Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Finished in the top 20% of the PokerStars Blogger tournament. Total winnings = diddly-squat. Played my typical weak-tight game which was pretty ideal for this type of game, but was hamstrung by the table seatings. I was always disadvantageously placed vis a vis the no-shows and was always between two live players, meaning I rarely got a chance to steal cleanly.

I did manage to drop a sooted hammer fairly early, but otherwise didn’t see any cards to speak of. Since it was Father’s Day, I lost a few spouse points by insisting on playing, but Mrs. Commish might be coming around to the Dark Side.

Mrs.: How did you do in the tournament?
Me: Top 20%, but no money.
Mrs.: You didn’t spend time with us and you still didn’t win anything?
Me: Uh, would it have made a difference?
Mrs.: Of course it would have. If you’re gonna waste time, you might as well win.

Oooh, now I have the qualified approval to play cards whenever I want, IF… I win.

Baseball season is finally over for the boy. His team lost in the District semi-finals 6-5 on a last-inning comeback. He played like shit in the game, misplaying several Texas leaguers that he should’ve caught (or completely backed off of, and let the LF handle them) and going 0-3. However, they were still leading going into the last half of the last inning. The starting pitcher was almost totally out of gas and had just been thrown out at the plate the previous inning, so the manager pulled him in favor of the #3 pitcher, Josh, who seemed to be excessively nervous. He walked the first guy on four straight pitches, and you could see him practically hyperventilating on the mound. The manager told me that if Josh walked the next guy, he would put Trevor in with virtually no warm-ups.

Here’s where I might have effed up. I said nothing. I knew Josh was collapsing on the mound, physically and emotionally. I should have said, “Go ahead, Trevor is your man.” But I was too risk-averse with my son’s psyche. It would’ve been a difficult situation, but Trevor MIGHT have come through and shut down the rally. He also MIGHT have melted down just as badly as Josh did. But I never advocated for the opportunity, instead letting someone else’s kid cough up the game. I didn’t say anything to the manager and he agonized over the decision before leaving Josh in the game. Josh ended up giving up a hit, balking once, and finally walking home the winning run. I asked Trevor afterwards if he would’ve been OK about coming into such a pressure cooker. He said “Well, I wouldn’t have done worse…”. Josh was a complete basket case after the game. And I just didn’t want to see my son with that kind of weight on him.

But he also might have been carried from the field on his team’s shoulders. Risk-averse sometimes means you miss on some big opportunities. Shit. Being a dad (and coach) is hard. The hardest part is not knowing whether you’re doing the right thing. I might have taken away my son’s greatest moment in favor of sparing him his most painful. Crud. What do you think?


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