Yeah, there's a news flash.
So it's one thing for the host of a gathering t have an emergency and say "no, it's alright, you guys keep playing cards, I'll be back" and run off to deal with it. Typically, that's the point at which everyone packs up and goes home, not to be an excessive burden on anyone during a crisis.
Depending, of course, on the level of emergency and the level of degeneracy among the friends gathered.
Last night we discovered that a trip to the emergency room due to a nose bleed that left BG's bathroom looking like a slaughterhouse does not constitute that level of crisis. Or that our level of degeneracy surpassed the level of crisis. Or both. BG and I have a running thing where we bet on the color of the flop. I think now and forever, he's going to choose black, because not 5 seconds after he said "I'll take red," his nose started to trickle blood.
Okay, fountain might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but by the time he decided that ice wasn't gonna be quite enough, he couldn't follow the standard advice of "tilt you head back and pinch the bridge of your nose." Because he woulda drowned. Have you ever left your water running just a steady little stream, not enough water pressure to do anything, but like you didn't turn the faucet all the way off? A steady stream, right? Not huge gushing water, not a drip, just consistent running water.
Now change the color to red. Then increase the viscosity a bit. Now replace "faucet" with nose, and your mental image is complete.
I did pay him the $1 he won on the flop while he was bleeding in the bathroom. It's only fair, after all. So after a little while we resumed play, and Skoon ferried him to the hospital, where he was taken straight back for care. Bleeding all over the triage nurse is now the recommended methodology for expediting you ER visits, I suppose.
We stayed in his living room and played cards. There were five of us left, so we were a little short-handed for a while, but we didn't hold that against Skoon, somebody had to drive him to the hospital. And of course, before he left, BG said "stay as long as you want, just lock the front door."
He got back to the game about 12:30 after the doc put some powder up his nose to stop the bleeding. If I'd known all he needed was a little bump to set him right, I coulda gotten a much quicker hookup. But it wouldn't have been covered by his health insurance. He played pretty well when he got back, too, and I'm pretty sure he finished up a little for the night. Special K has been on a sick run at our games lately, and he took most of the profit off the table. I made back my tournament buy-in and the $10 I paid Skoon to get perfect on 'Story of my Life' on GH3, just because it would tilt BG.
He's never made perfect on that song, and as Skoon was tearing it up, he said "If you get perfect on this song, I'm gonna have to come out of this chair and smack you." I immediately offered the $10, and Skoon came through for me. BG, wuss that he is, did not in fact follow through with the smacking, but he made up for it with an entertaining nosebleed later, so I guess he's off the hook.
Oh yeah, the tournament. Karma was in the ever-lovin' house for a change. I got up a bit early by paying position and hitting a lot of top pair on the flop and betting hard. I showed every single time, trying to build up a tighter table image, since I start every game with negative fold equity, no matter how I'm playing that particular night. So I picked up Aces UTG in about Level 3 or 4, and I made a small raise, maybe 1.5BB. It folded around to the Dave in the BB, and he re-raised me pretty stiff. Since this was exactly the action I was dreaming of, I shoved over the top. I expected him to fold, but he made the call. When he said "I call," I responded with my typical "You're behind," and he tabled Kings. I don't expect ANYONE to EVER lay down Kings preflop to ME. There are situations here it makes perfect sense, but I'm way, way too laggy to ever make that laydown against preflop. So I have him covered, and of course the King comes on the river to cripple me.
This is where I made a conscious effort to focus and play my best poker. I read something in Robert's blog last week that resonated with me. As a side note, The Vegas Year and The Poker Grump are two of my favorite new blogs of 2007, right along with BWoP. These three write some hysterical shit, and everyone should read all of them. But anyway, Robert said something to the effect of "my job is not to make money playing poker. My job is to get my money in with the best of it. Over and over again." I quoted that last night when Dave cracked my aces, and I buckled down with my four big blinds and played some screwed-down poker.
First I bled through the blinds and didn't auto-shove, since my friends were playing particularly weak-tight and I knew that my chances of picking up some orphaned blinds was pretty good. Jim was on my left with a huge stack, and I felt like if I actually had something, odds were good he'd pay me off. I was right on both counts, shoving preflop twice and finding no callers, then doubling through Jim twice to move right back into contention.
At some point last night, Jim picked up a boatload of chips, and decided that it was against his religion to lay down an Ace, no matter how bad his kicked. So at one point he doubled me up with A5 against my Jacks, and then doubled someone else up with A7 against another real hand. It got so funny that he started showing when he managed to lay down Ace-rag. He's usually a better player than that, but the last few times we've played tournaments together he's picked up a monster chip stack and bled it away by making extremely loose calls with ace-rag. Last night and at Blood's New Year's Day tourney, Jim has gone from a big chip stack with a chance to crush the table to a medium stack and not the winner by making too many loose calls preflop.
He did manage to cripple me with an extremely low-percentage play, calling all-in preflop with A8h against my AK (or maybe AQ) after a raise in front of us. He hit one heart on the flop, and went runner-runner for the flush to cripple me. Now I did have him covered, largely due to his generosity with chips in a few hands earlier, but he was by no means short-stacked. We both had over 15 big blinds, and plenty of play, so there was no reason to make that call with A8 sooooted. But it worked out for him, and a few hand later I was out on the bubble.
Then I sat down for the cash game and the blood really started to flow. Metaphorically in Nick's case, and actually in BG's case. I didn't have any terribly interesting hands, but Special K and I did make a demonstration of my "O8 is a game of the nuts" statement in one hand where he made the nut low, I made the nut high, and two others came along on almost every street to make us some nice little cheddar.
Oh yeah, and NL Stud plays smaller than spread limit stud. In our game. Think on that one.