The drive to Greer flew by even though it’s uphill all the way. Work had been an unwelcome distraction all day, a chore even more odious than usual. On the path to the Upstate of South Carolina, I prepared the traditional way-by listening to AC/DC. The pirate ship is equipped per 18th Century specs so no CD player or XM for me. K-Mart has a paltry selection of cassettes in the $2.99-$4.99 range and I had picked up some AC/DC (High Voltage), Springsteen, and Alice In Chains a few months back. Alice drags and it’s just not worth it to take it back. Bruce has his moments but I don’t think he is a poker player. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. Bon Scott though, that guy could probably play some poker. Imagine that table image. Early AC/DC actually has some mellow, bluesy guitar sounds in between the testicle references and Angus was putting me into the proper frame of mind for the big game. When the tape ran dry, I needed something to rile me up enough to get aggressive at a table full of strangers. Fortunately, NPR came through and Italian opera made me see red. I was led to believe there would be approximately ten or so at the table, including G-Rob from Up for Poker. Great! Two of my favorite bloggers, a cooler full of beer, and Mapquest directions. What could possibly go wrong?
After three wrong turns due to Mapquest listing secondary road numbers rather than street names, I showed up at Bad Blood’s lair. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you who are regular readers of his blog, but Blood obviously is an extremely smart, talented guy who loves speed metal and weight-lifting. With those interests coupled with his avatar and screen name, I envisioned walking into the Predator’s den, with skulls of alien races adorning the walls, Sepultura posters subbing for curtains, and free weights, covered in rusty blood stains, littering the floor.
Some pleasant looking fellow answered the door and I looked past him, expecting to see a great, winged creature descending the stairs to eat both of us with its big, nasty teeth, barely straining its huge trapezoids, which run from the tops of its ears to its elbows. I figured the bones of previous victims had been removed by the highly-paid cleaning crew (hazard pay you know) or that he just ate his victims whole, leaving no evidence. It was very suspicious as I appeared to be the first one there, even though my drive had been the longest. For all I knew, previously arriving guests had already been ushered into the room of doom and my space was already reserved. The pleasant man assured me he was Bad Blood, that he was hosting a game that night, and that I was, in fact, the first to arrive. I looked around and saw neat rooms, flowery wallpaper, and comfortable furniture. A typical suburban dream. To top it off, the man actually has children. Not red-eyed little monsters, or Wednesday/Pugsley like creatures, but honest to goodness fetching kids with good manners and a saintly air. What a letdown.
The rest of the players drug in, some sober, some less so. So many showed up, we were split into two groups. I drew the kids table along with G-Rob, some guy named Frank the Tank, Wolverine, and a few others. I resolved to play tight and observe the rest of the table for awhile until I became comfortable with their styles. I soon found out limping was useless if G-Rob was still to act. Raises 4-6x were the norm and I folded repeatedly with my suited junk. The man they called Teddy Ballgame showed up soon after we started and HE WAS READY TO PLAY! Those kids didn’t get any sleep for the next hour or so as he entered into every pot with a declaration of intent to take the pot for himself. In the first big hand I got involved in, I raised 3x with 55 and Teddy called. The flop brought a 5 and I called his moderate bet. The turn was a Q and he went all-in. I called to see him turn over KQ for two-pair and a draw to his full house. No help came and I doubled up. That was the last of his money I would see as G-Rob found Teddy’s pin number and proceeded to drain the ATM.
I hit a couple of good-sized pots with a turned straight and a small, flopped flush before we consolidated to one table. Otis had shown up and moved over to our table to balance things out when I made my first blunder of the evening. First to act and with AKc, I raised to $3. It folded around to Otis, who wondered how I had raised when the action hadn’t been around to him yet. I looked down and saw my big blind staring me in the face. Oh, I’m not UTG? Well, Crap.
We consolidated to Blood’s beautiful poker table and got introduced to table one’s big stack, MikeD. I kept afloat by taking a few pots with some nice hands. By that time, I was able to play a little less tightly and made a couple of good plays to win a pot or two. Blunder number two (actually three if you count the time I reached across the table with my freakishly long arms and mucked another player’s cards before he had a chance to act) was calling a $10 bet before G-Rob had a chance to act. I had flopped the nut-flush and the player to my immediate left bet his $10. In my excitement to call, I completely forgot the tall guy to my right which may have cost me a bet or two from Mr. Aggressive. I have a tendency to act quickly, strong or weak, in an attempt to disguise any tells and this time it made me look a little foolish. Fortunately, everyone was drunk and won’t remember it unless some ass writes about it.
I ended up for the night about 3x my buy-in and was in good-enough shape to make the drive home. Coast-to Coast AM was having listeners call in with their scariest moments so that was entertaining. A demon from North Dakota made a call-in appearance and brightened my drive home with his threats to possess some poor board operator at an affiliate. The drive home is downhill and I pulled in about 4:15 with everything still in order.
On the bets, I think I went under on almost everything. No shots, No hot dogs, No Mt. Dew. Gotta try harder next time.