‘Tis a Dreech Day, Lads and Lassies

by Lou on March 31, 2008

Sometimes you just have to watch and wait—and even then nothing happens.

I left a small no-limit hold’em game Saturday night when my name was called for a $25-$50 limit hold’em game—yes, I know, that’s a strange limit, but the tribal gaming commission where I play won’t authorize ten-dollar chips in the poker room, and $30-$60 or $40-$80 games can’t be played with five-dollar chips!

The new game had all the makings of being very live. There were two players sitting down with more money than poker sense, and both were dedicated callers. Another opponent was a player who frequently went on tilt and threw off lots of money if he suffered what he considered a bad-beat.

My eyes saw plenty of potential dead money in this game, and I was game for my fair share. I knew it would be one of these ultra basic games. Sophisticated moves and bluffing wouldn’t work, not with two table sheriffs in the game, bound and determined to sleep well that night knowing that no one was able to steal a pot on their watch.

My plan was to sit and wait until I had big hands, and then bet into the callers, or checkraise the aggressive players, until I won a bigger pot than I had any right to expect had my opponents not been prone to toss good money after bad. I also planned to bet my good draws aggressively in order to provide some cover for those times when I’d be betting my good hands, and to build bigger pots that would keep the table sheriffs calling, based on their “in for a penny; in for a pound” playing styles.

Sounds like a good plan. At least I liked it. However, even “The Best Laid Plans O’ Mice and Men Gang Aft Agley,” as (pictured left) poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) said. My plans went aft agley too. I couldn’t catch a hand, and had to sit and watch big pots won by others at the table who were fortunate enough to make a decent hand or two and rake in money from the table sheriffs and another player or two who made multiple errors and displayed very obvious leaks in their games.

As for my evening, I did win two pots, which allowed me to book a two-hundred dollar loss for my stint at the table—which in a $25-$50 game is really small change. But it was frustrating—sitting watching and waiting, knowing there’s nothing I could have done differently. I couldn’t bluff; I’d have been called and lost even more money. So I just treated it for what it was: A dreech day.

Dreech is Scots Gaelic for when the sky is slate grey and the rain persists for hours and makes you want to curl up and slit your wrists. It’s not pronounced like “beach;” rather the “ch” is guttural, like you’re clearing your throat, commenting on somone’s “chutzpah,” or cursing in Yiddish at someone you despise.

Sometimes even when you exercise all the discipline you’re required to in order to minimize a loss, it doesn’t feel good at all—although writing about it helps.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: