Living a short-stacked slot hoki life

Sometimes the liquid soap is just especially sudsy and that makes me happy. The water is just hot enough to make the shower relaxing on a tired Friday morning. Enough to make me ignore the slight growth of filth on the shower curtain liner.
This is going to be a good day, I thought.
Then I got out of the shower and came face to face with Mrs. Otis. She’d just gotten off the phone.
“You better high-tail it to work.”
Somebody at work had screwed up in the overnight hours. The exact details slot hoki of the collossal mistake are irrelevant. To put it in terms you can understand, it was if they’d managed to lose half their stack againt someone playing pocket aces face-up, then handed the rest of their stack over to me and said, “Okay, you gotta finish this. And…oh, yeah, you’ve gotta win.”
By Noon, I’d doubled up. By 3pm I was the chip leader. I suspect within a few hours I’ll be scooping the final pot of the night.
Did I get a little lucky? Absolutely. Did it take a little skill? Sure.
I hate to draw weak analogies just to give myself something about which to write, but I’m feeling a great deal of peace as the week comes to a close.
My folks are in town to see L’il Otis. Last night, I fired up Party on the laptop and sat next to my dad on the couch, narrarating my play and realizing how far I’ve come in my game since the day he taught me to play.
In four hands we had pocket kings, pocket aces, and flopped the nut straight. And we got no action on any of them. And I didn’t care. I was sitting next to my dad, breaking even, and happily listing my agenda for next week’s Vegas trip.
Later that night, I started getting killed on the $100NL tables. TPTK killed by a turned flush. Pocket queens run over by pocket aces. Etc. I took tenth in a three-tabler after a mid-sized stack called my 99 all-in bet with ATo and caught a four spades to give himself the flush. It was all fishy play by me, in retrospect.
By Midnight, I started slipping into a familair defeated mood. I’d seen it in G-Rob’s eyes the day before after he’d lost four buy-ins in one day. It’s not just a look of defeat. It’s a look of self-doubt fused with the worst possible feeling you can have in poker–fear.
Feeling the defeatselfdoubtfear like an ostrich with a goiter, I slipped into bed. I couldn’t concentrate on the horrible movie on TV. I mean, what kind of premise is “A fillandering wine dealer steals a diamond necklace only to have his unsuspecting wife mistakenly run away with it and Stephen Dorf.” What was Nicholson thinking?
I put myself to sleep in much the same way I’ve been doing for the past three nights. I imagine myself getting in the car, driving the hour and half to the airport, boarding the place, landing in Vegas, and hopping a cab to the Strip. By the time I’ve made it to the poker room, I’ve usually drifted off into restless slumber.
Something happened in the middle of the night. And since I don’t kiss and tell, suffice it to say, I woke up in a fantastic mood.
Somehow, a few hours sleep had removed the defeatselfdoubtfear from my bloodstream. In its place, I found two better feelings. In fact, I consider them to be two of the best feelings I ever have: Anticipation and hope.
Admittedly, I lost two buy-ins last night and didn’t cash in my three-tabler. Admittedly, I came into work with the chips down and had to rally or die.
But, you know what? I can come back.
Not only that, but we all can.
Here’s something that’s taken me a long time to realize: Anyone who doesn’t have to deal with the occasional short-stack has no idea how to appreciate absolutely fucking fantastic it is to have a Raymer-esque pyramid of chips.
I’d say 75-80% of the people preparing for next week’s WPBT Holiday Classic are experiencing many of the same emotions. They’re examining their poker play, over-critiquing it, fearing the worst possible outcome will befall them.
I’ve recently been in discussions with a few people about their fear of losing their roll at the tables on their fist day in Vegas. Try as I might, I can’t convince them of the obvious: Vegas is ripe with the same fish as Party Poker.
I think that a lot of us feel like we’re going to Vegas with a short-stack, literal or figurative.
As we all push the clock hands foward as fast as they’ll go, let me propose this: There is no way we come away from this trip as losers. Simple as that.
Tomorrow I’m going to buy a Christmas tree and decorate it with the family. Tomorrow night, I’m going to hit the town with a bunch of thirty-somethings (yeah, I know a couple of you aren’t 30 yet) and pretend like I’m 21 again. I’ll try to remember that ten years ago, my buddies carried me down Cherry Street singing happy birthday and kept me from getting killed when I hugged Marlo Finner and told him what a good game he played that day.
Short-stack or pyramid, I’m one happy Otis today.
And damned if that doesn’t decapitate the Goiter Ostrich every time.
Have a good weekend, all.

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