There are good days and then there are days to die for. Yes, we won’t discuss bad ones, that was our previous episode. Holding tight to his luck SharmaJi finds himself at the Goa railway station, wearing his lousy on the face blue coloured track pants and a white t-shirt with a backpack hanging on his right shoulder, trust me when we say this, he looks like a joker. A determined joker though. Determined to destroy a couple of casinos like Heath Ledger but without those intense dialogues, it’s not a movie after all and certainly, we can’t afford The Batman here. Nonetheless, this joker is here, trying to find his way out and make it to his destination.
He made it to his destination there was nothing fancy discussing it but what’s fancy is that he is in one of the posh offshore casinos here in his Hawaii shirt and slippers. Joker indeed. Actually, while he was planning his journey last month, Mrs. Sharma gave him some Goan styling tips. How could’ve our lovely SharmaJi said no.
Our man is here for some cash games as he reached Goa a day early. He gets his stack sorted and sits on a table. 5 people on the table including him and a beautiful dealer. Whatta combo you may ask but this is Goa.
Chips changed owners fast as if they had a mind of their own. This was expected after all everybody wants to create an impact at the Las Vegas of India. This tug of war for chips continued for quite some time and a confident SharmaJi realized, this is not what he was here for. “I’ve come all this way to cash big right” he thought and stood up. Selecting the beauty of what Cash tables offer, our man left after that last hand he played. He didn’t lose, he didn’t win. He just got a taste of Live Poker and a boost for the days to come.
The day has come and The Man is here. An INR 15,000 buy-in live tournament and a will to cash it all. Everything felt so different than the previous day’s cash table. There were people in hundreds and a shine on anything and everything SharmaJi touched.
He collects his chips, heads straight to the table, sits first waiting for others to join, taking in the air which had minute shavings of poker chips in it and thought “this is what I always wanted.”
The game starts after a long wait of 5 minutes. Yes, that felt way too long and we are sure you’ve felt similar at some point in your life too. Yes, you reader.
One dealer, 8 players and only one chest swollen with pride are about to kickstart this tournament. After an initial introduction, everyone on the table receives a pair of hole cards each. Nobody touches them and let them stay on the table but not SharmaJi. He collected his cards as soon as they stopped rotating about their axis on the table and found that his cards were just average. He could’ve won if it came down to the high card situation though. After some premature calculations in his head, he kept his cards back on the table and looked up to find an intriguing stare from everyone at the same time. As confusing this may sound, this did tilt him a bit. The baby calculations in his mind went for a toss. He lost the hand like a beginner. For the next couple of hands, he tried controlling his eagerness for checking the cards and he kinda got that right but now his chip stack won’t cooperate. A column fell down and a couple of chips fell on the ground. Again when he picked these chips up and sat back on his chair, those stares were on. Our man is in dilemma now. He stared everyone back this time but no help. Suddenly he realized, the sound of chips banging each other was something new, regs rolling chips in their hands was something new, cards flying in air and landing perfectly face down was something new, everything seems new and he felt as if he was smaller. Smaller in terms of a player. Smaller in terms of his presence. This was simply not what he expected. “This was supposed to be fun” is what came to his mind. That tournament lasted for 12 hours straight but SharmaJi was shown the way out in next 30 minutes.
Post that day’s game, a player came up to him and said: “Hi, I’m Virat.” An odd silence followed as our man realized that it’s the same player who showed him the way out of the tournament, but our SharmaJi is a kind man. SharmaJi replied “Hi.” Mr. Virat commented, “Sir you played that hand terribly, you need a lot of practice, and maybe you should get some coaching?” and he went. This not only dented our man’s confidence but these words made a crater inside him. He felt alienated and an absolutely shocked SharmaJi left.
Following this came realization and more. He took his train back home, switched his lower berth for the upper one with a gentleman so that he had some time with himself before his daily tasks came back onto him like a magnet. But this journey is not over yet. Something happened here which created a poker player like no other. Something interesting to say the least. What could it be? Let’s find out.