You’ve Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em

Well, I played in my third poker tournament this weekend. There were 34 of us playing in this memorial tournament, a mixture my friends and my buddy’s father’s friends. It was a great time – lots of great vibes and a lot of good hands of poker. The last tournament was a bit more mellow, but this time was more active and fun. And best of all, I won! Got to love that part.

I finally played well, too. My poker face is more readable than the large-print version of Jack and Jill. My buddy Jim loves playing against me because he can usually bluff his way in close hands. But on Saturday, I was on fire. I was finally getting cards and I was playing them well, and … heaven forbid … bluffing. I started by trying to be the man, wearing the hat and sunglasses. And I got 15 straight hands where my cards were combinations of everything from 2 – 10. I literally had one or two face cards in that entire time. Except for blinds, I never made a bet. Then I removed the sunglasses – and my luck changed. I won 2 of 3, including a pretty large pot. I was flying.

Then the tables condensed and Jim sat down next to me. My mojo was gone. I went down 3 straight hands that I stayed in on. Jim took me for a big hand. I was ready to lace his beer with a little Visine to get back my advantage when I won a big hand – and then moved to another table. At that table, I was against a young kid with a huge stack. He was a bully, relying on his pot to take him through some ludicrous bets and raises. I was lucky enough to not take him on until I had the makings of a straight – and then I dragged him in heavy when I got it on the river. I took probably 50% of his chips, then bluffed my way to taking his buddy’s stack. I was back.

In the end, I found my groove for the first time in a LONG while. I played last month and did well, mostly on opening hands of flush, straight, full house in the first 3 hands. I never looked back from there, but that was luck of the cards, not playing ability. But who knows – maybe this was a turning point and I will actually be able to start winning some on skill instead of luck of the draw.


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