Sunday, November 11, 2007

The gift that kept on giving - until we got tired

My birthday was Friday, and my wife asked me what I wanted.
Other than the usual wisecracks, I told her I only wanted one thing.
Time.
Time is the most precious commodity we have (or, usually, don't have) in our house.
So Friday night, Kate and I went to a Japanese steakhouse, the kind where they cook the food in front of you and throw bits of chicken for you to catch in your mouth. I love watching the chefs throw their cutlery around, just barely missing a finger (both the patrons' and the cookers) and slicing up the veggies and meat with the skill of a veteran serial killer. But I love the food even more. I think shrimp on a grill just might be my favorite food. It's even healthy so you don't have to feel guilty about eating it.
And Saturday, at 10 a.m., Kate dropped me off with a longtime buddy of mine.
It was time for Black Hawk poker!
If there's one thing I truly do mourn since the twins were born, it's time with my friends. Sadly, I just don't get that much anymore. It's not fair to the other person to leave the house at night with three kids up and around (two infants and a toddler I should say), and so everything has to work out just right, and it has to be planned like a D-Day invasion. We went down to Kate's parents in Lakewood for the day, so she would have extra help, and though it worked great, as an example, we packed enough clothes, diapers and other baby crap to get the adults through a month in Germany. It took me five minutes to pack for me and an hour, at least, to pack for the kids.
So Saturday would be great for two reasons. I would get to spend time with a close friend, and I would get to play live poker.
Now it's Black Hawk poker, $2/5 limit, so it wouldn't be very imaginative, skilled or quite frankly much fun at times. But it's still live poker, and complaining about live poker, especially now that I rarely get to leave the house, would be like bitching because your peanut butter pie didn't quite have enough whipped cream.
Probably the most interesting hand came when someone raised and I looked down at a pair of 8s. I called, and an older, 60ish, friendly, chatty lady with a thick Texas accent called as well.
We called her Auntie Poker because she would have made a great aunt. You'd learn how to play poker, and the Thanksgiving dinners would be a lot more lively. But she's also the typical Black Hawk poker player. She wasn't a total idiot, but she played a lot of hands, especially if it was soooted, chased every draw (correctly, if you're into odds) and overvalued marginal hands.
The flop came 8,9,2 with two spades. The original raiser, a young, cool, aggressive player who had climbed Longs Peak seven times (so I liked him right away), bet, Auntie called, and I raised with two spades and a straight draw out there. The raiser re-raised me and Auntie called. I paused for a second and figured if he had a set of 9s, congrats, and re-raised to $20. He just called, and Auntie Poker called.
The third spade came down, a 5, and my heart sank. I did not put the younger guy on a spade, but I definitely put Auntie on one. I figured she had to have some kind of draw. I checked it around. Maybe that's weak but I didn't want to get check-raised, and there was a ton of money in the pot already. Plus I was hoping the board would pair. I weakly checked it around to the river and showed my 8s. The younger guy had K-K, and Auntie mucked. I have no idea what she had. Maybe JJ? I wouldn't even put her past a pair of 9s.
I got A-A three times and it held every time, and I flopped a set of queens and later Kings, but those didn't get much action, and almost all the rest of my big hands, few as they were, didn't get much either. I also did not have a draw hit all day and didn't get a straight or a flush the whole day. And I took a flush too far on a paired board and couldn't fold TPTK to a set of 4s, though in this game it didn't cost me too much, and it's hard to fold a strong hand when it's only $5 more to call and there's a ton in the pot and the players will bet second pair all the way down.
The last two hours we were in card dead hell, and we relied on the Kansas game to entertain us.
What a game. KU played a tough OSU team at their place and really controlled most of the game. It's really unreal that they will most likely be 11-0 and playing for a spot in the national title game. I have to say that over and over to believe it. This is like the Bad News Bears going to the Little League World Series.
As a bonus, my Mookie Vegas bet was on the game, so I'm gonna get a nice payoff for that. Ship it!
As we drove home, we talked poker, our relationships and football. It was disappointing to finish down, but the poker was not about the money. Not today.
The time spent playing it was much more valuable than that.

1 comment:

Drizztdj said...

My birthday present every year for the past 3 years is the blogger tourney in Vegas.

No better way I could think of spending it each year.