Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yet more dreaming

This is now three nights in a row that I have had poker dreams. Well, for all I know, I might have poker dreams every night, but this is three times in a row that they have occurred just before waking, so that I remember them.

Last night I was watching the World Series of Poker main event final table as the last thing before I went to bed, with predictable results: I ended up playing poker with Phil Ivey and Steve Begleiter. It was a weird form of poker. Each player is given 13 cards, and you have to choose some to expose before the betting begins. There are complex rules about what you have to show. I had all four kings, and initially showed just two of them, plus a couple of other cards. But I wasn't sure I was doing it right. So I asked Phil, and he launched into a detailed explanation of not only what cards had to be shown, but what worked best strategically. I was so distracted by this that I didn't notice Begleiter coming over to my side of the table, and turning all of my cards face up. He was just curious what I had. He apparently thought that this wasn't a "real" hand, but just practice. I was livid. Even starting with 13 cards, quad kings will be a rare and strong hand, so I had been hoping to win a lot of money the first time I played this new game, and he ruined it. Typical Wall Street pig!

The night before that I was in a hold'em tournament and getting short-stacked. I raised from early position with a suited K-Q. Barry Greenstein called. The flop was something like A-7-3. I decided to represent having the ace, and shoved. Barry called. I showed my pathetic hand. But Barry was on a cell phone call. I don't know who he was talking to or what the subject was, but he was unusually animated and distracted. He took a full two minutes to finish talking and finally expose his hand: 3-3 for the flopped set and the winner. It was the world's worst slow-roll!

In a tangentially related weird coincidence, late last night, just before downloading the WSOP episode, I had been on a video chat with my friend Cardgrrl. One of the things we like to do sometimes is jointly solve difficult crossword puzzles--ones that are too hard for either of us to tackle alone. Last night one of the clues was "Biblical oneirocritic." I had no idea what that word meant. Cardgrrl did: Interpreter of dreams. She was right (see here, e.g.), and the answer turned out to be DANIEL (though I initially thought it would be JOSEPH). She told me early in the process of getting to know her that she knew everything, and I would just have to get used to that fact. At the time, I thought she was kidding....

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