Sunday, July 23, 2006

Let me tell you my bad beat story...

Nah, I respect my readers too much to subject you to poker whining. When I lost today it wasn't a bad beat, it just was what it was: 888 beaten by an ace high flush, after the entire board came up spades and the guy who tried to run a bluff on me had the ace of spades.

I played in a little charity poker tournament this afternoon, sponsored by the Palatine Park District and run by Rockford Charitable Games. They run poker games for various charities around the Chicago area. It was a good time, and I got to try out some of the stuff I've been reading about in Championship No Limit & Pot Limit Hold Em by Tom McEvoy and TJ Cloutier. My poker experience has been limited (pun intended) to limit poker a few times at Las Vegas casinos and twice at local riverboats.

The tournament was a blast. I got the feeling I'd stumbled into kind of a subculture; lots of players seemed to know each other, and the dealers, from other "charity" events. There were unlimited re-buys, which meant that some really bad players stayed in longer than they should have. Almost half the people at my table re-bought during the first few rounds when they ran out of money. Here were the players I made note of at my table:

30-something suburban guy: called too much
30-something suburban guy's buddy: did better but still busted out
affable black gangsta: reckless bets and calling put him out
crafty older middle age guy (was still at the table when I busted out)
talkative boozed-up black street guy: re-bought several times and then busted out in a spectacular way after nodding off at the table. I was glad he sat to my right.
internet boy #2 (looked sharp but wasn't as good as he clearly thought he was)
affable fat white guy taking a day away from riverboat casinos
internet boy #1 (complete with iPod and aviator sunglasses, busted out on a bluff)
shaky but decent retired white guy (still at the table when I busted out)

There were 12 of us at the table, but the above characters are the only ones I remember. As guys busted, other players got plugged into their empty seats. The tournament was notable for its lack of women--I only saw 5 or 6 out of 140+ players. The most noticeable demographic groups were:

-dyspeptic older affluent white guys
-internet boys (also internet/world poker tour boys) notable for their headsets and baseball caps and televsised-poker style outbursts
-gangstas (mostly Latino and Asian, with a few brothas thrown in)
-doughy middle-age suburban guys living a fantasy (sadly, I might fall into this last category)

Overall, it was a good time. I was there nearly 3 hours before I busted out, and I at least I had the satifsaction of knowing I didn't go out on a bad play. It's a game of skill and luck.

Our garage door gets replaced this week, and the porch guys should be coming soon. I got some training business stuff in the works too, and it's shaping up that late July and August are going to be zany times at the compound.

Hope y'all had a good weekend.

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