It exists if I say it does.

One of my midget nephews is turning four tomorrow. When quizzed about what he would like for his birthday he happily extolled the virtues of his preferred toy, named mega-Mechanikat. He went into quite some detail about how the toy works and what makes it the coolest thing since the last thing he was into. I couldn’t believe my good fortune, since I now could be the cool Uncle without relatively little effort. It turns out that Mechanikat is the villain of a show in which the hero appears to be Superman’s dog. He looks like this:

Mechanikat picture

Google also explained the mystery of mega-Mechanikat, which is apparently a giant robotic suit that our villain can climb inside and terrorize the world from within. This dovetails nicely with the young lad’s main interests, robots and superheroes. However, mucho Googling later, I can find no such toy. Despite the fact that my nephew described its operation in detail and confirmed the TV commercial he saw hawking its attributes, it seemed to be marketed poorly because I could not find the damn thing anywhere. Thwarted, I appealed to my sister for help. She laughed and told me that, as it happens, there is no such toy. Her son thinks that there should be and therefore that there is. We are not the first ones to be sent on this wild goose chase.

I thought of this request tonight as we dined at our favorite sushi haunt. We get rockstar treatment there, as we have been about a hundred times and are on a first-name basis with, well, everyone. We have access to a “menu” that isn’t printed anywhere and usually get one or two dishes that the chef is experimenting with to sample that we neither order nor pay for. Technically, we don’t much order anything, since they know what we like in general and just mix it up a bit here and there. We usually finish with one “special roll” which is whatever insane (and horribly nontraditional) thing the chef has dreamed up. We are active participants in refining these rolls and helping with the naming. Some of them make their way to the regular menu and some only exist for the good customers like us. The chef sometimes snorts when we suggest that he add a particularly good one to the menu, saying “Too much work” or “Too many good ingredients.” For some time, my wife has had the idea that he should make a roll named a “Glowworm.” Unlike our usual contributions where we name a roll after he has dreamed it up, she came up with the name with no idea of what ought to be a part of it. No glowworm has yet appeared, either because he isn’t inspired by her idea or because the muse has not yet provided the inspiration. Tonight, when he asked what we wanted for a roll, instead of saying “surprise us” or naming a favorite creation from the past, Suited insisted on the Glowworm, despite the fact that it doesn’t actually exist except as a name she dreamed up. The chef laughed nervously and made one up on the spot. And it was good. Damn good. Also, I now know why my little nephew thought he should be able to get whatever he dreamed up, because it works for his Aunt.

Poker can be like that too. Sometimes I decide what hand I wish I had and I just act as if that is the hand that I actually have. If you convince yourself that it is so, you can often convince the other folks at the table as well. I did it today to great success. I called on the Button with :Jd :Tc behind two limpers and raised the flop of :Qh :9d :3h for a free card. I wound up with the big blind and the flop better on a brick turn and I took my free card. When the river was the :4h, I had already decided that I was going to treat a heart as my bingo card. The BB checked, the MP player bet and I raised quickly. The blind thought for quite some time and mucked and the MP player mucked instantly. It doesn’t work all the time, but when it does, it feels like you invented a new sushi roll.

I’m up to 9,600 VPPs, so I guess I’m going to make it. I’m behind pace on the earning, but I’m doing better than last month. I’m also going to get some of my strategy stuff posted up sooner or later. I’ve expanded my focus from one specific spot to a greater subset of what happens when you check-raise the flop OOP. I do it a ton so I’m getting pretty good at recognizing the various things that happen when you do.

By Nsidestrate

I'm a hard-core limit ring game poker player who is becoming a degenerate sports bettor. I'm sure it will all make more sense if you read on.