New York City
"Red heads are bad luck," mentioned Senor.
On Christmas Eve in 2000, Veronica sat down next to me at the bar and began flirting with me. We had known her for a couple of years as a peripheral friend. She's the type that guys go apeshit over, with super model looks with the girl-next-door personality. She liked shopping as much as she liked watching the Knicks play. But she was a nymphomaniac and a total jinx. Several of my friends had slept with her and within three weeks of their first sexual encounter, something horrible happened to each of them. It was eerie. Bizarre. Something out of the X-Files.
The curse was like clockwork. You stick your penis inside of her vagina, and on the twenty-first day, tragedy struck. Her vagina got dubbed "The Bermuda Triangle of Doom."
It started when our friend Steve slept with her after an Ozomatli concert. We thought he was a god among men. He nailed the red headed vixen. Little did we know that inside of three weeks, he'd get fired from his job at MTV. Scott was up next and he got into a car accident three weeks to the day of their tryst.
I know what you are thinking... it's just a coincidence, right? Red heads as bad luck is just a superstition or a crock of shit. We felt the same way until the O'Malley brothers tag teamed Veronica. And exactly twenty-one days later... both O'Malley brothers experienced individual tragedies even through they were five time zones apart. During a hike in a national park in Hawaii, one brother slipped off a cliff and broke his leg and three ribs. Wile the other brother was hit by a cab jaywalking near Times Square. This all happened within a hour of each other. At that point, we were all spooked out.
That's when one of our friends who went to college with Veronia told us about how she killed one of her professors. Well, not exactly killed. They started a torrid affair. Three weeks to the day the prof first did the deed, he died of a massive heart attack. The two were having sex in his office when he keeled over. She had been cursed ever since.
The only person who managed to avoid any bad juju was Senor. He got super drunk one night and let down his defenses. He only got a blowjob from her in the bathroom of a dive bar in the East Village, but he was freaked out for three weeks. He barely left his apartment. While walking down a flight of stairs in his building to go to work, he slipped and sprained his ankle. He was convinced that had he had full blown sex, he figured that he would have broken it. We finally found a loophole in the Veronica Jinx.
We were willing to trade off a little pain for some pleasure. Risk assessment at it's finest.
"Red heads are bad luck," mentioned Senor.
I didn't say anything. I was running calculations in my head. If I just jacked off on her tits, I wondered how severe would my punishment be? A bee sting? A parking ticket? A dog bite? Maybe a kid would throw up on me while standing in line at the post office?
One late night in Hollyweird last week, I fired up PokerStars and noticed that the Poker Nerd had signed up for a TURBO SNG. I took the last seat at his table and I actually played poker with the Poker Nerd. If you don't know, the Nerd was a legend among the early poker blogging community. He played dozens of SNGs simultaneously. He was the first non-pro that I knew who achieved Supernova status on PokerStars by multitabling $100 SNGs. He was a fuckin' machine and I used to sweat his tables in utter awe at his keen multi-tabling skills. His blog posts were some of the best strategy I had ever read on the web. Sadly, the Poker Nerd stopped blogging then eventually pulled the plug on his blog. Alas, the Nerd was no more.
I thought I saw a ghost when I recognized his screen name... but it was in fact the Poker Nerd playing online. A blast from the past. The Ghost of Christmas Past. The Poker Nerd. Someday, I hope he starts writing again. About anything. Nice playing with you, sir!
My recent guilty pleasure has been $27 Turbos on PokerStars. They are super soft and not expensive enough that I can play like a maniac and get knocked out early and not care. I either bust out 8th or 9th or win the damn thing outright. 90% of my cashes in my most recent spurt have been first place finishes. All or nothing for me.
I played one Turbo on Stars with a read/bogger named Silent Rebel. He mentioned that he went to a strip club in the afternoon because of me. Awesome.
I have been playing 5/10 HORSE on Poker Stars. One night, a xenophobic inbred nit had some not so nice things to say as he rained racial epithets down at me. If you have never seen my avatar on Stars, it's a picture of Gary Coleman circa the Diff'rent Strokes era in the early 1980s. He assumed that I was black and dropped a bunch of n-bombs. I ignored the bigot and turned off his chat.
I lost a prop bet and had to play Riverchasers last week. I played super loose and built up a stack early. I had a good starting table with Hoy, Bayne, and GCox. I think I finished in 18th place and made the money. Of course, Full Tilt crashed with 13 players to go, so it looked like I got out at the right time.
Last Friday night, I played online poker at the Long Beach airport. I arrived two hours early and fired up Full Tilt on the laptop as I waited for my flight to JFK. I played 3/6 HORSE and then sat a 1/2 NL table with Daddy, Iggy, Garthmeister, and DonkeyPuncher's table. I won a nice pot with Quad aces. The next day in NYC, the same group of us played and Bobby Bracelet was also in the mix. Ah, it reminded me of the good old days on Party Poker.
Aside from a few blogger tables, tournaments, HORSE and turbo SNGs, I have been running bad at the 10/20 and15/30 LHE tables on PokerStars. I can't seem to win on Stars, yet continue to play there. I got stuck almost $1K over the weekend at the tables. I constantly win at Full Tilt, but there are not as many tables available for the limits I want to play. There's always 10/20 games running on Stars, yet when I sit down, tragedy strikes.
I had a rough session on Wednesday night. I got my ass reamed. I misplayed one or two hands, but the remainder of the carnage was ugly. I was two tabling it and not paying attention to my stack. When I finally decided to quit, I was shocked to discover that I was down 40 BBs spread out over both tables. I thought I was playing good and solid poker. A few suckouts and a few missed draws later... and I found myself in the hole. Again.
I played some NL on Thursday morning and took another vicious whopping by a two outer. Set me on such tilt that I logged off and vowed to not play poker for a while. A friend from college, Singer, introduced me to tournament hold'em in 1997 when we both lived in Seattle. He used to play a lot of cash games too and had a way to avoid tilt after wicked bad beats. He would get up and smoke a cigarette. He once left a tournament when it was three-handed after he got his Aces cracked brutally. He walked away and got blinded off for a few minutes while he stood on the rail and smoked his way off tilt. He went back to the table relaxed and came from behind to win it.
So after experiencing my bad beat, I heeded Singer's advice and took a break. I intended it to last a couple of days, but last night Change100 told me that she made the final table of a LHE tournament (she signed up by mistake and I always wondered if about 15% of entrants in Limit tournaments thought it was NL when they signed up). Anyway, there's was an open seat at an 8/16 LHE table and two of the bigger fish I knew were playing, so I jumped into the fight. I only played for a little bit and quit when Change100 got knocked out. I won $16 or one BB. It's not much, but it felt good to post a winning session. I'm feeling blah and under the weather, so I expect to take the next few days off and rest up.
Need a last minute idea for a Christmas present? How about some poker books?
Texas Poker Wisdom by Johnny HughesAnd here are some non-poker titles that I suggest...
Bigger Deal by Anthony Holden
Kill Everyone by Lee Nelson & Joe Hachem
The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide: Tournament Edition edited by Michael Craig
IV by Chuck Klosterman
Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris
Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins
The Happiest Days of Our Lives by Wil Wheaton
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