Okay, yes, I am, but I’ll get to that in a little while.
After about a hour or so of play, a new player walked in wearing a Cardinals hat and University of Missouri shirt.
“You from Missouri?” I asked, sizing him up. He slot hoki a little younger than me and initially bore the tells of a player new to the game (boy, I can form misimpressions really, really fast).
We chatted for a few minutes before discovering that not only had we gone to the same college, we grew up in the same city, and our high schools were in the same athletic conference. In fact, our high schools were arch rivals that shared the same mascot.
Missouri Josh, as I would take to thinking of him, should be my nemesis, I thought.
You wanna be a Tiger, buddy? Let’s get to growlin’.
I’m so fucking stupid.
See, after a couple of days, I’ve discovered what happened.
After months of promoting the tight-aggressive style to burgeoning poker player, G-Rob, I found myself unwilling to play in that fashion. The table was as loose as the fabled mother-fucker. What’s more, it was loose-aggressive. At first, $3 raises would be enough to scare almost any player off a pot. Within a few hours, $3 raises seemed like Post Oak bluffs. Any bet less than $10 was seen as weakness. Big, red-bird filled pots became the norm.
I thought I could portray myself as a loose player as well. I flopped a king-high flush draw and called for all my chips with two cards to come. No clubs, no money.
“Well, hell,” I said, “I was on a freeroll anyway. Now it’s time to play.”
Two buy-ins later, I was on my heels, twice laying down the best hand in large pots when facing bets from ultra-aggressive G-Rob or Missouri Josh.
Before long, Josh and G-Rob had the largest stacks on the table.
BadBlood commented, “We’re going to have to be careful the table doesn’t tilt that way.”
I could only respond from my spot on the other side of the table, “No worries. I have enough tilt for this entire side of the table.”
It was shortly thereafter that most of the table called a $3 raise from Missouri Josh. It came around to me on the button, where I found AQo. After being on my heels and playing tight-passive for an hour or so, I figured I could steal the pot.
“All in,” I said.
Everybody folded but Missouri Josh, who called with JTs.
Ordinarily, this is where I would begin lamenting the number of bad beats I faced or the impossible luck of my opponents. Unfortunately, I don’t recall suffering any bad beats and–against me–my opponents didn’t need to rely on luck.
BadBlood, Missouri Josh, and G-Rob dominated the table. They each had different stlyes. BadBlood played a good tight-aggressive game, was kaing professional reads on all of his opponetns, and only fell a couple of times when he got sucked out on. Missouri Josh played a spectacular loose-aggressive game that made him the biggest winner of the night. G-Rob played a hyper-aggressive game that suits his demeanor and style very well. He held a massive cheap lead for much of the night but suffered a massive beat when, in one hand, the river counterfeited his flush with a fourth spade, giving Missouri Josh another massive win.
In a fun moment later in the evening, G-Rob went to war with Josh, flopping the nut-straight and doubling up when Josh flopped a middle pair with a straight draw.
All the while, I sat with my elbows on the spectacularly padded rail of the table, wondering at what point in the night I became a fish.
I am no Tiger. I’m a fish.
Glub, glub, my good man.