I actually played some poker this weekend. Fired up Full Tilt and sat down at a limit game. It didn't go that well but I did have some fun. I hadn't played a ring game in months online. Last time I even sat down at a table was in Vegas. And then I didn't play any limit.
It all came back to me. The nuances of limit are different but it was like riding a bike down by the lake. You know the path. You have ridden down this path many times before. You know were you can accelerate, where to slow down on the sharp turns. You know how to navigate the path through the park and where the people by the golf course will walk by not paying attention to bikes.
You have this path memorized. At least you think you do. It happens every spring after the snow has melted and the ice has gone away. You get on the path after being away and notice the things you conveniently forgot. You remember the smooth straight runs where you can build speed but forget about the hills that drain you. Just like the guy on the button that raises every single blind of yours. You know it is going to be like clockwork. Everyone folds to him and he raises it up. You want to defend you blinds and get annoyed by this joker.
So you do. With a ragged ace you feel that you are ahead. You flop bottom pair and bet out. He slows down and just calls. You fire again on the turn and he calls. When a harmless looking 8 hits the board on the river you feel you have him just to see him call and show K 8. It is like hitting a pothole on the bike path. Your front tire thunks down hard and your body is jolted. You mutter an obsenity and keep going.
You play on. You get involved in some hands that look good. You flop open end straight and flush draws. You bet them but just like getting caught behind a pair of walkers or slow riders on the trail, you can't get around them and keep missing your hands. Nice pots go the other way as you have to fold after missing each of your outs. It is frustrating but you pedal on.
Good hands don't pay off. They fold to you when you raise with QQ. Yes you get lucky and flop a set here or there but the board conspires against you showing the flush possibility. You slow your bike down in that traffic just hoping to get out with a nice win. But in the end you feel like you are riding in the rain. An hour has gone by and you are down. Wet.
You get off the bike and haul in down into the basement. You think about the ride and how tomorrow will be different. You click the table close and learn from your mistakes. You dwell a bit on the bad luck but know that tomorrow will be different.