It was my birthday two days ago. I’m now 114 years old. Okay, I’m 46, but it’s how you feel that counts.
As Stupid Sister is fond of frequently reminding me, I am very old. 46 is shockingly old. I have to admit that up to this point I have taken little notice of the number my age was at; it did not occur to me that hitting 30 or 40 were occasions of interest except insofar as I could get better presents and recognition. I’m selfish and egotistical.
But now I’m like “holy crap.”
The thing is that suddenly having my age be numerically closer to 50 than 40 coincides with my discovering that my knees are apparently made of Styrofoam and Cheez-Whiz. They are both in more or less non stop pain, which is concerning, and will require some time and effort to fix. I have an active, fit wife who – quite rightfully – expects me to do stuff with her from now until long after we’re retired, and I can’t do that if my legs don’t work.
My Dad died a few years ago. He wasn’t quite 71, and he died because his attention to his own health was basically nonexistent. After he retired early he spent almost all his time watching TV and eating. I loved my Dad and I miss him a lot but, if I may be brutally honest, he absolutely blew his retirement; it could have been twice as long and five times more enjoyable for him and his whole family if he’d put down the pie and gotten up from “NCIS” to play some golf or something. I very much don’t want to follow that path, so the knee problem and persistent weight issues concern me. I guess it’s a good sign they do.
All that said it was a nice birthday. Everyone had the day off on Friday, and I was treated to a tasty breakfast, presents and cards, and was shipped off to Casino Niagara to play some poker, where I played really well and got a few breaks and won over $500. Let’s break down the two key hands.
HAND 1: I bought in for $260 and won a number of nice pots to get up to about $450. I was dealt pocket fives in late position. Someone boosted it up to $20, a huge raise, but two people called before it got to me so there was a lot of dough in there and I called. The villain to my left called, so there’s $100 in there.
The flop was two jacks.. and a five! Presto!
The first three people checked. The villain to my left made it $80. The other three villains folded. I have a monster hand; my guess here is that the remaining villain has three jacks, something like ace-jack or jack-ten, so I’m winning, but if he huts his other card to make a better full house I could lose. It’s not likely but I should I just call?
I thought about it, and something told me “you should go all in.” So I pushed all my money in. He called and showed king-jack, and was visibly horrified by my hand. It held up and I took all the money.
POKER QUESTION 1: If you’d had his hand would you have called?
Ten minutes later I was almost ready to leave but found myself dealt ace-king. I was delighted. There was a raise to $12, and two people called; I just called, as did a villain to my left. (Different guy.) The flop was ace, ten, nine. I was even more delighted.
The first three people checked. I bet $30. The villain to my left called; everyone else folded. I figured him for a draw.
The turn card was a 3, and there was no flush possibility, so I was very happy. I made it $50 to go. The villain – the only guy at the table with more money than me – suddenly made it $130.
Tough decision, right?
POKER QUESTION 2: What would you do?
He was a strong player and I did not for an instant think he had a worse hand. I figured he had three tens, three nines, or 10-9 for two pair. I tossed my hand away like it was rat poison. He was very disappointed at my fold.
“Yeah, ace king is no good there,” I said.
“You folded ace-king?” he asked. I nodded. “Nice fold. I had a set of tens. I was hoping you had that hand, but, nice fold.”
“I’m not dying on top pair,” I said.
I ran away with my profit and bought a sushi dinner for the family, which was great aside from the kids yelling and making weird noises nonstop on the way home, something else that, as an old person, I can’t take.