Just yesterday I attended safety training at work concerning fog. This is the time of the year where it is very foggy in the valley. The primary safety concern with the fog is the reduced visibility which makes it very dangerous to drive. Often we delay our trips until later in the day when the fog has burned off.

Sure enough I was up early this morning and headed to work a little before six and it was very foggy. The visibility was less than 500 feet right at my house. On local streets a visibility of 200 feet is not much of a problem. When I merged onto the freeway and got my speed up to 70 the lack of visibility becomes a real problem. I decided to just get off the freeway and take surface streets to work. These people drive way too fast for the conditions.

When I play poker we talk about being in a fog or foggy thinking and it is meant to be unclear or less than lucid mental perception. I have never really been one to drink and play poker so I have never experienced playing drunk. To me playing drunk is not the same as playing in a fog. To me playing in a fog is more associated with playing hung over. This I have had occasion to experience.

In 1998, at the Spirit Mountain Anniversary Series, my friends and I were cashing in a number of the events and every night we would go out and celebrate. I would usually get blacking out drunk and just pass out somewhere. I would wake up in the morning feeling like shit and have large gaps in my memory. To say that my brain was working less than optimum in the morning is quite the understatement.

I would try to become human by noon for the next days tournament and some days my body just would not cooperate. I was walking around in a fog. I was functional but that was about all. I would decide that I could not play the tournament and often head back to my hotel room and try to sleep it off. I would try to get up before six and make my return to the poker room to play in the cash games with people busting out of the tournament.

I remember stumbling into the poker room one evening still a little off balance and dizzy as my equilibrium and coordination had yet to return. My vision was pretty blurred and yet I was able to navigate to the poker room. I remember on the walk from the hotel seeing people and trying my hardest to adjust my course and not being able to and just crashing into them. The sensation is similar to playing that game where you put your forehead on a bat and spin around 25 times and then try to run; you can see where you want to go but you can not make your body do it. Now imagine spending the whole day that way with blurred vision. Drinking problem? One might think. Nevertheless I make it to the poker room and the game is really good and they have saved me a seat. I can remember thinking I can not see well enough to play. I get a couple cards and try to peek at them in a normal poker fashion and I really struggle to focus enough to read the cards. Worry not young man. I ask for a seat right in the middle in hopes I can read the board.

Yes I played in a fog. This is extremely dangerous and not something I would ever do again. I was not able to stack my chips. I could not see my chips well enough to be able to count them, I bet strictly by feel. I played poker for hours on autopilot. I had to throw up and tried to stand up and just kind of fell over against the player beside me and struggled across the room to throw up in a garbage can. I was a sweaty disgusting mess with a horrible taste in my mouth and a little bit embarrassed. Cash me out. I could not read the bills when they gave me my money and I staggered back to my hotel room and went back to bed. I did not die that night. I did however feel pretty bad the next morning.

While my work has provided me with training about the dangers of driving in the fog I feel the more important lesson is to learn the dangers of playing poker in a fog.

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One Response to “Fog”

  1. Alexander Johnes Says:

    I truly loved reading your article. You mentioned some very vaild points.

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