And what you wanted to be yours/HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- The older guy with the flannel shirt two to my left in the eight seat pushes the rest of his red chips in on the turn.
Has made it mine
-"Fell on Black Days," Soundgarden
I call. When the river comes I flip my cards over and look away to my right, uninterested. I'd flopped Fuel 55, the nuts and crushed whatever overpair this guy had.
I don't say anything but am thinking damn. I was stuck for 16 hours and then I donned my Biscuits (18-3) shirt, which as best as I can tell has won 12 consecutive starts dating back to ought-eight. It insanely comes to the rescue when I get stuck.
I'm unstuck again. I've busted two people in two hands. I look down at my watch. Since I sat down at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood's NL $1/2 table, eight minutes have elapsed.
It's been nearly five years since I made my way over to this poker room during an insane long run in 2010, just a few weeks before I ran in my second marathon. I called it "valuetown" then.
It still is. The only thing that's different is I'm a much different player than I was then. Mainly I'm more patient with that thing called variance.
I wouldn't have even been in Florida if I hadn't been such a click monkey. Sometime in November I clicked on a Georgia Tech drawing to go to the Orange Bowl. A few weeks ago I got a call while I was running and I learned I'd won second prize in the sweepstakes.
So of course I called Sham and assembled probably the quickest road trip I've done for quite a while. It helped that Gnome happened to have a home game before the trip that featured Skiddoo and Surflexus that helped me brush off my skills.
After watching the Yellow Jackets win that New Year's Eve game, we came back to the Hard Rock. It was so crowded that you could barely walk through the atrium of shops that lies in between the casino and the parking deck.
The poker room was crowded too. I lost a few hands that got me stuck, JJ versus a shorter stack that had KK and A5s with top pair and a four flush against 77 that made a river gutshot straight.
But the game was good, filled with plenty of people playing any two cards. It had a lot of straddles, including the Mississippi straddle, in which the button can straddle, forcing the small blind to be the first preflop (instead of under the gun with a regular straddle). This room also allowed the cutoff to straddle if the button did not.
In the evening session, the game was much, much different. I got plenty of game winner cards (two sets with 55 in that four-hour session). But there were plenty of extremely passive players who would call raises and then fold to continuation bets.
I hope I remember this lesson from this trip, to keep focus when I'm down and to know that even the very next session can be very different.