Sunday, May 01, 2005

Why 'Logan's Run' Killed the Old Folks; Also Known As Poker is Great, Except When Finals Are Looming

So, it's like this, if you can't spot the sucker in the first 30 minutes at the table...then you are the sucker.

That's right...Matt Damon, you are the voice of reason. God I love Rounders. Poker is just so awesome...and that's when the voice of reason uses a blunt object to kill the voice of reality that is screaming in my ear that I have finals this week. Finals in two classes that I really did not pay attention in. Finals in classes that I learned more about Spider Solitaire than I did the substantive law of Property and Contracts.

But the voice of reason took over my body and instead of studying yesterday, I went to the casino to play poker.

You can say that I'm addicted, I need help, etc. etc. etc. I'm not listening and off I went with a buddy to Trump Casino in the armpit of the world: Buffington Harbor, Indiana. And then the cruel hand of irony wrecked my day.

I'm pretty good at poker. It's not that I am bragging, it's just a fact. I know odds, I know how to exploit position, I can read most players like a book, the list goes on.

But the last time I went to this sink hole of a casino, the 10% luck factor of Poker was not on my side. Playing no limit holdem, I was all in before the flop or on the flop only to be beat on the river three times. After 600 dollars and a mild, possibly fatal, heart attack, I was now gun shy of the game that I am good at. So fast forward with me 6 weeks later to last night.

I have the option of playing No-Limit with the guy I went with or I could play at a table that I had been watching for about 40 minutes where the median age for the players was 70. It was old folks day at the casino and I opted to sit down at a no-foldem holdem 3-6 limit table.

My buddy dominates the table over at No Limit and finishes with a net gain of roughly $500. And then there's me. The woman to my left proudly announces several times that she will play any two cards that she is dealt. Not only would she do this, but she would play all the way to the last community card dealt. So then there's me. Poker God. The Almighty of Texas Holdem. Pocket Queens, Raise, 5 callers, raise again on the flop, 5 callers, raise again on the turn, still, 5 callers and then granny catches the only card in the deck that would help her 8-2 offsuit. I give up the predilection to raising right then and there.

A few hands later, and as my patience is about to run out, I hit two pair on the flop. Raise. Granny calls. (The Board is King-10-2, and I'm holding King-2 in the Big Blind). Turn: 3. I bet. Granny calls. River: 5. I bet. Granny reraises. What? I call. She proudly calls out: "I have the wheel, straight ace to 5"

What. THE. FUCK????????

She called the bet on the flop with nothing but an ace high. She called the bet on the turn when only the five would give her the best hand. And she caught it.

The very next hand, I hit two pair on the flop. Granny calls me all the way down and hits her higher 2 pair after a flop of 9-8-5, Turn of a 5 and a River Queen. So that her Queens and Fives beat my Nines and Eights.

Logan's Run had it right: kill every one over the age of 39 (or something like that). This woman, who candidly admitted that she only has time left in her life, should do the world (and me) a favor by stepping away from the table and start paying my tuition.

So what I have realized is that Old People, unless it is Doyle Brunson or Amarillo Slim, have no business playing poker. I also realized, after losing 80 some dollars last night, that I should only play no-limit poker. Finally, as I was driving home with my buddy (who continually counted his money), I now know that playing cards at the casino during finals is a great idea in theory, but a bad idea in reality.

Damn I hate old people. Damn you Matt Damon for convincing me to play poker yesterday. Damn you self-control for letting me down. Ok, enough is enough, time to open up the books (property) and play some cards online....