Sunday, December 19, 2004

Poker Night Extraordinaire

Last night's poker night at Eric's house was one that will go down in the record books. Unofficially, the game lasted just under seven hours. We arrived a little after 7:00 p.m., and the game ended shortly before 2:00 a.m. Unfortunately, after a grueling effort, I succumbed to Zach and finished my usual 2nd place.

There's got to be some way for me to get over my string of 2nd place finishes. It must mean something good that I always finish second and outlast almost all of my competition. However, Zach always manages to find a way to take advantage of my weakness.

I look back at a couple of mistakes I made. First, when he'd go "all-in", I should have called him when I had the second highest pair. There was one time where I had the 10s, but was afraid Zach held the Q's. Had I been presented more outs, I may have called him. Secondly, I let him bully me in taking my blinds. When blinds are 20/30, a couple of consecutive losses can be deadly.

I must extend some kind words to Eric, who was our permanent dealer for what must have amounted to five hours. I don't think I'd want to subject him to that ever again. The whole night was simply bizarre (not in a bad way). Every time the game appeared to be over, one of us would get an improbable hand and win an all-in. Then it would take five minutes to count up all the chips. I thought I played fairly decent, although I possessed a number of glaring weaknesses that Zach exploited. If I had even a modicum of one on one tutoring, I would easily have won that game.

After the game, we went back to my house and watched the Light Heavyweight Title fight between Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson. The assembled audience at my house felt Tarver won clearly, but the judges gave it to Johnson by Split Decision. I need to watch the fight again to judge it closely. My initial take was that Tarver won 8 rounds compared to Johnson's 4, which would have made the fight 116-112. However, two of the judges gave Johnson 7 rounds. I can't say I'm necessarily outraged by the decision. If judges scored only 2 rounds differently, it accounts for Johnson's victory. And if anybody had the "connections", it was Tarver. Johnson has been screwed out of many victories in his career, accounting for his 7 losses. I think the judges gave Johnson too much credit for his ineffective aggression. While Johnson came forward and punched, Tarver was the one landing the clean blows. This decision will end up being good for both fighters. I'm sure HBO and the fans will be eager to see a rematch between the two. They earned career high purses for this fight. Tarver earned $2.5 million, Johnson $1.5 mil.

I've had enough poker for at least a few days. It looks like we might have founded an extra player to join us in a game next week. I always enjoy seeing new players and analyzing their styles.



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