I’m tired. Wiped out. These late night freeroll tournaments are fun, but they’re killing me. And I don’t mean money. I’m talking sleep. Wah Wah. I know I’m a baby. But this baby needs his rest.
So last night I’m playing in a no-limit Hold’em game at PokerStars which began at 10pm, the time I should be in bed. You start off with 1500 in chips, and, bamm, right off the bat I’m down about 300. Oh well, it looks like an early night.
But, hey, I’m no quitter. So I play with all the few skills and focus I have and before I know it I’ve worked my way out of my early hole. And I’m even up a few hundred chips. And then the poker Gods (or God) blesses me with some luck. I think it’s luck. I’m not sure. I don’t even know what luck is. Anyway, I start winning several big hands. It’s about midnight and I now have about 27,000 chips. That’s right, baby, I’m a player. 27,000 chips. There’s no stopping me.
I’ve never been in this tall stack position before. Hey, it’s only my sixth tournament. When you’ve got so many chips compared to the fish, er, other players at your table, it’s tough to lose. No one wants go against you. You’re invincible. Hear me roar. I could feel the other players’ fear. No one was raising like they used to, and any time I would raise they would fold like….an omelete made in a new Teflon pan.
With 27,000 in chips and my newly found bravado, I decided to see where I ranked in the tournament. It turns out that I was somewhere around 1000. There was actually some guy with over 70,000 in chips. Reality check.
And then I get moved to this table where I’m no longer the big chip holder. I’m now probably the fifth biggest chip holder, and my ability to steal the blinds no longer seems so strong. I start playing much more tentatively, and I lose a few big hands, fluctuate between 18,000 and 22,000 chips, and feel as if the force is no longer with me.
It’s about 12:30am now, I’m getting very very tired, and I need for something big to happen. I know I can play tentatively and last for at least another hour and possibly move a little higher up the tournament ladder or I can try to play with a little testosterone and either really rise or die.
What to do? What to do? I’m not thinking straight. I’m really tired. I can’t even look at the cards. They disgust me. Poker disgusts me. Life disgusts me. You see what happens when I don’t get my rest. I’m a whiny bugger. I start re-reading an e-book a friend sent to be about ‘tagging secrets” and “social book marking”. I’m actually understanding this stuff. Who needs poker?
And then fate hits. I get pocket fives and I’m on the button. I know this isn’t a very good hand. I probably should fold it. But everyone else is out, and I decide to make a move. I bet a few hundred chips. This other guy raises me. I should definitely fold. But I can’t. I feel lucky. I at least have to stay to see the flop. And I like what I see – the flop is 5 4 2 (I think there were a couple of spades but I don’t recall).
I bet something substantial, I don’t remember what, and this other player raises me. Who does he think he his? I’ve got a set of fives. What the hell could he have? There’s no way the guy has a straight. Maybe he has something close to one. Maybe he is nearing a flush. I can’t let him hit anything. So I really raise the heat and make a nice size raise. But he raises it even hotter and comes back with a big re-raise.
The turn is something inconsequential. I don’t know, it might have been the jack of hearts. The point is that it was inconsequential. No help for him. Certainly no help for me.
And then the river comes. That damn fickle river, the one that had been so good to me all night. What does it bring? It brings a 3 of something. There’s no chance he has the flush, but his straight possibility becomes sickeningly real. He goes all-in. I have no choice but to call, which means that if I lose, I lose it all. He reveals pocket aces. Ouch. I lose it all.
It’s close to 1am. I’ve placed around 800 in the tournament. Not bad for a beginner. The problem is that I can’t get this last hand out of my mind and I need to get some sleep. I have no idea why I’m obsessing over my curtain call. For God’s sake, it was only a freeroll tournament. I didn’t lose anything? Well, that’s not true. I did lose my chance to go to sleep at a normal hour.
Epilogue: I finally get to sleep, probably around 1:30am. But, alas, the sleep wouldn’t for long. For at 4am I am awoken by the sounds of a screaming animal, I think a raccoon. I’m concerned that my cat is in a fight with whatever horrendous beast is making the noise. So I get up, go downstairs, get the cat, make sure it’s ok, and then try to get back to sleep. But those pocket aces won’t leave my stream of consciousness. I finally fall asleep, and then, poof, what seems like a second later, the alarm goes off.
Alas, no rest for the weary.