I have mirrors on my wall.
This made not sound strange to most readers, but most of you have never seen the inside of anywhere I've ever lived. Mirrors on my wall is a big deal. It's part of the home makeover master-minded by Lady Luck. And it's only the beginning.
Now, as I sit in my living room, on my couch, writing this, I can see light and images bouncing around the room.
Reflecting is good.
Looking back, I could have saved myself some money. Perhaps my instincts aren't as sharp as they should be. That will come with time. Reflecting on this moment, however, is not pleasant.
It had already been an up and down night. I was sitting on a stack of about $550, which was about $150 more than I had bought in for. I was feeling good about my game. I felted one surly old man twice in about 4 hands. That's what he gets for buying in short and gambling.
Things got ugly when he changed seats, sitting suddenly on my right. It's not like he started giving me any trouble, it's just that the table dynamic changed. And The Luckbox wasn't feeling so lucky.
Upon reflection, he was my cooler.
I've actually purchased 8 mirrors now. Seven hang in my living room. Six of them are just 6 inches by 6 inches. The last mirror is for the bedroom. It's not for above the bed. At least, I don't think that's where she wants to hang it.
I peeled back my cards and saw two black Kings. I raised to $25 and got two callers before it got around to the white-haired man wearing the "Guinness" cap. If he were a little taller, I would have thought it was Iggy travelling back from the future to take my money.
Future Iggy immediately made it $60 out of the small blind. My instinct was to re-re-raise. For an instant, I thought about pushing. I glanced at the other two players in the hand, and it was obvious they were folding no matter what I did. One had already given an audible sigh at the re-raise and the other had his cards in his hand ready to toss them.
"I call," I said, adding $35 to the pot. I'll lay this down if an Ace comes, I thought to myself.
The dealer spread out the cards, Ace-rag-rag, two diamonds.
Future Iggy rapped the table. Why? Would he check Big Slick? Not likely. If he had a big Ace, he would have bet it. That either means I'm drawing practically dead or he's crushed. I suppose I should bet to find out.
"Seventy-five." I slid my chips across the line and watched my opponent. He waited a moment and then just called. Why? He could be on a diamond draw, but the Ace of diamonds was on the board and he wouldn't have re-raised me with just diamonds.
The turn was a blank. Future Iggy knocked the table again. Why? If his hand was that big, why not try to get more money out of me? He must have figured I would fire another bullet.
The river was another blank. There was no flush. Future Iggy grabbed a stack of red chips and slid them forward. He bet $100 into a $325 pot. Let's reflect.
It was a preflop re-raise. A post-flop check-call. A turn check. And a river value bet. There was only one possibility. He had Aces. I could almost justify the $75 I bet after the flop. At least I could see where I stood.
Reflecting back on that moment, I'm not sure why I called.
Mirrors aren't the only thing we're buying for my home. The house I'm renting has an unfortunate tile floor. It was likely once white. It's now an unintended beige color with a strange intentional brown pattern. Lady Luck wants a couple of rugs, one for the kitchen area, one for the living room and one for the hallway. We have a lot to cover.
He had me covered now. I was down to about $300. After two limpers, I raised to $25 with AJs. Four of us saw a flop of Ace-Ten-Ace. All of us checked, ruining my plan to check-raise.
The turn was a deuce. Future Iggy lead out for $50. I raised to $150, about half my stack. I was sure I had the best hand. I doubted Future Iggy held an Ace, and even if he did, it wasn't bigger than mine.
The other two players in the hand folded. Future Iggy wasted little time in going all in.
I had about $150 left in front of me. I had already ruled out AK or AQ. He would have played it differently. Was he slow playing AT? Wow, what a cooler. The only other hands he could have that beat me are TT and 22 and A2. Was I that unlucky again?
He had me covered. I was going to go broke here. Do I really save $150 when I think I might have the best hand? Then again, why would he push if he wasn't sure. I wish I had folded. But I didn't. And he flipped pocket tens.
Hanging in front of the windows throughout my house are horizontal blinds. They're ugly and not always functional. Lady Luck wants to replace them and I can hardly disagree. We're going to have to buy curtains.
It should have been curtains for me after that hand. With luck like that, why keep playing? Instead, I bought back in and decided I'd win some of my money back.
And I did. From down $500 I made $300 of that back. I knew I could beat this game. And I knew I could beat this table. My mantra was win big pots and lose small ones. I had called off $250 in river bets on hands that I could have folded.
Shortly before my night was over, I was dealt pocket Kings again. With four limpers, I raised to $20 out of the SB. I got two callers.
The flop came down J97. It was time to check-raise. I had wanted to do it all night but hadn't had a chance. I knew the next guy to act was going to bet. He was aggressive and talkative. He was the one I talked about in the preview post.
"Check," I said.
"Let's just make it 100," he announced moving a stack of reds into the pot.
Perfect, I thought, ready to move all in behind him.
I heard it, but I wasn't sure where it had come from. I knew I hadn't said it. The old guy in the 9 seat was moving chips into the middle. I was confused. Could I be that unlucky again?
It's back to me. There's no way I'm calling. The way my night was going I was probably facing T8 and JJ. And even if they both didn't have me beat, I know one of them did.
By the end of the hand, the loud one was all in and the 9 seat had called. The board never improved my hand and when the loud one flipped his Rockets, I couldn't believe how simultaneously unlucky and lucky I was. When the 9 seat disgustedly mucked, I couldn't believe how stupid he was. I guess I had him beat.
For the second time in the night, I was dealt KK while someone else was dealt AA. The first time, it cost me big. It could have cost me everything, but the Ace on the flop actually saved me money. The second time, it only cost me $20. It could have cost me everything, but the jackass in the 9 seat must have thought his top pair was good.
With the $400 left in front of me, I knew it was time to go. I kept telling myself I was unlucky, and I suppose I was. KK into AA twice and flopping trip Aces against a boat. That's not a good way to make money. But I got up knowing it could have been a lot worse.
Besides, I still had money left for curtains and rugs.