“All In…Oh, and a vodka straight up please!”

I’ve never had a problem with drinking folk…that should be obvious. Fact is, I think drinking and even drinking to the point of getting that warm glow is probably a pretty nice experience for most people. It’s hard to deny the metabolic effects of alcohol and based on the amount of drinking that goes on people seem to like this effect just as much as I do.

But yesterday I ran into a situation that made me NOT appreciate a that bit of social drinking that I generally think is a good thing. I’m still, this morning, bothered by it.

Last night I decided to play in a Poker Tournament. There were about 90 folks playing in a $50 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em Tournament. This was hardly my first such tournament. I used to play a lot more poker than I do now. I enjoy it. I enjoy the camaraderie a the table, I enjoy the rush of stack chips after pulling a large pot, I enjoy the feeling of outplaying someone and I enjoy mental aspect of the game…the way it forces one to be disciplined, analytical as well as judiciously  hopeful.

The fact is, I’m not bad at this game at all. I’ve placed in the money in tournaments on a number of occasions.

Last night I won the tournament.

The problem, however, was this: It came down to me and one other opponents. We were about equal in chips. After playing head to head with this older gentleman for about 15 minutes I was pretty confident I’d beat him. At first I thought, "well good for me, I’m out playing this old guy." Then, after watching him do a few stupid things with his cards and betting I realized that he had been drinking.

In fact, he was on his second straight vodka in the past 45 minutes.

He wasn’t a danger to anyone or anything like that. And he was hardly stinking drunk. But it was the only thing I could see that might make him make those stupid moves he did at the table. In other words, I think my victory in the tournament was robbed of the satisfaction it should have brought by virtue of "Vodka, Straight Up, Please!"

Posted In: Personal


11 Responses

  1. razmaspaz - September 19, 2007

    Don’t sell yourself short. It is no less a part of an overall strategy to remain sober during play than to know when to fold a mediocre hand. If the guy has a habit of drinking during play, it is just as bad a habit as smiling when he has a good hand.

  2. Ron - September 19, 2007

    We all live in the bed we make. Just be glad your not in his shoes. It sucks that he made a great event into something not so meaningful. Congratulations on beating the drunk, old, vodka downing, stupid poker playing man!!!!! 🙂 Victory hopefully was still a little sweet….no one forced him to drink right?

  3. Tom Wark - September 19, 2007

    The solace I take is that there were another 88 folks in the tournament who fell before my dominating poker intelligence!

  4. Ron - September 19, 2007

    Then I would for sure not be to unsettled about your wine, I mean win. Remind me never to play poker when we finally get together…Or at least I get a handicap…..say you drink 3-4 vodka’s before we start.

  5. Anneliese - September 19, 2007

    Ahh, so it wasn’t so much his drinking, nor the fact that he’s a straight vodka drinker, but it is the terms under which you won!
    Oh the competitiveness of it all!

  6. Tom Wark - September 19, 2007

    The man had to have been impaired, Anneliese. There’s no way he could have survived a half hour in the tournament based on how I saw him play. And the only thing I can attribute it to his his 2 vodkas.
    Like I said, this is hardly an anti-drinking rant.
    It’s exactly how you describe it.

  7. Anneliese - September 19, 2007

    I like yer’ standards, buster.

  8. el jefe - September 20, 2007

    I understand how you feel! But congrats on your win (the other 88 DO count!) And I look forward to sitting across the felt from you someday soon! 🙂

  9. Randy - September 21, 2007

    Hey man, any win is a win. Yeah, it could’ve been more challenging if your opponent was sober, but that’s his choice. Who’s to say he didn’t decide that, when it was just you and him left at the table, “heck, how about I get drunk and let Tom win”?

  10. andy - December 8, 2007

    do you think you have precudices to call a person an alcoholic after ordering 2 vodka??
    Then call me a padophil cause I like playing with my children…
    be happy that you won the game and stop calling people you don’t know names…

  11. Tom Wark - December 8, 2007

    I don’t think I or anyone else suggested this person was an alcoholic.

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