Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I'll See Your Goose Egg and Raise You A Double

The Red Sox cost me $20 in poker.

Last night was my Tuesday night poker game, a weekly ritual consisting of mostly graduate students taking a weeknight break from the lab. We started around eight or so and I was actually doing pretty well early on, building a decent stack of chips and dividing my attention between both games. The Red Sox were getting pounded and I kind of resigned myself early on to the fact that they were probably going to lose. Hence over the first hour of the game my focus was primarily poker.

Then, as I casually took stock of my towering pile in between hands, I casually glanced up at the screen while the FOX cameras flashed a picture of the Yankee scoreboard.

The Red Sox didn't have a hit yet.

Suddenly panicked, I asked out loud what inning it was. "End of the fifth" came back from the table and hit me like a bullet. All of a sudden, poker didn't really matter anymore. The Yankees couldn't, couldn't, no-hit the Red Sox in the playoffs. I wouldn't hear the end of it for the rest of my New York days.

As Mussina kept throwing moose eggs, I suddenly, unconsciously, changed my playing style. I started betting in bad hands, calling to the river on hands I knew I was behind on, and eventually, mercifully I suppose, was wiped out. At that point I slunk down on the couch clutching a beer as if it were a life preserver from a sinking ship, all my attention now devoted to baseball.

When Bellhorn ripped his double, I was at the same time relieved and annoyed. On one hand, at least this game wouldn't go down in history a la Don Larsen. On the other, I suddenly realized just how badly I played my last dozen or so hands of poker. Baseball hangover became poker hangover and I decided to call it a night.

It was probably one of the most unsatisfying evenings I've had in a long time, if not ever. Let's hope the Sox can wash away those memories with a win tonight.


Post a Comment

<< Home