Monday, January 28, 2013

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.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Surprise Birthday Party

Sometimes things actually go as planned. Today was one of those days. My wife celebrates her birthday tomorrow. Her best friend and I conspired to set up a surprise birthday party. The cover story was that my wife and I would have an open house for her friends next weekend -- delayed a week from her birthday because my wife was in a play in a local community. The final performance was this afternoon, making for perfect timing to pull off the surprise.

You have to understand that my wife is a very social person who loves to host gatherings. I, however, prefer my house to be my castle, and like to keep the drawbridge shut -- except for poker games, perhaps. So the idea that my wife would give up control of making party arrangements to me -- which I insisted -- was part of the scam. She was dying to step in and help plan, but I told her that it was her birthday and that I would take care of everything. Yesterday morning I told her that I had things under control -- I had someone coming in next week to clean the carpet, hired someone to clean the house and had the food arrangements set. My wife was duly impressed that I had thought ahead and had everything covered. She had no idea that the real party was today. I am a great liar when I want to be! After her play's final performance, my wife and her best friend, along with another friend, were purportedly going out to dinner to celebrate. However, a stop at the best friend's house was needed first. And when she walked in the door ... tada!!!!!

Pulling the wool over my wife's eyes was quite enjoyable. Better yet, today she had a wonderful birthday with her husband, children, and friends -- one that she will never forget.

Happy birthday, dear!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


That is what I have been -- buried under work, tasks, life circumstances ...

Since my last post I have had a birthday, flipped out at my home poker game, struggled about whether or not to continue leading my department at work, and dealt with some family issues. Fun times.

But ... perhaps salvation is just ahead. I am scheduled to go to Las Vegas the morning of Super Bowl Sunday. A few days of degenerate poker action might be just the thing for me.

For now, hunkering down at work is near the top of my priority list. It is hard to believe that January is nearing its end already.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some Great Movie Clips

For your viewing pleasure ... five of my favorite movie clips ...
You Can't Handle the Truth

A Night in the Box

Oh, I'm Sorry. Did I Break Your Concentration?

I'm Smart!

Now Go Home and Get Your Fucking Shine Box

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Office Holiday Party -- Late Edition

A few years ago one of the employee groups at my workplace came up with a great idea. The thought was, since so many parties and events are in December, move the holiday celebration to January instead. So ... tonight Mrs. lightning and I will be going to a nice event to celebrate the holiday season. Not a bad way to spend a cold evening in January.

I guess this will really end the Christmas season at my house. My wife has been taking down Christmas decorations and is ready to pack up the holiday dinnerware.

Next up in January -- birthday celebrations for both myself and my wife. Please email me for contact information for presents. $100 minimum, however. Cash is always good. PayPal works.

Enjoy this fine January weekend!