Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ah, Softball Season!

Back in the old days... ok it wasn't THAT long ago, but I used to play softball five nights a week and go to the bar/clubs five nights a week afterwards. With a wife and kid now those days are firmly in the past. No more $200 beer tabs, complete with cheese bread, wings, and chicken fingers (with the honey mustard sauce of course). No more blowing money on pull tabs or hoping someone was sober enough to find our way home.

Not for this guy.

I got a taste of the former beer-swilling days last night after playing on my first men's softball team in three years last night. My wife's cousins are now of "drinking age" so naturally if you played baseball growing up and don't want to torture your body thru playing town ball (think Bull Durham without the groupies or any chance of playing major league ball), you play softball! I was a tad nervous that I'd strike out every at-bat and/or fly out but that did not happen. I batted a respectable 6 for 9 last night while our team had a bottom of the seventh inning 6 run come from behind victory in the first game, but losing the second game. I also thought I wouldn't make any new friends seeing that I'm 30 and my wife's cousins are still in college along with the majority of the team.

Not true.

After the game was done and my wife had her I-took-care-of-Little-Drizz-way-too-much-and-he's-driving-me-crazy-with-his-screaming look on her face (he's not one to sit in a stroller for a long period of time and it was a tad chilly last night) I thought I'd be going home while receiving a guilt trip about not taking care of the kid.

Didn't happen.

My friend Burnsie pep'd up that the team was getting together for poker while going out to the parking lot. My wife's first words? "You better make this up to me". Whoa, did I slip into a bizzaro world here? Did she just say yes? And with promises of a back rub with the aromatherapy green mint lotion, I was ready to sling some cards!

Me and Burnsie arrived my wife's cousin's house and were greeted by a selection of fine malt beverages.... Lennie's Berry Weiss (not bad), Premium Grain Belt (decent with wingies), and.... GUINNESS. Now we're talking! I helped myself to a couple of bottles while they set up the SnG. 7 players all paying $10, $45 to first and $25 to second. After receiving T1000 in chips in an assortment of colors which would confuse the hell out of Al we were ready to play.

This was a great primer for the WPBT in Vegas for me at least since half the table could play decently and were not just a bunch of Gus Hansen wanna-bes.

Seat 1: Me (see Tao of Poker for detailed description)
Seat 2: Brian (one of my wife's cousins)
Seat 3: Softball guy with an eerie resemblance to Danny N.
Seat 4: Weak calling station who liked to check raise
Seat 5: Burnsie (Loose-Aggressive, very good bluffer)
Seat 6: Ross-man (other of my wife's cousin)
Seat 7: Big softball guy who knew what he doing

First couple of rounds I started off playing loosely since the first couple of rounds. One hand of note J9 sOOOOOOOOted on the button with five limpers and a 9 4 3 with two hearts (no hearts for Drizz). I fire out T50 figuring my top pair/lazy kicker was good, table folds except the calling station whom a figured was on a draw. The third heart falls and I represent the flush with a T200 bet after he checked, he promptly re-raised to T400. I mucked. Had he done this later at night after I figured out that he bet strongly at ANY pair, I would have pushed.

Burnsie got railroaded with TT vs. KK on a Q Q Q 6 K board and went out first. Calling station went out next when Danny N. hit his flOOOOOsh with 84s while he check-raised with King high. I lost a lot of chips when Ross-man called down my bets while I was holding ATo and he hit his two pair on the river with 54o.

Then.... it was my turn to call it a night. People respected my all-ins/blind steals a little too much (I bluffed twice, only once did I have an actual hand... AA) and I started taking the blinds 4 or 5 times but that only allowed me to see another couple of orbits.

I went out with a meow in 5th when my J2s couldn't over come the Big Guy's Hilton sisters despite flopping a Jack. The Danny N. look-a-like went from being down to the felt, to winning it all vs. Ross-man.

Another great learning experience, not-so-great result and I loved every minute of it. The guys were a riot, there was Guinness flowing, even a naked Rachel Hunter (wowowowowow) in Playboy made an appearance.

Like I said, a primer for Vegas. Replace seven guys with 50+ bloggers. Replace Guinness with... well more Guinness + SoCo + Cap'n Cokes + (insert shot/drink here). Replace basement card table with Excal's Poker Room. Replace Rachel Hunter with Deja Vu dancers. And I just got a glimpse of things to come.

Anyone else getting ridculously antsy for Vegas? I keep staring at the 5 calendars I have at work hoping June 2nd is tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping by now go read up about the possible new card club/racktrack coming to Minnesota (I hope...).

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