Death Appeal

The smallest game in the room, the entry point for poker, is often the most deadly, dull, and uninviting.  It has the highest proportional rake, the least challenging play, the smallest amount of available money, and most lethally, the most boring people. Tuesday is a slow night in many casinos.  I got stuck at three…

Inspiration Cost

There is nothing like a difficult run to inspire new thoughts.  The lesson of runbad is always to play better, even if it is immediately not evident.  The other lesson is to focus on other projects, and this weekend, lonely labor days of writing and contemplation, has yielded incredible fruit.  The screenplay, which I was…

Jet Lag

At the end of another long night of 73o and missed flops at two different limits and three tables, I’m exhausted, worn.  A favorite dealer has asked me what is wrong,  Nothing that can be cured, of course.  I’ve earned a small win painfully after felting a possibly tilting nit, and am ready to leave. With…

35X

When DZ checks the turn after raising Miniman’s donk lead, I put the pro on eight-six suited.  It’s a fast check, really much too quick, because if DZ had a set he would have considered continuing his aggression, even with the severe hit the straightening card delivered to his perceived equity share. Holding eighty seven…

The Maze

I turn and see Shaky, nice guy and poker mark, going home with 2.5k.   The two of us stare at his chips in disbelief. Shaky is a lean, handsome man, late fifties, brown eyes, recently haircut and shaved. His arms are wiry, unmuscled but overly tanned from good vacations, bad golf, and a well-managed diet. …

Game and Set

Eighty degrees, deuce. Serve, return, misplaced approach; Hando dribbles J4 over the high part of the net.  It’s likely he intended this defense to go elsewhere, or, perhaps, he had no idea where he wanted it to go.  Not sure how such a limp-wristed stab is really supposed to send a tennis ball anywhere in…

Treasure Island

Seven hundred big blinds in front of me, Q3o in the hole, six callers, getting lazy; something else is on my mind.  Sorry, it’s on me; can I cbet this monotone board?  Yes, apparently, as I watch my hands pushing chips. Chinese Eager Beaver next to me, raising his body upwards and erect in a…