Monday, December 27, 2004

Finnish Finish

Bellagio $2-$5 NLHE Saturday night, the place is packed. I'm in a fairly good game and am dealt Q Q in the small blind. 3 limpers, I call, BB checks. 5 players see the flop which is



Turn : 3

I check, BB checks, EP player with $300 stack bets $30, MP folds, LP with $100 stack goes all-in, I call (my stack is $350), BB folds, EP goes all-in, I call.

EP turns over 3 3, LP shows J 4. I am 95% favorite and it seems that only the mere formality of the river prevents the lovely Finnish dealer Sirpa from pushing me a $725 pot.

I shout "Not a 3! Not a 3!" as the river card is dealt.

River : 3

Sirpa's normally Finnish white complexion turns whiter, her eyes refusing to meet mine. I just sit there stunned. I get the usual condolences from the other players ("man that was brutal", "what a bad beat") and the game continues. I buy in for another $200 and play my usual solid game - absolutely no tilting, though the self-pitying feeling does linger for a while. I mentally vow never to tip Sirpa again for the rest of my life, but will first broach this subject with my coach Tommy who has helped me with all sorts of issues.

An hour later I leave the game up $135. Five hours later I am still thinking about the hand.