Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Cacophony of Bad Beats

I went out to a birthday dinner for my mother on Saturday. Five minutes into the dinner, my uncle who was seated to my right, blindsided me with a bad beat story. I was shocked and horrified. I couldn't even retreat into a quiet family dinner without someone titling me with one of their horrible beats.

"I had A-J and flopped a straight," he said and I rolled my eyes as he slowly delivered the painstaking bad beat.

His opponent flopped bottom pair and caught running cards for a boat, which he spiked on the river. The awful part about this story... it was on a Play Money table. He had been playing on Empire but after they shut down operations to US players he was looking for a new site. When I was in Australia, Derek downloaded Full Tilt for him and he's been on the play tables ever since.

Bad beat stories are like weird dreams. After you get one, you can't wait to tell someone, but it's nowhere as interesting for the listener as it is for the teller.

Derek had a tough situation when he worked down on Wall Street. One of his co-workers caught the poker bug and when the guy found out that Derek played online, he would stop by his desk to tell him bad beat stories. At first it was once a week. Then twice a week. Then everyday. Then twice a day. Then... you get the picture.

Sometimes I can be an asshole. Derek or Change100 will start telling me about a hand and I'll interrupt a few seconds in.

"Wait, is this a bad beat story?"

"Umm... yes."

"Save it for your blog."

I had a bad beat while waiting in line at the drug store the other day, when I picked the wrong line. Again. It happens all the time. I pick the shortest line and get stuck waiting and waiting, as lines longer than mine are moving at a much faster pace. Kicked in the junk.

Or the other day when I got on the subway. The door stopped right in front of me, but I noticed that the car that had just passed me featured two extremely chubby-popping smoking hot Jessica Alba-esque chicks sitting near an empty spot. I quickly ran over to their car and sat down across from them. They got off at the next stop and a homeless man with hands caked in dirt and grease sat down instead. He smelled like shit and vomit and blew a snot rocket which landed a few inches from my feet. Talk about a bad beat.

Relationships are bad beat stories waiting to happen. Several girls in my life ended up horrendous bad beats. At the end of our interaction with each other, not only did they suck the life out of me, they also left me completely broke. Of course, they all looked good preflop but somewhere along the line, they backdoored a better hand on you and you're toast. Like that cute girl from college I met standing in line at the bookstore one day sophomore year. Who knew that she was a cutter and would go Liz Wurtzel crazy on me? You bet your ass I was concerned when I found a note attached to my door with steak knife.

* * * * *

I'm a hired scribe. At this point I'll write for almost anybody on any topic. In the past I've made money writing school papers and various speeches. For a while, I was the speech writer for a County Commander in the American Legion and cranked out several patriotic gems. I've also written best man speeches, retirement speeches, eulogies, and even an obituary or two. And for a while, I made most of my freelance income during February when I sold love poems to friends so they could pass it off to their loved ones during Valentine's Day. Some of them were 100% total cheese, but they worked and my clients were happy with phrases like, "Diamonds might be forever, but these words came from deep inside my heart." Or... "You are the sun in my otherwise darkened universe." Or my favorite," I hope you liked the flowers and chocolate. Now how about a blow job?"

Then I read the Tao of AJ and his zen-like approach to picking up chicks in JoeSpeaker's post called A Valentine Gift.

Since it's Valentine's Day, I encourage you to avoid online poker today. Use that extra time and spend it with your significant other, wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend. Normally, I'm scorned or embittered on V-Day so that's why many moons ago I adopted the philosophy that 2-14 should be special to celebrate all of the friendships in your life. Instead of playing poker, take the time to call that friend from college you lost touch with or a family member that you owe a call too. Trust me, they will appreciate the sentiments and you'll feel better about yourself. And think about all that good karma you're putting out into the cosmos when you take the time to tell them that they mattered in your life and that you are thinking of them.

* * * * *

One year ago today on the Tao of Poker:
My Olympics prop betting slide continues after the US ladies dropped their curling opener to Norway. Due to my incorrigible betting habits, I have become a laughing stock in the pubs in Oslo. Time to win back my dignity! At least I won a few bucks on my favorite potheads who finished 1-2 in snowboarding and my goal is to have a huge American medal surge over the next few days. At press time, the Norwegians still have more medals that us... More

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