Saturday, 27 February 2010

After two hours six-tabling $100/$200 NLHE, I'm down $100k and really need the bathroom. "brb" I type in chat and dash across the hall. I get back to find my kid sister Gunilla in my room, on my computer, looking at Justin Bieber fan-sites again. I tell her to get off and, as usual, she threatens to tell our parents I'm playing for real money. I cover my ears while she watches him sing 'Someday at Christmas' to Obama for like the hundredth time. When I've got rid of her, I open-shove for the next ten minutes. It costs me $50k.

I wish I'd got my own place last year. It sucks to still be living with my parents. But with apartments, like with poker, I won't stop till I have the best, am the best, and everyone knows it. Last December when I was winning $6 million on FTP, I heard of a luxury apartment in Stockholm on sale for $7.6m. That made it the most expensive in all of Sweden. I told myself I couldn't cash out of FTP until I had enough to buy it. And I nearly got there.

But then, as everyone knows, I lost $4m in one day to Brian Hastings and partners. The apartment was bought by Curt Bergfor who founded the Max burger chain, while I was left walking down Uddevalla high street chewing one of his hamburgers wondering what went wrong.

It was a real moral victory that the next day I didn't throw myself off Uddevalla Bridge. I spent most of the next month under the bedsheets listening to every album ever recorded by Bright Eyes, most of the EPs, and some of Conor Oberst's solo projects. Then I plotted my revenge on the Cardrunners guys.

For me, poker's an innate thing. I don't need to read a book or watch a video to know how to play. I don't need to run statistical theorems on a pooled database to figure out how to beat a guy. I just play the game. And you might think I'm a loser, but what I did last year will keep me in action for life. Call it advertising.

I've been playing a few tournaments but I can't seem to make a deep run. I don't have the patience - live poker is so slow compared to eight tables. I get bored and run bluffs too sophisticated for any live donk to understand, so they call and bust me.

I might have money online, but I'm broke in real life. I can't even afford to rent a studio flat downwind of the herring processing plant.

I tried telling my parents they should treat me with a bit of respect, but the fact I've played Durrrr, Antonius and Phil Ivey over eight tables at $500/$1000 means nothing to them. I keep it hazy anyway because they'd be shocked to hear I'd gotten through more money than they've earnt in their lives. Once, after my mum had told me to make something of myself, I told her I was already the most famous person in Uddevalla. She looked up from her TV soap and snorted "Pah! You're not even as famous as Berit Carlberg!" I stormed up to my room and slammed the door. Brian Hastings was sitting at 200/400 and all of a sudden it seemed a good idea to play him. Another $100k gone.

My parents moved to Uddevalla from Dals Ed in time for me to go to high school. This is how school here is described on Wikipedia:

"As a school of art the students are free to express their creativity in many forms of ways; clothing, drawing, photographing, filming and music, to name a few. The atmosphere in the school is very relaxed and the bullying-rate is low. Alternative ways of dressing is very common though, and you can be sure to find someone at the hallway piano during all times of the day."

Doesn't that make it sound swell? But I was the guy that always used to play the hallway piano, gazing out of the window, sometimes having to flick my hair out of eyes. And these were the guys that used to smash the piano lid down on my fingers:

I guess that's when I took to my room. Sometimes I still think of them when I'm hurtling through my bankroll at the poker table. I want to kill my opponents but it might be easier to kill myself. All-in, all-in, all-in. Smash, smash, smash!