Flipping Out at the Home Game
A few days ago I posted about the pressure I have been under with many things in everyday life. The part of the post that piqued some interest was my admission that I had "flipped out" at my home poker game. And wow-- I even got a couple of requests to post what happened. Not that there is really a great story to tell, but ...
Most people who have met me or know me would likely describe me as a nice guy who tends to keep calm and under control. However, I guess I inherited one of those Irish tempers from my father. When things get beyond a certain point, I have been known to explode. It happened during my last summer trip to Las Vegas when I took two nasty beats and had a short Italian babe really piss me off.
So about nine nights ago I played a little of my international home game. I should say a lot of my home game. We began playing cash games at 7:00 p.m. and were into the 3:00 a.m. hour. A few of the regs are total LAGs, so the games are interesting, if nothing else. When I started playing with these guys a year ago the games more closely resembled traditional Hold 'em poker. Now it just seems like the LAGs can't help getting their money in one way or another. For the halfway decent poker players, this can be a gold mine as long as the cards cooperate at least a little.
Sometime after 3:00 a.m. Ali and Nihar got into a big hand. Ali likes virtually any starting hand (he used to talk about "the potential" of any starting hand), loves to draw to flushes and has an uncanny knack of hitting them, gutshots, etc. Nihar, who I have not played with as much, appears to be a degenerate gambler. He rarely folds, loves to bluff and push weak hands, and has appeared to lose a lot more money than anyone should at a "home" poker game.
I was distracted and did not actually see the hand that caused Nihar's anguish, but Nihar got really angry and started talking shit talk to Ali, who tends to be rather soft spoken. Okay, so Nihar had to get it out of his system, which I can understand. But he kept it up. And kept it up. And kept it up. Despite several people urging him to just let it go and move on, Nihar just would not shut up. Several hands later he continued to talk smack, and everyone was just being quiet, letting him go on and on. Finally I could take it no longer and smacked my hand down on the table and yelled "ENOUGH -- it's over, let it go." But of course, after a micro-second of thought, he could not and started in on Ali again, and I just couldn't take it any longer. It was especially absurd seeing the worst player at the table berating someone else. I stood up, threw the second deck of cards (which I was shuffling) across the table and onto the floor and started spewing profanities that would have received a nodding approval from the saltiest of sailors. This, of course, did not go over well with the person who hosts and organizes the game. I told him that I was through for the night and wanted to cash out. I was ahead by the way, so this wasn't a matter of my reacting to a bad night. The organizer, Sibin, declared the game over, so we packed everything up and went home.
A few days later Sibin sent out a message to the group, reinforcing a behavior protocol for the games. I am usually the guy sending out these type of messages as opposed to being one of the guys who causes it to be sent out. But, it happened. I was not especially proud of my behavior, but life is what it is. I thought about how my friend TBC has done the same type of thing and gets harassed about his "violent behavior." Hmmm ... should poker players across the globe fear me now?
We had our most recent home game Saturday night. Play went on for over eight hours. There were no problems.