The clock is ticking away, the early afternoon passing us by minute by minute.
The line at the Kentucky Fried Chicken is six deep with one lone person working the counter. "I didn't think it would take this long," says the degenerate gambler, "and we might not make it to the track in time for the first race at Tampa." The things you'll do to cash in a dollar off coupon in exchange for some greasy finger-licking sandwichy goodness.
The line does not move. Maybe this wasn't a good idea. Signs of desparation (or is it just frustration?) appear.
Technology to the rescue!
Folks, let me be the first to tell you: You truly have not seen degeneracy in action until you see someone place a bet on the horses via cell phone, while standing in line at KFC, just in case we don't make it to the track on time.
Not that there's anything wrong with any of that.
And make it we did.
I went to the track with BG and DuggleBogey, who has been in Michigan for work. There wasn't much of a plan other than playing some highly juiced charity poker and investing some money betting on the horses.
The poker wasn't all that memorable - we all played the 1 PM "main event" tournament, and none of us made the money. I actually had cards for the first time in a live tournament, and felt like I played decently with minor exceptions. T4000 to start, with blinds of 25/50, increasing every 15 minutes. I busted a shortish stack early on with AKo vs. A8o. During Level 2, found JJ in early position and raised to T400. Guy two behind pushes for about T3000 more, I fold face up which induces him to show his KK. Not much damage there. I find KK and AA before the end of the first hour and get a caller preflop on each, but they drop on the flop. I dump about a thousand chips limping (on a very loose, passive table) a couple low pocket pairs and big suited hands and reach the break with T5000, just above average.
In the second hour (at 200/400 blinds), I have AKo. Standard raise, short stack to my left pushes for 200 chips more. He has As9s. Blank blank blank, blank (2 of his suit, though, so he has extra outs), 9 of diamonds. There goes a bit more than 1/3 of my stack. A couple hands later, I find JJ again in EP and it's bumped to 4xBB. There are five to the flop. Oops. K on the flop, have to let it go. That's another chunk.
In the small blind (300/600), I get to see a flop for the discount with Kc8c. Flop club, club, club. The lone limper, of course, has AcQx and catches another club on the turn. Oh, well.
The rest of the afternoon involved betting on (and losing at betting on) the horses. Just a brutal day for me, although I think BG and DB were much closer to even. I cashed one win ticket (on a 3/5 favorite, so it wasn't much) and one place ticket (which covered the cost of the win-place bet plus 40 cents). That's it.
I would still have come out even for the day, though, but for a steward's inquiry (and jockey's claim of foul) on a race where we were holding tickets on a horse named Corinthian to win and place (at 7 to 1). He crossed the line first, but for whatever reason they decided he screwed things up for the other horses and bumped him down to third.
Horse racing is so rigged.
Oh well. It was still a good time.