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03/21/2005: don't fear the reaper

if you haven't noticed by now, most of my post titles are either song titles or lyrics. i usually try to match them to the topic at hand, and yes, i do feel pretty witty most of the time. today's title has nothing to do with playing fearless or betting into dangerous boards or overcoming scare cards on the turn; no, today's title is in reference to the Darwin Award nominee who's parents decided that it was BOC's fault that their child shrugged off this mortal coil after listening to "Don't Fear The Reaper"; they then proceeded to file suit. ah, that good ol' American past-time of blaming others. so without further ado, i would like to blame last night's $250 commode flush to...Dr. Dre's The Chronic.

see, i like to play poker AND listen to music. call it my chocolate in the peanut butter. or the peanut butter in the chocolate. either way, i usually pack my iPod with me and listen to a playlist while in either ring games or tournaments. for the last several weeks i have been perfecting a playlist called "B L U F F". it is roughly three hours of music, running the gamut from Getz/Gilberto to Snow Patrol to Led Zepplin to Sinatra. last week i added Dr. Dre's The Chronic and 2001 to the iPod and my playlist, giving me enough old school rap to keep me from forgetting about Dre. during tournaments there are often times i need to pause what's playing (curl up in the think tank!), so a three hour play list usually gets me at least to the final table. last night we ended earlier than usual when, with four players left, we made a deal, so i had some playlist left for the $1/$2 PL ring game. about 30 min into the ring game i still had $250 of my $300 buy-in in front of me and then it happened - the playlist ran out. [cue ominous music]

i should have just restarted it, right? well, instead, high on "Crunk Juice" and feeling bulletproof and invisible, i thought maybe Dre would be good. you know what? it wasn't about 10 minutes into The Chronic till i caught those pocket nines. i think Jim Morrision said it best when he said, "this is the end, my only friend, the end." IIRC i was the BB, so i knew i would need to play strong, so that people wouldn't think i was stealing. fortunate for me, all the people in the ring game had been in the tournament: they had seen the hands i played, witnessed my tight/agressiveness, and were privy to my finish (remember: i was 2nd in chips out of 4, and seriously more chipped than places 3 or 4.) with four or five people already committing $2 to the pot to see a flop, i came out with $25, essentially raising to double the pot. as i wanted (and expected) all folded...except the small blind, who ponder for half a sec and kicked it in. i was not pleased, but with "Let Me Ride" thumping in my ear and a ganster roll in my pocket, i mentally commited to taking this pot down...all pre-flop! wait! what in the heck was i thinking? why would i make up my mind to win a pot with a measley pair of nines all pre-flop? hubris? ah yes, good old arrogance. my only friend, the end. when the flop came out ten high, two spades, i wrong-headedly made a bad assumption: the small blind bet out $25 and i figured he must be on the flush draw, holding the nut ace of spades. so what do you do when you are full of arrogance? why re-raise, of course. "make it $50," i said, with what i am sure sounded like bravado worthy of a Clint Eastwood movie. with "Nuthin' But a "G" Thang" in my head, the small blind smooth-calls. smooth-calls? SMOOTH-CALLS? ^$*&&%^%*&%^$. i now have $75 in the pot and i feel like there is no way i can get away from this. why? i dunno. the blinders were on and i was being lead to the glue factory. giddy-up, Mr. Ed. fortunate for me, the river brought an undercard that was not a spade, so we both checked. now i certainly put him on a flush draw and was actually feeling better about the hand; check that - i was feeling like that damn pot was coming home to papa! when the turn brought yet another undercard that wasn't black, the small blind went all-in. i figured he was trying to make a stab at it after he missed his flush, so i called him down, leaving me $33 in my stack. as i started to turn my cards, the small blind said something to the effect of "you got me, you got an overpair, right?" um, no. i wish i did. he played his A10o all the way, even though he thought he was beat. *^(*^&%*^&$%$#%$. i rapped the table, smiled meekly, and turned off Dre.

so you see, members of the jury, if my client hadn't been swayed by the swagger and pomposity of this gangster rap, he would have laid this hand down, more than likely on the flop, and only have lost his big blind. you honor, we are asking for immediate summary judgement and an award of damages in the amount of $250.

moral of the story: don't over play small pairs (again, same damn moral that i had about five posts ago) and don't listen to music that might get you over-excited.


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