Couple of hours later, and a bit drunk, I’m walking back to Casino with Pampo and Joni:
“So, is this THE one?” Joni said referring to the 2,5k PLO tournament that we were going to play.
“Most likely not, this is my fourth and I have no plans slowing down” I replied waving a bottle of beer in my hand.
“We can drink fifteen beers and still be winning players at this tournament” Pampo said.
He’s probably right
“Would be nice to get the ring though”, Joni said.
“What does it look like anyway?” I asked.
Joni googled me a photo. It looked like something that a Russian drug lord would wear. An absurdly big gold ring stuffed with black sapphires and diamonds.
“God damn that’s one ugly ring” I said.
“True, but it’s a trophy! Aaand… the money is always nice.” Joni said.
We got to the casino, bought a new round of beers and sat down in the tournament. Now, in all honesty I don’t remember much of the hands (or any) but what I do remember was how happy I was for the fact that me and Pampo managed to get half of the field drunk with us. Somehow bagged a chip lead stack or close to it when the day was done. Joni packed something small, Pampo didn’t pack anything.
Day 2, again not many memories of hands really. Joni dropped at some point and then it’s all a bit cloudy recollection of cards interrupted by the quickening pace of beers that I desperately gulped trying to ease my hangover. Preparation of a true champion. One by one players dropped around me as I sat in my seat like a mildly drunken tyrant yielding a never ending beer and a big pile of chips as weapon. Never risking his own life but more than willing to end opposition in a big and cruel coinflip. In other words – a truly dickish player to play against in the end phases of a PLO tournament.
Before I know it I’m sitting only with Yevgeniey Timoshenko. He is a great player but as I have a quite a lot of experience in PLO heads up, and have overly corrected my hungover, I’m feeling very confident. We play for a couple of pots – nothing too major happens. I feel like Yevgeniey is just trying to play as solid as possible and just waiting for me to explode.
I get dealt QTT7ss on the button. I pot and Yevgeniey calls.
Flop comes. 923r. He checks. We have a SPR of nearly five.
Do not explode
“POT!” I shout.
“Pot” Yevgeniey says and I immediately start debating with myself:
- “Fuck fuck fuck! Why did you use such a big size – you need to fold anyway” the pessimist side of me yells
- “He could have A45x?” , the positive side tries.
- “Yes, but it is such a tiny part of his range. Easy fold” the pessimist side continues.
“Call!” I yell approximately 0,5 seconds after Yevgeniys re-pot.
- “NO NO NO” ,the pessimist cries.
Yevgeniey tables AK45.
- “See? “, the optimist.
- “Just pure luck – and you still have only 40%”, the pessimist.
And then for the longest of times there was only silence in the room. I don’t really yell when I win (or lose) pots and I had no railbirds.
Did I just win?
I’m trying to read the board – I can’t find any straights or pairs in Yevgeniey’s hand.
“Well done sir!” the tournament director shouts. Verifying that I had, indeed won the tournament.
“Good game” I say and shake Yevgeniy’s hand.
“You too man” he replied. Clearly taking my highly questionable play extremely well.
Then everything happens all at once. Photos, patting on the back and people congratulating me. I regain my consciousness as I’m walking out of the tournament hall and check my phone:
“Sorry that we can’t come to rail you, X is playing at the final of Aussie Open doubles and we have bet big on him. GL brosef” an older message from Joni red.
So that’s where my rail went
*Tssm my phone vibrated while it was still on my hand
“They just won too. There’s going to be a hell of a party tonight” the message red.
Later that night we could finally figure out whether ladies prefer Aussie Millions or Aussie Open winner. To my surprise, ladies chose the fresh millionaire athlete rather than a dude who knows a bit about a card game. Luckily, we didn’t have only champions and girls surrounding (one of) them – we also had booze and friends – and with them, I partied the night away.
Next day, hungover. Not sure if I have won a tournament yesterday or just dreamt of it. I grab my bad and feel for the ring – it’s still there.
“Dude, what are you doing?”Joni asked. He stood in the doorway of my room and caught me red handed shivering my ring. He looked at me a bit worryingly.
“Ehm, nothing…” I put the ring back to my bag.
“… What’s up?”
“What do you want to do next?” he asked.
“You don’t want to go to New Zealand?” I replied.
We had agreed earlier that we would go to New Zealand. I wanted to go to Hobitton and be an honest Hobbit for a while. Joni doesn’t really appreciate Tolkien like I do and wasn’t at any point particularly excited about this part of the trip.
“It might take so long you know, how’s the weather?”
“I don’t know, in twenties?”
“Yeah man, I don’t know if I can do that now. It would be a lot of flying in a short period of time.”
A bit disappointed I agreed. We had overstayed our Melbourne leg of the trip and I didn’t feel like flying 5000 extra kilometers for just a quick trip to Tolkien land. Also, Joni clearly didn’t want to go, and I don’t want to play Hobbit with anyone who really doesn’t want to play Hobbit with me.
“Alright new plan…” I started.
24-hours later we were in a bright green camper van with purple details and a word “Jucy” written on the side of it. Inside the car was one ring, two idiots, two suitcases and way too many Australian dollars. The road trip from Melbourne to Sydney was ready to begin.