Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Home game implosion

I've been playing in a regular home game since early last summer I found through some friends at work. The two guys who graciously agreed to hold these weekly games (one on Wednesdays, the other on Friday nights) are members of a Poker Meetup group here in beautiful Cleveland. The format was agreeable to my bankroll: a $20 freezeout followed by a wild and wooly $1/2 NL cash game that has resulted in a surprising number of gambooooling fools walking out with $1,000 or more for the night. I was typically a game-time decision for that bacchanal of chip slinging. My risk-averse nature and mediocre NL skills made me, for the most part, fish bait. Between my tournament cashes and the few times I made money in the ring game, I probably broke even for my dozen-plus poker nights playing with this group.

Regardless of the monetary rewards or lack thereof, I enjoyed myself immensely. It was a great opportunity to pull off the digital umbilical cord that connects me to the online game and mix it up live. I appreciated the diversity gathered around the table. The games featured a virtual U.N. of creeds, colors, abilities and backgrounds. There were reckless college kids scraping together buy-ins and retired executives sitting on fat bankrolls. The only real requirement for attendance was skin thick enough to withstand the inevitable barbs questioning one's manhood, poker skills and sanity.

Many of the players had become fast friends, organizing trips to Vegas and other gambling venues for extended bouts of poker and inebriation. I felt a twinge of jealousy for my inability to make any of these trips, but enjoyed them vicariously through their well-told tales of drunken debauchery. All-in-all, you could not have asked more from a home game, save for Lindsay Lohan dealing cards to you topless.

And, at least for now, it's no more. John and Terry have put their games on hiatus. Sure, they were a little burnt out by the weekly home invasions of this poker-playing, beer-swilling horde. But the primary reason was the discovery of cheats who, I suspect, were working as a team. All the aces in one of the decks at Terry's were discovered to have been marked. A deck at John's had odd creases. WTF? Most of the long-timers have their suspicions about who the culprits might be. It would be reckless to name names. But in the event any of you guilty a**wipes know how to use a computer, much less read, let me say this: Bad karma awaits you. You opted for the short money and may have won. But you'll forever be marked, not as a clever rounder, but as an avaricious piece of crap whose only real victory is ruining a very good thing. Don't mess with the Poker Gods, dickheads. They have countless ways of exacting their revenge.


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