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Strangers with Candy

What a fucking day! First, I spend my morning sitting around Court waiting for a defendant to arrive, knowing full-well that when they arrive they are going to ask for an adjournment. They are entitled to it by right, so they were going to get it, but our firm policy and the peculiar nature of this particular case meant that I couldn't consent to the adjournment. I had to let the Court give it.

It was a good hour and a half before they arrived, and when they did, they missed their moment to request an adjournment. Consequently, we waited on line for another 20 minutes before getting a new date...March 20! Justice is slow, but that was fucking ridiculous!

When I got back to work, I found a fax on my chair. It regarded a case of my prior Team Leader, now Of Counsel to the firm. Essentially, it's like he is part time working for the firm, and part time working for himself. From my vantage, though, it seems like he is all for himself, and all AGAINST me.

I brought him the sheet, a bill from a hospital in one of the few cases still assigned to him, and he replies, "Yeah, I got this already and left it for you." Okay. Now I'm thinking, Well, what am I supposed to do with it, and why the hell wouldn't you leave a note. But fine, I say, "Okay, I'll have it put in the file" and then he pops me with it: "No, you need to update the BP." Well, the case is in NJ, so there IS no BP, but there is a similar document, and I prepare a letter updating the Interrogatories. Following me? Basically, I did what he told me to do. Kindly, I let him know that the letter went out adding the extra medical expenses. His reply: "No, you have to go through the file and make ALL changes." WTF! That mother fucker! It's like dealing with a petulant child who knows that you can't punish him. A petulant fucking child who is trying to make your life as difficult as possible. And to think that I used to carry his sorry ass.

Breathe, Jordan. Breathe.

If all that wasn't enough, I had to go to Court again this afternoon. This time, it was federal Court, and the Judge is known to be a hardass. We aren't even in the case yet, but we are thinking about taking over for the plaintiff's current counsel, who apparently is a shyster who won't return his client's phone calls. He also won't let us see the case file until we sub in. So, we asked the hardass Judge to help us view the file before we take over. Well, the Judge wasn't choosing today to earn a new softer reputation. He basically told me that my arguments were bullshit and we would have to take the case sight-unseen or not at all.

On the elevator down, I try to reopen the communication between me and the current counsel. "Look, you know this is not me, specifically. We got it resolved and we can move forward." He saw it as a sign to start lecturing. "Your arguments were specious, blah blah blah..." Defense counsel is also in the elevator, and I've had a fucking shitty day. I cut him off. "Look, I'm not going to stand here and listen to your lectures. Let's be real about this. You don't want this case. Your client is calling ME up complaining that you are doing nothing and won't call him back, and you are lecturing me?!" Fuck yeah. It felt good to shut him up and dish some out.

I'm back in the office now. I'm mentally and physically wiped, and a bit emotionally as well. According to the Big Boss Man, I have a very even temper in the office and take things in stride. This is my poker face. Beneath it, I'm usually a burning cauldron of emotion, often adrenaline, excitement, passion, and aggression, sometimes confusion, and on rare occassions fucking pissed. By the end of today, I felt like I couldn't hold anything back.

I'm playing poker at a Lawyers' Game. I won't know anyone there by Matty Ebs, who got me the invite in the first place. After federal Court, I was really wiped and bummed out and I called up Matt. "Hey, man. Would it be an issue if I backed out?" My thoughts were that I was in no condition to play. All I wanted to do was go home and rest in the arms of wifey Kim. As it turned out though, I guess they need the numbers. I acknowledged this as a possibility. It's why I asked if ditching would be an issue. Seeing as it would be, I'm back on course for the game. Until then, I'll be in my office, working late.

I have some trepidations about this game. As you can see, my day has been anything but enjoyable. My mood is definitely going to affect my play...if I let it. I'm going to do my best not to give in though. Fight through it, maybe leave here a bit early and grab a beer somewhere. Let it all wash away and allow poker to lift my spirits.

The truth is, I have had some of my best success against strangers at home games. When I was still a young pup to the game, I went to one 22-person tournament where I only knew one person. I took 4th, in the money. In another, I went to a 13-person home game and took 2nd. No wins, sure, but easily in the money. When I first started playing with some fellow bloggers in their home games, notably the IHO girls and SIF, I had some success, although I think I actually didn't do well at the IHO games. At my first time at Sox's place, I took down a tourney.

I think I might be best against strangers in a homegame environment. First off, while they are catching up with friends and having fun, I'm learning everyone from scratch. I'm making reads and plays based on what I see on that day only. The other players might have more in depth experience with each other, but they also have preset ideas on how each player acts. Meanwhile, I see them in their natural environment without any preconceived notions. Whereas I see Roose as a formidable solid player, he might be playing poorly on any given day. Sure, I'll hopefully notice the change, but more likely, I'll be treating him as I usually do and be cautious. A new guy to the game will only notice that Roose is playing poorly and will act accordingly.

The other thing is that I can dictate my presence based on the room. If I want, I can be the quiet guy picking up chips. I can be the life of the party. I can be the loose donkey. I can be anything. And I can mislead the opposition every step of the way. You know how I do. Play loose, get labeled a donkey, and then get paid off. It's a great formula. I can just as easily (and have in the past) play tight and build an image as a solid player, only to loosen up later as I have more chips, higher blinds, and a better image. Suddenly I switch from rock to life of the party, and all people think is that I'm catching cards. Or, they think nothing at all because they are still hanging with their friends and, besides, there stack is so small, they are willing to fold to my aggression.

Yeah yeah yeah. We'll see how things go tonight. I could definitely use a drink first. Then I'm off to play some pokah with some strangers. Wish me luck.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 5:19 PM,


At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thing is correct:

There IS no BP in New Jersey.

I live in Wisconsin.


At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope it went well -- I was still at the office :(.

I was going to recommend you take a few minutes to clear your head -- I've tried a full day of the phones and the court and then the poker and it NEVER goes well unless I close my eyes or distract myself for about 30-60 minutes first.

Looking forward to the update!


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