Monday, April 21, 2008

Two Minutes To Midnight

"Always play two-six suited," said Kirk. He was bald, like me, so maybe that's why I listened. If there's one thing I do well at the poker table, it's look for a way to win a hand. Turns out I was dealt two-six offsuit. "Close enough," I thought. I called a raise in position.

I normally fold two-six. Shouldn't we all? But I looked down at the clock on my iPod. It said 11:56. I needed to be in a hand exactly at midnight. Exactly as my biological clock ticked past a meaningless milestone. Meaningless to most everyone but me.

"Re-raise," said the small blind. He made it $35 to go. The original raiser called the raise, but I folded. There went my big opportunity. Sometimes, my conservative self takes over and guides my actions. I still have a tough time letting go.

The flop came down T34. Rainbow. The small blind fired off a $50 continuation bet that was called by the original raiser. "Don't put a five out there Kurt," I pleaded. It's bad poker to pay 25 big blinds to catch a gutshot. He didn't know I folded his favorite hand.

The turn was a 5.

I could have tripled up off of pocket Aces and some other random hand. But I didn't, because I folded. It's proper poker to fold that hand in that spot. But maybe once in a while, it's OK to gamble. I'm only turning 40 once.


I had met TheTrooper in the deli prior to sitting down. He's an Iron Maiden fan and that's a positive in my mind. His nickname comes from a song made famous by them. It's the only song I could beat TheMark on in Guitar Hero. There's a poker hand that also goes by the same name. It's nine-seven.

I was a bit disappointed after folding my two-six. But sometimes, we're given second chances.

Officially, it wasn't yet my birthday. The previous hand only took two minutes. It was 11:58. And I was dealt nine-seven off suit.

I limped.


Prior to playing poker that night, the wife and I took our first beating at blackjack. She was running well, I was playing profitably too. But we got hit hard in our last session and when TheTrooper arrived at MGM, we closed the session down.

Right after I limped, the Mrs. tapped me on my shoulder. She had lost some more money at blackjack and needed more cash. I didn't mind, we're here to spend money and have a good time. Stop losses are for people who can't let go.

I fished out another hundred dollar bill from my pocket just as the flop came out. 987. Two spades.

With her re-buy in hand, the Mrs. didn't wait around to see the outcome of the hand. Perhaps that's why when it was checked to me, I bet at the pot. I was called in three places. I immediately put people on either draws on top pair. I felt I was ahead.

The turn paired the 7. I'm pretty sure the clock struck midnight exactly at that moment.


Of course, someone had flopped the straight. And when I fired the turn after the board paired, that guy felt it would be good to go all-in. Call when ahead, raise when behind. I was apologetic after I stacked him.

"I got lucky there on the turn," I offered.

"Yeah, ya think."

Luckily for me, someone else said it.

"Hey man, it's his birthday."


SirFWALGMan said...

You should read my posts about gutshots. They are some brilliant poker.

Unknown said...

I didn't know that the 9-7 was called The Trooper. I'm gonna play it every time time now. That song fuckin' rocks.

StB said... get the Trooper at 2 Minutes to Midnight? Fitting.

BigPirate said...

Any Maiden connection, however tenuous it may be, is worth getting involved in a hand.

Uncle Ted said...

One of my favorite posts of yours.

Nice to see you and the Missus on Friday.

Happy birthday!

BamBam said...

Happy Birthday BB !

40. WOW THAT'S OooooLD !!

Anonymous said...

This post made me happy.

Happy Birthday Old Man.