The scene was set for a showdown last Monday at another Texas hold ?em poker tournament. I grimaced across the room at my adversary. She was peering at her cards at another table. But I was aiming to shoot. Before the end of the night I told myself that I would knock her out of the tournament.
The antagonism stemmed from an earlier tournament where she bumped me out. That's not what bothered me about her though. What does, is the fact that she is a poker bully.
She's acquired the nickname Jim Beam because her entire wardrobe must be made of Jim Beam apparel. That's all she ever wears.
Her M/O is fearless bluffs supported by incredible luck.
She usually plops down on a seat at the table with a pile of chicken fingers, licking her fingers in between bets. I almost reached across the table and strangled her just for that.
She raised with a Queen-Deuce off-suit, a pretty terrible hand. I respect her for the bluff but I called it with a much better hand, Queen-Ten suited, and deserved to win. Unfortunately, I would not prevail.
The poker gods showed me little benevolence because her ragged hand quickly transformed into a full house as the cards came out. She had scathed defeat this time, as she cowered below a black Jim Beam hat.
Now I was back for revenge. (Not a great mentality for poker) I understood the risks of playing with a personal vendetta weighing heavily on my mind. But like Maverick in "Top Gun" "I saw the risk, there was no danger, so I took it."
Viper should have been there with his vitriolic response ("You took it, and broke a major rule of engagement") because before I knew it I was walking away from the table out of the tournament.
I wasn't able to face my opponent. This is what happens when you blasphemy the poker gods' rules. I shouldn't have been gunning for one opponent. That's bad etiquette and now I was being punished for it.
Incidentally, my adversary also got knocked out early almost as if the poker gods wanted to avoid a begrudged showdown.
I had become susceptible to an egotistical desire. I thought I knew better. But instead I was left in the hallway like Maverick with Goose, asking me for the number to a truck driving school.
Obviously I will not have a career in poker.
Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News-Daily. His column appears on Mondays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 770-478-5753 ext. 281.