Like Looking At A Sweeping Curve Ball in the Bottom of the 9th, 2 Outs, Bases Loaded, Down 2, Game 7

Tonight I returned to our weekly poker game for the first time since the playoffs and my conference trip booked my October weekends.

And I was having as dominant a night as I’ve ever had, busting 5 of my 7 opponents, in the process losing just one or two hands that went all the way to showing cards. Anne took out the 6th player to go (Arianne) and then it was only Anne and me left for heads up play, and I had a huge advantage.

And then to an REM tune filling the room from Stephen and LeAnn’s stereo, that was me in the corner, losing my advantage. I just didn’t have the cards, hand after hand, and the blinds were just out of control. And when I bluffed, but for once, it blew up in my face. This was my first long heads up showdown face to face and it is much harder than online.

When Anne finished her complete and utter total come from behind from near certain defeat, I sat back and took in the ugly feeling and thought, this really sucks losing like this. And then all I could think of was poor Carlos Beltran standing there watching that awful, huge, sweeping curve ball on an 0-2 count fall in and end the Mets season with the bases loaded, a 97 win team of freaking DESTINY giving it away to a ragtag eventual worst world series champion in baseball history. And I thought, well, at least it’s not THAT bad.

But, from another perspective, Beltran averages $17 million a year and I only got $10 for second place in my tournament. So, maybe it’s WORSE for me.

Or just not comparable. Who knows. Either way it kind of stung.

But, I was happy for Anne, she needed a win after some rough losses. And, I should be happy to have played really well the whole night. It’s so funny how getting close to winning makes losing that much worse. Again, like the Mets.

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Son of Shea

    A poker entry, and no whining about bad beats?Pfffft, amateur.

  • Daniel Fincke

    Ahhh, that’s because on the night in question, I was consistently the “bad beater,” so to speak. I put a guy all-in when I had just a pair of sixes after the flop and he had two pair. The king on the river pairing the king in my hand busted. :)Then I got whooped the old fashioned way—-with bad cards instead of bad beats.


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