Hope springs eternal at plate & felt

By Bill Patty

He steps up to the window, reaches in his wallet and strides to the table. Players are everywhere and hope springs eternal.

It is a beautiful day here at Thunder Valley Casino. He eyes the players as the first card is pitched and the count goes to 0-1.

Here’s the next pitch . . . Patty flops top pair, turns a flush draw, and fires again! He gets called by one opponent. The river pairs the board and his opponent bets out. The count goes to 0-2.

He has dug himself a hole now. His concentration is excellent, though, as he turns two pair from the big blind on a very uncoordinated board. The river seems harmless, so he swings hard and gets one caller. He is on the board!

As the innings unfold, Team Patty is behind and looking to make a big score. Here it is. He plays Kh-9h on the button and nails a king-high flush as the flop comes Qh-8h-3h. It’s a long drive! He really got a hold of this one as he is all-in to the river. Oh, no! A fourth heart hits the board and he goes down to Ah-Qx. It was a tough loss for him, but he played well.

Is there such a thing as hitting and missing at the same time? For me there is. Although I missed cashing in this event, I played well and gained the respect of my fellow players. Plus, a weekend at Thunder Valley is always a hit. It takes me away from my prop job where hitting singles and doubles every day sometimes takes its toll. It is nice to swing for the fences sometimes.

I can hit a “home run” in poker but for years my softball teammates called me Mr. 800 because of my batting average. They also ridiculed me because they said I never hit the ball more than 100 feet in the air. Sadly, that is closer to the truth than I like to admit.

I guess I have always been a true grinder. You have to play the hand you’re dealt and take your hits and misses in stride. I will be swinging for the fences again at the World Series of Poker this year! Do four singles equal a home run?

 People and Places

There are several reasons I really enjoy Thunder Valley. First of all, the dealers are outstanding. Frances is second to none and visiting with her is always special.

I also had the pleasure of meeting another great dealer on my last trip. His name is Saan. If there were a dealer school that specialized in dealer/player communication and interactions, these two would be perfect instructors. How about dealer training videos using these two? I have the ideas if someone out there has the video equipment.

In addition to outstanding dealers, the facility itself is awesome. A bar inside the poker room? Comfortable places to sit and wait? Good game selection and excellent tournaments? Yes, yes, yes! Talk about hitting it out of the ball park. One more thing. I know I rag a lot on Omaha players (and deservedly so), but the Omaha group I played with at Thunder Valley was the most friendly and courteous bunch I have ever been around. Thank you, Thunder Valley, for providing an amazing poker environment for us all.

Until next time, enjoy your game and call me when I bet the river!