Monday, January 28, 2008

A little trash talk?

poker is a fun game to needle someone in, especially when you're winning. story about sophomore year game


i had improved my game somewhat, understood what the odds were, what bets meant, what to do in different situations, etc. i was ready to take on the game that had beaten me so ruthlessly in the past year.

the guys in the game were generally a year above me, with a few my year tossed in. the wayne manor game, known as the toughest game on campus. not much of the game to my knowledge exists now, most of the talent has gone on to greener and more profitable pastures online. but back then it was an intense game. 1-1 blinds with 100 dollar buy ins was huge for a college student, and it was time to get some game in.

the walk to the game was usually a cold one in the winter time. who wants to play poker outdoors when the weather's beautiful at duke? there were several characters in the game, the tight passive who was a money cow if you held the nuts, the loud football player who chewed a bit too much tobacco, the cocky upperclassman who thought he could aggress his way out of any situation, the young freshman who looked like he was gollum from the lord of the rings trilogy, a joker who always knew how to keep the table laughing, and the game organizer, a guy we always made fun of for whining too much about how the slow the game was going.

the chips start counting out, whites were one, reds were 5, with the occasional green 25s and black 100s when the bank started getting big. once the game started going, i was in my zone, trying to concentrate on everything that was going on.

the football player was a bit of a dick, an alpha male type who let you know he was the man. i played a hand early with him, i opened early with 66, and he called.

the flop came JKx. he checked, i checked.

turn came a blank. he checked, i bet out the pot, he called.

river came an A. he checked. great i thought, and i checked. he showed QT. i mucked my hand, showing a bit of disgust, to try and make it look like i had a good hand before the A hit. he remarked, "hold em is a game of 7 cards, buddy."

buddy? i'm not your buddy, buddy. good job at winning that small pot. just that remark with an air of arrogance ticked me off. most may have silently thought i was the fish at the table, but oh no. the ass told me straight up that he thought i was the worst player he ever saw last year. this year, things were different.

i opened with 68 of clubs, and three people called. people at the table generally viewed me as a tight conservative player, so i enjoyed the image of having big cards or a big pair.

the flop came down 47T two club. i led out, and the football player decided to raise me. my double belly buster had the advantage of being a deceptive straight if i hit, so i called instead of raising, since he would most likely lead out again on the turn no matter what.

turn came a blank. i checked. the football player decided to check as well.

the river came a beautiful 5 of spades.


"Bet." he put out 8 reds and looked at me defiantly, his arms crossed, an obvious sign of strength.

i silently counted out 8 reds, then put it on top of the rest of my stack in one hand, and put 140 total in.

he called almost immediately. i flipped over my hand, and he threw his cards in in disgust.

"you called me with that? drawing to an inside straight..."

i calmly remarked,

"hold em is a 7 card game, buddy."

i raked in the chips to the sound of the rest of the table's laughter.

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