A Pair of Normal Events

So, Emaw tagged me with this silly little Twilight Zone meme.

Recall and relate a time when you experienced a “paranormal event”
Explain it rationally if you can
Inflict this meme on 5 other people

Here’s the deal. Paranormal stuff doesn’t happen to me. I live a relatively simple life. It’s a great life, but a simple one. Wake up. Have breakfast. Pray with Alli. Go to work. Do marketing stuff. Sit in traffic. Eat. Watch TV. Sleep. Repeat. I love my life. I’m in a great marriage with a great woman. I have a good, stable job. I have an awesome family and a strong church.

Normal stuff happens to me, so instead of a “paranormal” event, I present to you a pair of normal events. I’ll try and make them interesting and hopefully, they’ll give you some insight into this Shane character that you are so enamored by on the Internets.

The Laugh Track

I was fortunate enough to enter college with my best friends in tow. I didn’t relate very well to my high school classmates. All my closest friends all came from different high schools. They were the clowns I had gone to church with since I was 6 years old and who I had played volleyball with since 7th grade. Most of those fools even read and comment on this blog. It doesn’t suck to have lifelong friends like that.

I loved college. Mike and I had a blast living together my freshman year. Every night we would know exactly when to go to sleep by the giant fart that Mike would blast right before bed. Our schedule looked a lot like this:

7:55 a.m. Get up and brush teeth.
8:00 a.m. Class
9:00 a.m. Breakfast
10:00 a.m. Class
11:00 a.m. Class
Noon Lunch
12:30 p.m. Nap
2:00 p.m. Gym
4:00 p.m. Homework, Hang out, Possible shower
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Homework, Hangout, Possible shower, unless it was a Wednesday…if so, we watched 90210
9:00 p.m. Get ready
10:00 p.m. Go out

Occasionally, there would be a small change in the schedule, but for the most part, that was how I spent the first 2 years of college while living in the dorms. It was a blast.

One weeknight, a bunch of us on our floor had procrastinated on several projects that we had due and so all of us committed to staying up all night and getting our work done. I laughed harder that night than I ever have in my life. I don’t remember the project. I doubt I did well on it. Likely because of the Laugh Track we created that night.

For 2 hours that night, probably around 3 in the morning, we recorded several different laughs into our friend Dan’s computer. And we played them back. Over. And over. And over. I’m certain that part of the reason it was so funny was the hour, and you really had to be there to see why it was so funny, but it was trust me.

(See, I told you my stories were pretty boring.)

“I have a 10”

Very rarely, either Alli or myself has to go out of town for one reason or another. Every summer since she’s been coaching dance, she goes to camp at Emporia State with all her girls for a few days. At least once during those times, I’ll go hang out with my boys and play poker all night long. Low stakes cash games are a lot of fun with a small amount of people around the table set out Jason’s deck with 105.1 Jack FM playing on the outside speakers.

One night last summer, Jason, Jeff, Darin and I started playing around 9 p.m. It started slowly as we mostly just talked and played casually. As the night went on, we began to see a trend. Tens were hitting the board like crazy. I’m not exaggerating when I say that at least one ten was a part of the community cards 60% of the night. I don’t remember who started it, but we got more and more vocal during each time around the table. We began sharing the types of hands that we had. Then, we started completely telling the truth, particularly if we had a ten in our hand.

We were being so honest with our cards that we were even showing our tens after the hand was over. Over time, we stopped showing hands, but were still telling the types of cards we had. “Honest poker” we called it. It turns out that when you get good cards and are dealt tens all night long, you can win at honest poker without bluffing or anything. I managed to walk away the winner that night and I was more honest than the others.

I suppose it pays to be honest at cards sometimes.

So my penance has been paid. The Twilight Zone meme dies with me.

Late Night, Early Morning

Last night, the boys and I got together at former New York Nationals star Jordan’s house for some poker.

Despite the fact that we started entirely too late and that my back (seriously, more on that later) was in shambles by the end of the night, it was a decent showing for me, considering I haven’t played in ages. I started off slow and dumped an early hand to the aforementioned Harlem Globetrotters nemesis. Then, I staged a pretty significant comeback.

It started when I was dealt [cards]9h 9s[/cards]. I was out of position, but with only seven relatively tight players (and perhaps the most aggressive to my right), I raised it just a little before the flop.

The flop was pretty good:

[cards]9d 9c Js[/cards]

It’s never a bad thing when you flop four of a kind. Everyone had been scared off by my sissy little raise except Josh. I wanted to keep him in the hand as long as possible. I checked, hoping he had maybe a pair of something or had caught the Jack. Next card out is an Ace and Josh bets it and I think to myself, “I’ve got this.” I raise his bet enough to get a call.

The final card is a blank, but I’ve got Josh on AJ, which puts me in a great position. He checks and I bet about 8 times the blind…about half the pot at this point. I want him to call me and he thinks about it for a while, then makes a move that would have been really difficult for me (and is an example of why I’m a bad poker player) — he folds the hand.

He shows me his AJ and for fun, I show him and the rest of the table the quads. That built my stack up considerably, which allowed me some freedom to play more aggressively than I typically do. I’m rolling right along as chip lead for most of the night until I run into a freight train driven by Josh.

I am dealt [cards]jh jc[/cards] under the gun. Jake has gone out by now so Josh is right behind me in the big blind and last to act. I limp in (my first mistake) and a couple other stragglers do as well.

The flop comes out [cards]4h 10h 4c[/cards], a great flop for me with my over pair. Small and big blind (Josh) both check to me and I bet out about 4 times the big blind (about the size of the pot). The two others in the hand fold behind me and Josh goes all in. I think back a moment to a time that Josh had smacked me in the face with A4, so I consider laying it down, but I can’t.

I call and am crippled when Josh turns over [cards]10d 4d[/cards]. Stupid big blind hand flops a full house. Ouch.

After that, I manage to play pretty close to the vest, doubling up a couple times where I shouldn’t have, but finally managing a 3rd place finish. I end up in the money, which is better than I expected before the night started. It was a decent night of poker, but one I am not anxious to repeat with the way my back felt when I finally got into bed around 12:30.

Why does my back hurt? you might ask. More on that later.

Follow Through

OK, so I realize I’m a bit behind on the blogging. But here’s something fun:

I beat my brother last night heads-up to win my first poker game in a long while. It was a good win, probably the best poker I’ve played in a long time and I was able to outlast 10 other guys in doing it. Not a bad night of poker.

I was chip lead for most of the evening, but once we combined our two tables, I lost a few hands and others picked up a couple big ones leaving me about 4th in chips. I had one huge takedown of Justin that nearly increased my chips by about 50% and then I lost a huge one to Jake when I called his all-in with [cards]Ah 8d[/cards] with my [cards]Ks Kc[/cards]. He caught an Ace on the river, which gave him a monster stack. Once Darin went out, it was brother vs. brother for the first time in…well…ever…I think.

After going back and forth a couple times, I beat Jake on a couple huge hands and I managed to catch top pair on the final hand flop. Jake called with middle pair and my pair of sixes held up and I won (crazy, I know!). Thanks go out to Darin and Jackie for hosting last night. Jackie provided the rice krispie treats, which as always were unbelievably good. Winning always makes you feel good.

Until next week, that is.

Two of My Favorite Games

Volleyball and Poker…

They will converge this Saturday, March 10 in a fundraiser for some of my friends’ volleyball team. Buffalo Club won nationals at the US Open Volleyball Championships last year, the first Kansas City team to do so. To raise money for the defending bid, they will be holding a tournament this Saturday.

You can find details at the site I built them here.

Poker is MEAN

For those who don’t know, Tuesdays are POKER NIGHTS. Last night, the fellas got together over at Casa de Adams (the younger one) and we played some $10 buy-in hold ’em, as we usually do.

8 fellas played and I felt that I should play aggressive, something I don’t normally do and it worked out well for me. I hit everything I played. I even cracked Mike’s Rockets when 2 jacks hit the board and I had [cards]jd 10d[/cards]. It was fun for me.

And then it turned ugly.

I was dealt [cards]qd qc[/cards] and raised pre-flop 3 times the big blind. The flop came out mostly crap: [cards]6h 4h 2s[/cards] or something like that. Coop was under the gun and bet 1200 (my original raise). I raised him 2500. The two other players folded. River came out another heart. John went all-in and I called. He’d made his flush with [cards]8h 7h[/cards] and chopped my stack in half.

Ouch.

After playing pretty tight for a while, I was down to where my stack was about 4 times the big blind. I had to make a move soon, so when I saw [cards]ks js[/cards], I figured it was time. I raised a bunch pre-flop and got a couple people out and it rolled around to Jordan who put me all-in. I pondered it for a sec, but figured he had a middle pair or he just thought I would walk away from the hand. I called and I was somewhat relieved when all I saw was [cards]ah 8d[/cards]. I was even happier when the flop brought me a jack. The poker gods snatched my happiness right away by bringing me a king on the turn, giving me two pair, but giving Jordan a gut shot straight draw since a 10 had also come on the flop. 4 cards in the deck can save him.

Guess which one came…

[cards]qs[/cards]

Ouch again.

Still…just made me want to play again. Until next time…