Friday, August 06, 2004

Learning Curve

We stared at each other across the table, neither one blinking. The noise in the room receeded, leaving only the two of us engaged in a battle of wills.

"I call," I said, and plinked six one-dollar chips in front of me.

I watched as he flipped over his hole cards, showing that he, indeed, has a full house. My two pairs just didn't stack up. Those are the breaks in limit poker.

The boys and I hit the casino Friday night; the lure of bright lights, cheap booze and easy money was simply too strong, and sadly, that saying about a fool and his money? It's true.

I fell in love with my hand twice; both times, had I just examined the table, I would have known that I had no business staying in the hand. At least I won two hands, which is two hands better than Marty did.

In any case, I learned a lot:

  1. Don't fall in love with two pairs - especially if one of those pairs comes from the flop.
  2. Pay attention to the hand as it's played.
  3. Don't bet against little Chinese guys who keep raising you, and don't convince yourself he's bluffing - because there's NO bluffing at a $3/$6 table.

I'll apply these lessons when we return - in a month or so.

In any case, It was fun watching the people at the table with me - there was the hard-luck young man sitting a couple spots from me; he couldn't catch a break to save his life. You could see the frustration mounting with each Budweiser and folded hand.

There was the jackass sitting across from me, who kept raising me every time I was on the big blind. He was middle-aged and you could see that this was the one time of the week he enjoyed - no family or job - just a stack of chips and a table full of new best friends. I still wanted to beat him with my shoe the third time he raised me on the blind. Jackass.

You see all kinds in the casino; at least in the poker room, people interacted rather than endlessly feeding the insatiable slot machines.

In any case, it was a good evening, and even though I came away with a little less cash, I'm ready to head back - in a few weeks, though; I need to recoup some of my losses first.

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