I just got back from playing at World Series of Poker in Vegas. I spent 2 weeks there and was hoping to stay longer, but I didn’t make it into the main event. I played a number of satellites, won some, lost some, but overall didn’t get enough lammers to pay for the main event buyin.

Poker changes you. Especially if you play non-stop for 2 weeks. When you’re in the middle of a tourney, only you and your chip stack exist. Even if the world was coming to an end, as it does, according to news, every few weeks or so, if you are at the table, still alive, with you chip stack intact, nothing outside that poker room matters.

Because poker is the game of luck and skill, you can’t really discount the luck factor. Most of my all-ins I was ahead. Most of them I lost. The game was very loose, so you can have someone to stay in the pot with you with, like, A8 off and flop an 8. Happened to me several times when I was ahead with AK, AQ, AJ vs a lesser A and the guy would flop or river a 3-outer. Very frustrating.

Even when I had a monster it wasn’t good enough. In the Little One For One Drop I get QQ. An old lady goes all-in in front of me. I snap call. I had less chips than her. Flop is Q7x. We table the cards. She has pocket 77. I begin to celebrate, but then the turn brings another 7, giving her quads. I’m out.

But I had some hands that I played perfectly. There was one hand that I’m especially proud of. I have AQ off. I raise, one caller. I’m out of position. Flop is 3 hearts, I have an Ace of hearts. I check, guy bets, I call. Turn is a blank. Check, check. River is another blank, I don’t even have a pair. Check, guy thinks for a while then bets pot-size. Now I’m thinking: On the flop I remember him looking back at his cards, as if looking for a heart. So he probably was on a one card flush draw, the same way I was. He missed, just like I did. But I have an ace. Maybe my ace is good. Maybe he’s just making a move, considering the bet size. So I call and show an ace. He mucks. Everyone at the table was like: “I wouldn’t be able to make that call.”

Another hand I decided to do what they call “floating”. I get 67 of diamonds. A guy raises preflop, I call. Flop 69T, one diamond. So I have a pair, a gutshot and a backdoor flush draw, a kind of hand perfect for floating. He bets, I call. Turn is 5 of diamonds. Now I have a flush draw. He bets small, I call. River is a 4 of diamonds. He checks, I bet big. He sits there and throws guesses out there, asking me if I got there. I mean there are straights and flushes on the board. I probably did. But he doesn’t believe me and he calls. I show my flush. He had KK.

Ironically most of the big pots I won I had some kind of shitty hand, like A high, or 67. And all the good hands got crushed. Well, that’s poker.


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