Monday, January 29, 2007

Put Me In Coach

“So you play poker?”

About three weeks ago during one of my son’s basketball practices, the assistant coach caught me reading The Mathematics of Poker while the six and seven year olds learned the intricacies of the not-quite-so-fast break.

“All too often,” I replied.

It wasn’t long before we exchanged phone numbers so that neither of us would miss an important tournament around town that the other was aware of.  The conversation shifted towards the underground Spring Hotel and Gaelic Games.  He too knew the folks running those fine establishments and had occasionally been known to squeak out a profit when playing.  He said he’d call me if he was ever going to go and we could perhaps sling some cards together sometime.  I told him I was always up for that, wife permitting.


On Saturday, miniBlood again lit up his opposition for fourteen points.  After the game, his coach asked me if I were going to play that night since he was most likely going to go.  I told him that there was a good chance, but I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to get there.

“Well, hope to see you there, it should be fun.”

It was.


I rolled into Leeg’s at about 6:30.  It’s not P.F. Chang’s, but what it’s lacking in good tasting food, it more than makes up for in atmosphere.  If you want to ever see a down-home, Redneck, southern bar, this place is it.  The beer is cheap and it’s served with a friendly smile.  Otis was already there, deep into his first brew.

Time flies when you’re having fun.  An hour passed by rather quickly as we shot the general shit about poker, wives, kids and our recently finished Tunica trip.  G-Rob was working, giving the upstate area its weekly fill of weekend happenings.  Otis text messaged TheMark our intentions but we never heard back from him.  It would be just the two of us heading to the Gaelic Game’s new location.

Before we left, I told Otis that I simply wanted to sit down, relax and play well.  I didn’t feel that I played my best poker in Tunica.  After my satellite win wherein I felt I played really well, I finally realized that what satisfies my poker Jones more than anything is the feeling that I was on top of my game.  Results were secondary.

Upon being buzzed in through to the game, we were met with nearly two full tables.  Only one seat was currently available and Otis graciously offered me the seat.  I took the 2 seat and found miniBlood’s basketball coach directly to my left in seat 3.  And he had a stack.  He bought into the game for $100 and had close to $700 in front.  Not too shabby.


Dealer Tim was there.  He was there in Tunica on day one, witness to me being all too fucked up to play good poker.  He asked me if I remembered any of the hands we were involved in and I said, “Absolutely not.”  He told me about one bluff he ran on me but felt bad about, knowing full well I was nearly incapacitated.

“Not a problem,” I responded, “My goal for day 1 in Tunica was to get rip roarin’ drunk.  I believe I succeeded.”

He concurred.


After chipping up to slightly over $300, I found AQ of spades in early position; and after a couple of limpers, raised it to $12.  mini’s B-ball coach looked down at his cards and said “Raise.”

“Twenty-five to go,” he said as he tossed in 5 red chips.  With one limper calling, I was going to see a flop with my hand and just called the extra $13.

Black Betty, bam-a-lam.  The flop was King high, all spades.  Two checks to the coach, and he fired out $100.  After the EP limper folded, I took the maximum EV play and check-raised him all-in.  It was only $185 more for him to call.

“Did you flop it?  I have a monster here.”  He tabled his Aces and made an attempt to put a read on me.  I tried to look like I was bluffing, and stared directly down at the table refusing to make eye contact.  Finally, he talked himself into calling.  I showed my hand and after the board didn’t pair on the turn, he was drawing dead.


Coach took it well.  He was still up for the evening a few hundred but based on the conversation over the next hour or so, he wasn’t going to forget that hand any time soon.

While I won that pot, it remains to be seen if my son’s playing time just went down the drain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post. I was going to write something similar. Will check this blog more often I think.