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Poker Benefit

Posted on November 11, 2011 by under Poker.    

2011-11-05 21.56.52.jpg

I had the opportunity to play in a poker charity event for Saint Peter’s last weekend. It had been a while since Brian and I played poker so we were both rusty. Brian got knocked out right before the break, but I managed to make the final table. It took a lot of patience to get there, though. I had to fight the frustration. As rusty as I was, at least I still knew how to play poker and I knew how to deal cards.

One of the challenges I faced were that the people at my initial table didn’t know how to deal Texas hold ’em. There was a guy that could barely shuffle properly and the cards would always be so messy when he dealt. Another guy held the cards so high when he dealt that you could sometimes get a glimpse of the cards being dealt. Another guy needed to be reminded to burn a card before the flop, turn and river. We were playing so slow that we didn’t even get all the way around the table before the blinds went up. I usually prefer being able to play several hands before the blinds go. We barely got around the table in 15 minutes. People moved so slow, it was almost unbearable. I would try to make up for all the time we’d lost each time it was my turn to deal, but I was still at everyone else’s mercy as they thought about their hand and their next move.

There was this one instance where I was dealing and this one girl was all in. It was just her and me left in the hand so I went ahead and dealt the flop, turn and river really quickly. It was pretty much, “boom boom boom, thank you, goodbye” because my pocket eights held up. I just wanted to move on to the next hand. The clock was ticking after all. This one guy was picking on me, I suppose for being so callous. He was like, “This isn’t a band aid. It was her last hand. At least let her enjoy it.” I was really thinking, I’m here to play poker not to make you all feel better about playing poorly. I didn’t say anything, though. I just smiled and shrugged. The older gentleman next to me said, “I can’t even think that fast.” My initial thought was, thank you Captain Obvious, as this fact was painfully apparent the entire time that we’d been playing together. This was probably one of the most trying poker tournaments I’d ever played. Not because the players were really good, but exactly the opposite. Besides testing one’s patience (because it often felt like we were moving in slow motion), the players were so terrible that they were completely unpredictable, often calling with hands that they had no business playing, betting with bottom pair, betting with absolutely nothing when someone’s already all in, etc. I managed to hide my irritation and keep my inner Helmuth in check, though.

As tables got consolidated and fewer people remained, it got better. There were still people who tried my patience, though. Despite this, I didn’t let my frustration show. I focused on my game and felt that I played really well. I think I only made one mistake the entire tournament. It was very early in the game and I learned from it. I did get lucky a couple of times, but I was always ahead going in. One of my proudest moments was when I played Brian’s favorite hand, pocket deuces, like they were aces. I really didn’t want anyone to call. I just wanted to pick up the existing pot. However, as expected, someone called with ace rag. Go figure. Thankfully, my puny pocket pair held up. That worked out great actually, because it doubled me up.

I folded a lot of hands and carefully chose my spots. More often than not, if I was in the hand, I would win it. Since I played very few hands, I didn’t really have a big stack going into to the final table. This put me at a disadvantage. When there were only eight people remaining, I found myself holding pocket aces. The guy next to me quickly called. Everyone else folded. It was AA vs. AJ off. Of course, AJ guy made his straight on the river. LOL. I got a $50 check as my consolation prize, though. I basically just got my entry fee back.

I had fun overall, despite all the challenges. But I have fun anywhere I go. LOL. Brian and I agreed, however, that we will stick to Nilla’s for poker in the future. At least there they have knowledgeable dealers that keep the game moving at a reasonably fast pace, just the way I like it.

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