Interstellar Adventures

May 21, 2006

I’ll take 5th place

Filed under: Poker Nights — by InterstellarLass @ 10:17 pm

On Saturday, I competed in my first-ever poker tournament. Well, two tournaments actually. The first was a “ladies only” event, with about 18 other “ladies”. I won a couple of awesome door prizes, a new bag and a totally gaudy, but perfect for my poker friends, straight-flush poker hat.

The second tournament was at a sports bar I’d never been to. I was kind of scared, going in by myself and not knowing anyone. But, when I got in I recognized a couple of girls from the earlier tournament. I signed in on the sheet and waited for my table assignment.

There were many characters there. Quite a few women, and older and younger men. The older guys were nice. The young guys were mouthy. Spouting statistics, yammering about games that they’d played before. Talking about their strategy after winning or losing a hand. Here’s one free look a jackass mouthed off two hands before he checked on the turn, checked on the river, and then called my $1,000 raise to see my pocket queens match up with the river queen to make three pretty ladies that beat his two aces. He was pissed. Stupid. Don’t check twice then call a huge raise to see what I have. Two hands later, he was out.

I got pretty low on chips at a couple of points, but worked my way back, playing far fewer hands than I’m used to. I called a couple of hands that I shouldn’t have, and I knew it before I did it. But hey, that’s why it’s called gambling.

I ended up at the final table. There were eight of us. The blinds were $2,000/$4,000 at this point, and I managed to double up twice. But doubling up off $2,000 to start with isn’t that great at the final table. Not when people have seven times the chips you do. Two guys and another girl went out at the table before I did. The top 5 were all girls. I had to go for it on my last hand where I was the big blind, and, I missed the king I needed. Oh well. For my first sanctioned APL tournament, 5th place out of 54 ain’t bad.


Sunday was spent doing laundry. Lots of it. And cleaning out my linen closet. I took Elle to the store to shop for dinner. I bought for Sunday and Monday night since I was in a hurry. And when I got to the checkouts, the lines were long. I had less than the 15 required items for the express self-checkout. All four machines were lit-up, indicating they were available, but only three of the machines were in use. By people that shouldn’t have been allowed to use self-checkout. Searching every item for the bar-code, waiting for the machine to tell them to place their item in the bag, trying to decide what to scan next. I groaned internally.

Then I figured out why one of the machines wasn’t in use. A woman with at least 10 cases of Coke, 10 Healthy Choice frozen dinners, a half dozen two liters of orange drink and some other objects was browsing through the weekly circular, arguing with the self-checkout checker, and holding up the 4th machine. Why the hell is she even in the express lane, much less the self-checkout lane?

The people who shouldn’t use the self-checkout machines finally mananged to pay for their purchases and move out of my way. See, I’m the professional self-checker-outer. I can ring myself up and get out before any of the paid-checkers could do so. I know what to ring up in what order and bag it all together, heaviest items first, ending with bread and eggs. I know what order the machine will ask me questions and exactly which buttons to press so I’m out the door in the fastest time possible. I’m busy people, and this woman was holding up the line!

Once she finished arguing with the clerk, she sat at the machine, trying to figure out how to ring up and pay for all the HUGE items she had in her cart. I turned to the clerk and asked loudly Why is she checking out in this lane? She obviously has too many items. The clerk muttered something back to me that I couldn’t understand. I don’t understand why she’s taking up the express-self-checkout lane when she obviously needs help. The clerk muttered something again while I grabbed my receipt and Elle and headed out the door, throwing a nasty look over my shoulder at the ditz-oid with the year’s supply of Coke. While I was loading my three bags in my car, I thought about going back in and speaking to the manager, asking why they weren’t enforcing the 15-item limit. But then I chickened out. I was short on time too.

Maybe next time I’ll get my courage up to confront where I see stupid people breaking the rules.


  1. I am right there with you on the self check out lines. Do NOT use those lines if you have no freaking clue what you are doing!!! Geesh! I don’t mind so much the 15 item limit, because if you’re quick, no one will notice.

    Comment by Carnealian — May 22, 2006 @ 6:47 am |Reply

  2. Definitely say something! You’re in the right…

    Your look back at Zed’s first day of school made me sniffle….

    Comment by Marie — May 22, 2006 @ 8:52 am |Reply

  3. My hub played in a tourney tis saurday too…
    %th place is a lot better than where he placed!

    Comment by Shannon — May 22, 2006 @ 9:27 am |Reply

  4. Shall I rephrase that…5th place

    Comment by Shannon — May 22, 2006 @ 9:27 am |Reply

  5. I HATE grocery shopping, it really stresses me out. My other half does it now coz he knows that if I do it, I come back in a vile mood!!

    Comment by serendipity — May 22, 2006 @ 11:20 am |Reply

  6. I am so jealous!! Searching online now for APL information.

    And I almost copied your post title today. Except mine would have been “I’ll take 152nd place.”


    Comment by Bone — May 22, 2006 @ 1:22 pm |Reply

  7. Ugh, grocery shopping isn’t that bad, it’s the checkout that kills me! I find that it helps if I read about some near-death mishap in a ferocious environment before I go.

    Nice showing at the poker tourney!

    Comment by abbynormal — May 22, 2006 @ 1:45 pm |Reply

  8. I’m one of the few people who was happy when the local SuperWalmart (Open 24 hours, Se Hablo Espanol) put in a bunch of self checkers. I admit I sometimes go over the limit, but as a former speed champion (3 years running, averagine .5 seconds per sale) at a book, music, and video store (Hastings, your entertainment superstore!!!) I figure I can go faster than most. I do find it amusing to watch how some people think they work. I’ve seen people talking into them, apparently thinking they are voice activated. I’ve seen people yelling at them, as if the machine can understand. I even used one yesterday. The problem was, because I had hurt my back, I moved a bit slow, but that’s ok. If you go at 10 AM (Or 11 PM works good too) its not that busy and you can take your time.

    Comment by Coyote Mike — May 22, 2006 @ 2:04 pm |Reply

  9. I’m going to read this to my daughter. She’s a cashier at a grocery store near here and she comes home with stories like this one all the time.

    And I’ve decided if we ever get to play poker, we’re playing for peanuts. 😉

    Comment by Laura — May 22, 2006 @ 2:20 pm |Reply

  10. I’m always too chicken too. It’s alright. I however am a self check out pro as well. I tell people it’s because I shop too much, which is bad. Oh well, I’m outta there in record time.

    Comment by Jolynn — May 22, 2006 @ 2:41 pm |Reply

  11. OH and congrats on your 5th place. I am poker illiterate, however I do know what 5 out of 54 means.

    Comment by Jolynn — May 22, 2006 @ 2:42 pm |Reply

  12. I’ve never been able to use a self checker properly. I always sneak off like I’ve broken something.

    Comment by Buffy — May 22, 2006 @ 4:28 pm |Reply

  13. years ago, i worked as a cashier in a grocery store, so i rock at bagging groceries. we have those self check out lanes here and i know how to use them, finally. i’d be afraid to say anything to anyone, i’d be afraid that crazy person might have a gun or knife, i’m not about to risking getting shot at over a bunch of groceries.

    Comment by Better Safe Than Sorry — May 23, 2006 @ 9:00 am |Reply

  14. Expressholes.
    I frickin’ hate em’ too…
    Poker, eh? You have talents I never knew about, young lady.
    Great post, Lass.


    Comment by michael — May 24, 2006 @ 6:17 am |Reply

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