She's Got Pocket Queens!
That's what my Ego was screaming at me during the final poker tournament on Thursday before last at Startime. I was sick. I couldn't breath out of my nose and the pressure on my sinuses was so bad it was painful. I didn't go to work that day and should have skipped poker as well, but since I had slept most of the day I wasn't really tired and decided to see how I could do. With only 16 or so people to beat for a trip to Florida, I figured I owed it to myself to at least show up.
Things started out well. I won a few small hands by putting pressure on the blinds in late position and using the fact that everyone would play tight. About 5 hands into the tournament, I was dealt the Presto hand or pocket fives as you amateurs would call it. Heh. I limped into what was basically a family pot, and the flop was 556. To my credit, I played it very cool and only raised 500, but that scared everyone out of the hand except Larry who was sitting to my right, who called. Now I knew there was no way anyone was going to beat my four of a kind, so after the turn I bet 1000 and he called. I had no idea what he might have had. I bet 1000 again on the river, and he called after looking at me for a few seconds. He turned up Ace high. What the hell? I thought he was a decent player, but I have no idea why anyone would call 5xBB twice all the way to the river with an Ace high hand.
I lost some chips over the next few hands, and then I was dealt A9o. I limped in, but Sarah, my old nemesis, was in the big blind and raised it to 700 to go. At this point my Ego started murmuring, but between the sinus medicine and the big hand from earlier, my Id was firmly in control of the Hatch Train at this point. Nearly everyone called her raise, including me. The flop was AQ9, giving me two pair.
Sarah checked, and I decided at this point to go ahead and make a stab at the pot, so I bet 1000. This was only about 1/3 of what was in the pot, but 1000 is usually enough with this players to make your point. It folded around to Sarah, who reraised it to 2000. At this point my Ego was slamming itself against the sides of the cage, screaming "She's got pocket Queens! She's got pocket Queens! She's got pocket Queens!" My Id, however, pulled out the cattle prod and proceeded to back the Ego into the dark recesses of the cage and threatened to report it to the Super Ego if things didn't quiet down back there.
I called her reraise. The turn was crap and we both checked. The river was also crap and Sarah proceeded to push all her chips in. As God as my witness, I looked at her and said "What do you have Sarah, pocket Queens?" She shook her head no. I looked down at my chips where I had about 2500 left, and she had me covered. My Ego made one last attempt to talk me out of it, but the Id gave it a nasty smirk and I pushed the rest of my chips in.
With a last dying scream that would have worked much better than the cheesy "Nooooooooooooo!" uttered by Darth Vader in the latest movie, the Ego and the rest of us watched as Sarah turned over.....