I've been trying to get people together for a friendly home game, and right now, I'm just downright frustrated. I've got the chips, I built the table, but the people that say they want to play, never do. Or, if we end up getting people together for a game, it goes badly. And, I'm not just talking spilled beer, badly. Oh no, I'm talking falling out of a third story window, while trying to pee out of it, badly. Not good. Just to give you some idea how things go, I'll tell about a night that happened a few weeks back.
I'd been itching to play in a real game for about a month, and as I've yet to make it down to Canterbury, a home game was the next best thing. Not a lot of my friends are into poker, but there's a group of 4 of us, or so, that consistently want to play. It's no fun playing 4 handed, though. Well, not that it's not fun, I'd just rather have more people there. 6 would be nice, 10 is probably too many, especially if they don't have a clue as to what they're doing. Sure, it would be easy money but the whole fun level of the night drops, and the pace of the game slows down tremendously when you have to explain hand rankings after each community card is dealt.
Anyhow, a couple weeks ago on a Saturday, I'd tried to drum up some interest in a home game. Unfortunately, with the Timberwolves playing, and other stupid reasons, people couldn't make it early on in the night. So, I did something stupid; I set up a little afterbar mini-tournament. Big mistake. Huge. At the time I thought it'd would really be no big deal, and I figured people would be able to comply to what I wanted; a nice, comfortable, fun $10 buy-in tournament. Easy, right? Wrong.
We started off with 4 people a little before 2am, with most of us pretty liquored up already.
I'd never played with the either Jay before, but judging by their enthusiasm level when I asked them if they wanted in, or not, I oh so wrongly thought they'd played before. Jeremy was not a problem, as he's one of my friends that I play poker with regularly. As it turns out, neither Jay had played much at all, so this should've set off bells, buzzers and whistles of all kinds in my head that it was time to cut the game short. Short as in, before it even started. We get everyone set up with chips, and are just about to start when a friend, Chaz, walks in with a random bar hook-up. She takes one look at the table and whines out "I wannnnna plaaaaaaaaaaaay!". Great, just great. After she finally half-convinced us that she knew how to play, we set her up with chips as well. She wedged her drunken ass-and I do mean wedged, yes- inbetween Jeremy and Jay-Two to make the table look like this;
Seat 4:Drunk Girl
Ok, so we're set. We deal for button, and the girl looks at me and said "Wait, what are we playing?". Hold 'Em, dear. Hold. 'Em. To which she replied "Oh.", and something about the look on her face should've set off the bells and whistles once more, but I passed her question off as being booze induced forgetfulness, and not downright stupidity. It was moreso the latter. I'm not very bright when I'm drunk, and I was hoping, wishing, praying, that she would be the only problem of the night.
"You can wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which one fills up first."
Grampa Gustafson- Grumpier Old Men
That quote perfectly sums up how far wishing got me. Not only did she not have a clue as to what game we were playing, she'd run off to smoke right as the hand was dealt, and even though everyone was yelling at her to play her hand, she wouldn't come back to the table until she realized that her cigarette was gone, and she was, in fact, smoking filter. Added to that, she didn't realize that her 4-6o was bad, calling all the way to the river with no pair. I think I knocked her out, praise the lord, when my AKo hit two pair on the flop. I can't even begin to imagine my annoyance level if she had actually won money. With her out of the running, the 4 guys could finally sit back and enjoy some real poker. Or could they?
Nope. As the girl got busted out fairly early, I didn't have a read on either Jay. As far as I knew, they had a grasp on, at the very least, the basics. After a few orbits, I had them both read pretty damn well. If we'd been playing Party Poker, I would've noted them as "Thinks he's playing blackjack". No more explanation is really needed, but seeing as how this has gone on for so long as-is, I might as well just continue being long winded. They knew nothing about the game, other than it's name, and perhaps a rudimentary understanding of hand rankings. Yes, that bad. Jeremy and I were growing increasingly frustrated, and wanted nothing more than to just to quit, but as we figured we could at least take some money home, we'd stick it out. Jay-Two busted out because he was too drunk to care any longer about his $10, leaving just Jay, Jeremy and I.
And this is when it happened; all hell broke loose. If my life were a movie, this would be the part where the antagonist snaps and starts beating the crap out of people, a la Falling Down. I'd also like some slow-mo, please. That'd be neat.
My roommate, Jon, works for a chain restaurant...hold on, just follow me here. Anyhow, he works for a restaurant that has those machines in the entry that gives out a crap prize, like a gumball, when you plug in a quarter. As a "perk" to his job, he gets a catalog of various trinkets(read:junk) to fill the machines with. So, what does he order? A whole bag of close to 200 hundred little, rubber balls. Get ready, here it comes.
Backing up to when we arrived home from the bar a little before 2am, Jon immediately went to his room and passed out. The only problem I have with this is that he left his room unlocked, and his bag of balls unguarded. How dare he leave his ball sack unguarded! Drunk girl, upon being eliminated from the tournament, decided to snoop in Jon's room. Unluckily, for everyone involved, she found the rubber balls. Not only did she open the bag, she also thought it would be a grand idea to rip the bag open right over the poker table, showering balls across the entire room. Drinks were plonked, chips knocked over and cards strewn to and fro. I'd always thought that, while growing up, bouncy balls were supposed to be fun. Now, I loathe them.
"That's it, everybody out. I'm going to bed. Take a rubber ball with you on your way out. They're free!"
Game over. I woke up the next morning and bouncy balls were everywhere. Under the couch, on the stairs leading up to our apartment, in the toilet; everywhere. At last count, I think we recovered 50, maybe 60 of them, leaving 150 of their brothers MIA, presumed dead. I'm sure they're just waiting for the next poker night to happen, so they can once again be unleashed on the throngs of happy do-gooders.