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Being Down

Play without ego. Relax and focus. When I start telling myself to relax I know I am beyond help. Well, beyond any help that my brain can provide at that specific moment. Short of someone walking in to the club, physically carrying me out and locking the door behind me I am fairly helpless. Glasses guy in the small blind has three bet my open from the button for the fifth orbit in a row. I folded the first two times. I have four bet him twice, I took it down once and folded once to his five bet. In my mind it has ceased to be about the cards we are holding. In fact I do not even remember him looking at his hand. Did he even look at his cards this time? The tight passive moustache guy in the big blind folds. I four bet to £400. Glasses guy thinks for about a minute then five bet shoves all in. His last five bet was to £950. He is weak this time. He is trying to get me off my hand. Effective stacks are £2000. £1540 to call. I have pocket 9s. I know I’m a 70/30 favourite against a random hand. I know he could have any two cards. I know I’m calling. I call.

“On their backs, gentleman,” the dealer says, pulling the chips into the middle of the table. The pot stands at just over £4000. Well over a months wages for me. I flip over my nines. He flips over his kings. My heart sinks to my knees, pounding all the way down. I know I’m an 80/20 dog before the flop. On the rainbow flop of four, seven, jack I know I’m a 90/10 dog. My face is red and flushed. It is difficult to breathe and I can not feel or hear anything other than my heart pounding. The turn brings a queen, leaving me a 4% chance of hitting a nine on the river. I shakily stand up as another jack hits the felt. “Nice hand,” I say, pushing my chair back and heading for the bar…

From a novel I am currently writing, set to be published sometime in the next decade or so..