Sunday, June 19, 2011

Notes From The Outside

Your reluctant hero got himself to one of Southern California's card club establishments for the first time since leaving Vegas almost three years ago.

Live poker is much slower than I had remembered.

The first level took decades.

I graduated from college and attended my 25 year reunion before we hit 50/100.

I put on some weight.   

I changed jobs four times.

I lost the weight and then put it back on as muscle.

Then I lost it again.

I had a midlife crisis.  

All the while I kept double checking the time on my phone.

At one point I was sitting at the table, bored out of my mind, chastising myself for such tight play.

I then counted my chips and realized we hadn't orbited yet in the tournament.

How was the play?

Surprisingly good.  Maybe it should be.  It has been eight years since Moneymaker came along.

By this point in time everyone definitely has a strategy.  Everyone showed up with a plan.

Something however was missing from tables I remember in Vegas.

Folks on vacation.

Humans taking a break from the pit games.

Gentlemen looking for action and willing to drop some dollars to get it.

This type of player was just not there.

No, to travel to Bell Gardens, California at 4pm to play in a rebuy requires the belief that one knows what they are doing.  The belief that one actually has a shot at winning $30,000. 

And while it's true that I've been away from the game for awhile, apparently all of the characters are still the same. 

When those writers I've hired to edit this blog entry for me get to work, we can have them include descriptions for each type of player I saw at the table.  You know. So that you can fully enjoy my experience of having been there.

I do want to comment on how cruel some of the players were to the dealers.

I can't recall ever seeing it go this far at a poker table in Vegas.

Apparently the California card dealers are not as well protected as their Vegas cousins.

There were a few older ones who were decent but the younger dealers were constantly receiving player abuse, which only made them more nervous and make more mistakes.

I really wish I had filmed some of the interactions I witnessed with my camera as these guys displayed perhaps the best argument I've seen to date for legalizing and regulating internet poker.

(Well other than letting adults do adult things in the privacy of their own home).

These guys let everyone know that there are sick cruel demented people who do not know how to treat others in a public setting.

Which is exactly why God invented internet poker.

So I don't have to sit next to these folks in person.

If only the U.S. Congress could see what I saw.

The horror!  The horror!

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