any day. In fact, our story has a happy ending. I reloaded for another $100. On three consecutive hands holding the Hiltons twice and ATs once, I turned it into over $400 and broke the maniac. That's karma because all the while, the Mrs. was watching the hands unfold. She is my better half, without a doubt.

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