“Has anyone ever told you that you look like Tom Green?” he asked, as if it was the most serious question in the world.

I looked at him and tried to figure out of he was needling me or not. I explained that, no, I’d never been told I looked like sbo Green, that he was the first to ever bring up such a possibility. I said I considered myself more a “Josh Charles” or, if I’m lucky, “Wil Wheaton” type of character. I’m the average white boy. And I’m not Canadian.

Given, in the past month, I’ve let some scrub brush grow out on my face in what will likely be a failed experiment in testosterone fiddling. Perhaps that’s what led the guy to liken me to the Canadian shock comc.

I tried not to think about it, but it stuck in my head as I went back for the second 90 minutes of play.

Again, there was nothing particularly remarkable about my play except for my lack of it. I rarely got involved, dutifully folding any ace that didn’t have paint attached to it, shunning suited connectors, and playing very careful with just about any hand I saw. It was no way to win a tournament, but I was there more for a $250 lesson in table performance.

Over the course of the next four hours, I never rose above T3000 in chips. I established such a tight image that no one would play with me. I even ran a successful semi-bluff against a guy who laid down top pair.

By the time we had made it down to 12 players, I was desperately shortstacked. I hated myself for playing such a weak game and not picking up more chips. I finally pushed in with pocket nines and, true to form, nobody called. The blinds sustained me long enough to lay down the best hand (for the third time in one day) and make it to the final table.

I am not a Rank amateur

I called G-Rob in the break before the final table. When I told him the blinds were at 150/300 and I had less than 900 in chips, he laughed.

“Well, you can at least hope to draw the button and survive for…ten more hands.”

I agreed. That would be my strategy: get lucky.

When I returned to the tournament area, I drew a seat in the middle of the very nice table (race track along the outer edge green speed cloth in the middle, etc). True to form, BadBlood’s regular, Rank, drew the button, putting me directly in the big blind.


I paid no attention to my cards as the entire table folded around to Rank on the button. He simply called. The small blind, perhaps thinking I would push all in for my remaining 525 chips (+300 BB), folded. I took a look at my cards and didn’t hate them. I held K8o. I decided I wouldn’t push …yet.

The flop came down KQx. Without a second thought, I announced, “I’m all in.”

The table laughed at me. Apparently, I was a bit to forceful when I made my announcement. One guy said, “I believe you, man.”

Rank thought for a few seconds, long enough for me to know I was ahead. How far ahead, I couldn’t tell. I figured him for a Q in his hand to be thinking so long. if he were to call it would be 525 into a 1275 pot. Not quite 2.5:1 odds.

Finally, Rank announced, “I’ll call.”

“I have the king,” I said, flipping over the sure winner, the hand that would surely give me enough chips to double up once more and play for the money.

Quietly, Rank turned over 9T.

I was thankful for the call. He was drawing dead to runner-runner or a jack (I suspect he had to know that…).

Rank, dealing from the button, picked up the cards, burned one, and peeled a jack from the deck, filling in his gutshot, and maintaiing his reputation as the Suck Out King.

I could only muster, “That’s appropriate.”

I stood from the table and decided it was time to quit playing for the day. I bypassed a rocking $500 max-buy-in NL game and headed for the house.

Home sick

When I got home, my wife, kid, and a goodly portion of the house were covered in puke. The family had gone down to a little festival called Artisphere and the kid had gotten sick. Now everything was drenched in vomit and I was home from a poker tournament where I had busted out short of the money.

Just fine, I thought.

After the kid stopped puking (which he later resumed, by the way), I suggested to the wife we rent a movie and eat a big mess of shrimp in front of the TV.

I popped up to Hollywood Video, grabbed “Ocean’s 12”, and stood in line.

A guy and his two son’s walked up and Dad gave me the look I’ve seen many times. It’s a look that is almost always follwed by, “Hey, I know you. You’re on the TV.”

I gave him a friendly nod and “howyadoin’.”

He looked at me again, closer this time. And then, I kid you not, he said, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Tom Green?”