Thursday, December 25, 2008

Silent might

I had no business playing poker at 1:30 a.m. Christmas morning. The children and wife were nestled and snug in their beds while I sat downstairs pushing buttons on the poker machine.

It was sheery lunacy. I was two hours into a $3.30 knockout tournament on Tilt with a long, busy day looming. There were gifts to exchange and open, breakfast to make, breads to bake, Christmas feast to prepare, relatives to pick up and schlep to the house and then entertain. Only a bad beat or a stupid play was going to prevent me from cashing. But so what?

Only a final-table payout would come close to offsetting the sleep this was costing me. But I vowed to press on and had an average-sized stack at the second break thanks to pocket kings holding up against four (yes, four) all-ins. Fatigue took over after the break and I began nodding off between hands. I had almost stopped caring. While I wasn't about to dump my chips, I needed to push the envelope. It was time to go high or go to sleep.

And high I went --real high -- during one of those satisfying rushes. I began bullying the table like Scut Farkus in Christmas Story, stealing blinds and stacking people when I had it. I had nearly double the number of chips as the player in second place by the third break and had perked up considerably. I can't remember ever having so many chips relative to the rest of the field and was having fun throwing my weight around.

When we reached the final table around 3:45, I held 35 percent of the chips in play (637 runners). A medium stack took out three players during the first orbit to grow a stack nearly as big as mine. I took out a couple more players and got to heads-up play with a 2-1 advantage. More than a half hour later ... I finished second when my pocket 6s failed to out race his K-Q.

My heads-up play was ... okay. There were a couple of loose calls on the river with second pair I'd like back. I employed all the strategery I know, but could not get him to pay me off when I had a hand.

The payout of around $250 plus (with bounties) turned out to be worth it. I crashed around 4:30 and was awakened by the kids at 8 to open presents. While I didn't have a choice, I managed to gut it out and got through the day without incident. Christmas dinner was great -- beef tenderloin with a horseradish sauce, duck ala orange, roasted redskins in walnut oil and assorted steamed and braised veggies. I even found time to make a dozen Parker House rolls and a baguette.

After all of this, am I sleeping at 1 a.m. on the day after Christmas? Of course not. I'm finishing this post and have chips in a $5.50 HORSE tourney. (Had a minor cash in one of the 9 p.m. Daily Doubles earlier.) I'll sleep tomorrow ... or maybe the day after.


Blogger "THE" Diabl0 said...

Damn dude, just toss in a sugardale picnic ham and catch up on your Z's next time. redskins in walnut oil?

One word: CROCK POT!!!

3:14 PM  

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