Saturday, November 5, 2011

A one-outer

Texas Hold'em players know what a one-outer is: it's the number of remaining cards in the deck that can turn a winning hand into a (hard-luck) loser. It means there is only one card remaining in the deck (typically 45 cards remain at this point) that can hurt. A long shot. But all who've played any amount of cards know that one and two-outers hit and they remember the accompanying pain.

My most prodigious finish in the Pokerstart Sunday 1.5 Million involved such a hand, except worse -- Both of us all-in, a win moves me to 2nd in chip count among the remaining players (did I mention 1st place was 200k?) and I have 3 A's against a pair of Kings post-flop: Me (hole cards): AA  Him: KQ  Flop (community cards): A K 2 rainbow (no matching suits) -- any guesses what followed? (I so trapped this sucker into committing all his chips after that flop that Norman Chad might have sung songs). J 10 is what followed, resulting in a bye bye for me. The odds? Well, let's cipher -- what hands can we construct to make him a winner? The straight and 4 kings. So he needed on 1st card 1 of 2 remaining K's (2 chances of 46) to stay alive, or 1 of 4 J's and 1 of 4 10's (8 of 46) added = 10/46; on 2nd card, assuming he hit on the 1st, he now needs the remaining K (1 of 45) or either the J or 10 (4 of 45), added = 5 of 45, or 1 of 9.

Almost done with the math stuff (sorry LD, if you are still reading): 10/46 X 1/9 = 10/414 = 1 in 41.4 or about 2.5% chance of losing that hand (which of course means 97.5% chance of winning that hand). I was so sure that as the Turn card came, and the the River, I was checking to see where my newly enlarged stack would place me on the Leaderboard, Yes, 2nd and my God am I fricken playing well. Tonight's the night, bro. Tonight's the night.

I finished 22nd out of about 8000 entrants and cashed for maybe $3000. Heart breaking but not terrible for a $215 entry and maybe 7 hours of my life. I did not sleep well that night. I felt cursed. Tricked. I was playing great and that I had gotten that dope to commit all of his chips on 2nd pair was proof. But, wtf?

I mention this story because if you google CABG, the procedure I had done (3X), Mortality is between 2 and 3% (I supposed we could split the middle and say 2/5%?). Don't think I didn't think of the poker hand/tournament god screwed me out of pre-surgery. I did. We might even have had a much smaller version of Captain (LT. for those who didn't know he got promoted) Dan in the storm (Forest Gump reference) waiving his fist in the air. A much smaller version. His might I had seen and it was mighty.

(Shady Strickel used to always say, "Don't go pokin' a stick ..."]

So I wasn't automatic to wake up. I didn't dwell on it. A good friend I have not talked to in quite some time once told me: I will never know I do not exist. That gave me comfort (so friend, you were with me in that way; we suffered many less impressive musings to get the one, but so it is, like the shepherd and the lost sheep, and I will stop now).

A lot of words spilled and I afear not much substance. I survived the one-outer (so far, okay Shady?) -- big deal.

Speaking of poker, I intend to defy the mandates resulting from Black Friday (just Google it w/"poker"), but I need 2 things: a VPN (who is SHOCKED that I dropped that?); and a foreign bank account. I am hopeful Brazilian brother can help on both fronts. Perhaps I will have to rely on Emperor brother to take me into Mexico to handle myself. My relations with God are too important and I very much miss our Sunday conversations. When I resume noveling, well, there will be those also (although I should mention that he does not talk much then, but I catch Him up to things, and I can not prove it, but I am sure I once made Him Blush (I guess his blush should be capitalized).

51% of CABG suffer diminished mental capacity. The heart is turned off, and the subsequent rush moves debris into bad places. I think were I sitting at Club Cohibe with the poet and CAC (the annoyingly argumentative version) I would crumble, an imitation Wall. Perhaps the poet would defend my honor, slay the annoying one. He likely would, but it would make him sad and I would not wish anymore sadness upon him. This is a troubling thought. At present, one without solution, as the math'ers say.

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