Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Tilt Myself

Normally I love hosting my poker game. Last night, not so much. But hey, bad times for me usually result in amusement for you, so let's vent...

The Man Space can get a bit toasty with 20+ meat bags in it -- it's basically a 350 square foot rectangle with a low ceiling and no ventilation -- so I've tried a number of steps to make it more habitable. Two ceiling fans run more or less nonstop despite the height, I put some curtains near the stairwell to cut down on the cold air loss, and I have a portable unit that goes out one of the small basement windows. Since the windows are small, you can't just put an ordinary unit in the window; you need something with a smaller vent tube, and customize the window installation. One of my regulars wanted to bring his dad to this week's game and had a portable unit he wasn't using, so all right. Let's give it a shot, with the guy and our mutual contractor doing the honors.

They installed the unit on Wednesday night, and I couldn't be around for much of the work, as my West Coast start up required me on a late conference call. When I got back to the area, the unit was in the wall, but I was told not to use it just yet. The fuses for my breaker were said to be up to the job, but not my surge protector. So I didn't test it before the event.

Now, something everyone should know about poker players, or at least the guys at my game: herding cats might be easier. Getting them all to come on time, having the people who say they are coming not change their plans at the last minute, or having others parachute in... it's more or less a constant. In the usual day of an event, anywhere from 10 to 20% of the field is going to email, text or call to change things up, and I'm going to wind up changing the room to match it up. We run a yearly points total to aid repeat business and add intrigue, so it complicates set up. We also frequently wind up on the 2-3 table cusp, and the tables fit 8, 8 and 10 players respectively, so I try to keep things even. It requires some doing.

Finally, I also usually run errands the night before, or the day of, the game. There's soda to buy and load into the fridge, a new water cooler that required a spare 5-gallon jug, soft pretzels, etc. I also wind up moving a lot of furniture, as my sectional sofa moves to the other side of the basement to make room. There's a lot to do, but it's something I enjoy, and as I've said, I like putting on a good game.


Last night, not so much.

I knew I was in trouble for, well, days before the event. It's been a rough month financially, so the added contractor expense wasn't a happy moment, and you rarely play well when you are tight on dough. It's been a very busy week for the start up (witness the Wed PM call), so the errands fell to the Shooter Wife. It was a very busy day for the start up, so the room prep didn't happen until late. And the second AC unit didn't get turned on until late, either... and when it did? I discovered the tube was about a foot too short to position the unit in any useful direction. Irritating. And so is the bigger than usual flurry of player add/drops, as we go from 25 to 20 in the span of an hour. Fine. Gah. Whatever. We've still got enough for three tables, we're starting on time, everyone's happy. Let's roll. What do I care that the second AC unit shuts off when someone uses the coffee maker? It'll all work out. Room's OK, though not exactly cool. We'll be fine.

The first hour goes well for me. I chip up early despite not catching much, and the crazy aggro player at my table doesn't show up on time, which also helps. The rebuys are popping off like popcorn to make for a big pot, and the final hand before the hour goes my way and makes me the chip leader, though not a dominating one. Crazy aggro guy is short stacked, I don't feel overwhelmed by my table, I'm finally going to cash in my tournament this year. (It's been a very bad year for me in my tournament.)

At which point... we all start to notice how wet it's getting near the second AC unit. Visible dripping. Joy. I need some cups and maybe a bucket, let's turn this thing off and I've been dealt Ace-6 out of position, um, uh, crap, fold I guess, my freaking room! Dammit, I more or less live down here now with the work from home job, and that's not good. I mean, I own a dehumidifier and all, but still... Wow, all-in on my big blind, and I've got an Ace and your stacks isn't big, so I guess I call...

I make it to the final table somehow with a decent stack, thanks to flopping a full house against that all-in move. We're paying out five tonight and I really do need the cash, so I should just stay patient and hmmm... 9-10 suited when the table is going all-in crazy. I've folded something like 9 out of 10 hands or more most of the night, so maybe a limp will look like I'm trapping with a big pair if I come in early, so let's give that a shot. The flop is a rainbow that gives me an open-ended straight, and the table is aggro enough that there's no way I'm going to see the turn or river with checks... so let's bet into it and go 2X pot. It works for everyone but the previously mentioned late maniac on my right, who shoves for 80% of my stack. Dammit.

(Here's a little side pot of misery: the room has a new player who won't give me his last name for the player of the year contest, and is slow with his antes to the point where I feel like I have to monitor his play for the rest of the night. Oh, and he's also doing the whole fake ignorant thing on the size of bets to call, rebuys twice in the first five minutes before putting together a monster stack, and has managed to ingratiate himself to, seemingly, everyone in the room but me. But maybe that's just because my floor is turning into a swamp from an unexpected expense that's causing electrical issues. Yeah, I'm just a festival of good decisions right now.)

The only smart move here is to fold. I need to cash. This maniac has owned me for six months. He's such a maniac that I'm not even sure I've got the worst hand right now, really. Even if I'm wrong, 8 outs with two cards left isn't the worst odds I've ever played into. Drip. Drip. Drip. Dammit, I need to win one of these freaking things, not just cash for my buy in, especially given my financial situation. GAHHHHH. Drip. Drip. Drip.

Call. Like a complete on tilt moron. Call.

And of course he's got J-10, the same draw that I have, but also top pair, and just about the worst thing for him to have. So there goes most of it, and the last is gone two hands later when no one raises my big blind, I hit bottom pair and bet into a stack with more. Well, so much for those three hours. I play the cash game for ten minutes with my heart not in it, since my floor needs attention, and the room gets my overall pissy vibe and starts bailing out early.

Everyone, of course, that isn't the previously mentioned side pot of misery. He's counting chips after everyone has left to make sure he gets every possible dime of what's coming to him (this, after clearing $175 in the tournament, and taking a miss on my tip jar since he's brought his own), thanking me for the fourth time for the courtesy of having him (the first three times were enough, really), and asking me when the next game is. Oh, and he's spilled a beer and congratulated himself by telling me about it, and how honest he is for saying so.

Um, dude? This is my home. My swampy, swampy home that needs hours of cleaning and work, with no desire for company, especially yours. He finally gets the hint and leaves, and now it's time to get the place back to habitable. So let's grab the dehumidifier and the towels and the vacuum cleaner and... hey, the tip jar is at its lowest level ever. Can't say that's a surprise, really.

Yeah, that second AC unit? It's time for that to go. Like, post haste. So using the power of hate and gym muscles, I get the thing to the garage -- and yes, it's absolutely engorged with water, adding to the weight and my general rage. Which leaves just the hose in the window, which comes out with a simple screw driver. And a whole in the window, with a custom and perfectly placed piece of wood that ain't going nowhere. Ruining the efforts of the dehumidifier. The wood has got to go. Somehow. At 4am.

Let's find a saw! Sure, that's a win at this hour. But we don't have a hand saw, we've got an electric one. In the box, brand new and after 45 minutes of looking at the instructions and trying to get it to work... that's exactly where it goes back. GAHHHH. Well, at least there's one Darwin Award moment dealt with. (I wound up using the tool of every tool-challenged moron; duct tape. Worked for the day.)

So... many hours later, the room got back to status quo. Twenty days from now, it will happen all again. And if the room's too hot... the room will be too hot. And I hope it puts them on tilt, because it's not going to for me.

1 comment:

CMJDad said...

Damn, I'm sorry I left. The look on your face would have been worth it. And the AC unit has only leaked twice in its life, the last two times it's been used. Funny, it worked for 2 plus years non-stop before the moving gorillas yanked it from its home.

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