But then suddenly, you squeeze your latest unconnected garbage hand and all thoughts of sacrificial goats and omniscient poker beings evaporates. The first card is a useful looking Ace of spades. The second...ANOTHER BLACK ACE!
You control your breathing and act exactly as you did whilst repeatedly being dealt rotting turnips. You silently prepare a plan, how much to raise, how best to extract money from a variety of flops.
The old guy in seat two raises it up to $500. This is good news. He has been a greying, bearded statue for 3 rounds so you know he has a hand without even taking into account his trembling hands and pulsating jugular.
You work out a good raise, $1,200 seems right and you count that out and quietly slide it out expressionless. All fold to Grandpa Simpson and your brain dances a quiet jig as you hear him say exactly what you wanted.
"Ah'm oaaal IN!"
You're not a bad guy, so you forgo slow-rolling him and insta-call, flipping up Aces so as not to prolong his pain.
You feel a little bad as his grey face crumbles and head droops. He tables A-K, probably the best hand he's seen all day and in a gesture of benevolence, you motion over a cocktail waitress to buy the old dude a consolatory root beer.
"Am gonna need some help" he mouths sadly, realising the peril his tournament life is in.
The chips are all yours, it's a formality now. Your patience has been rewarded. With double your stack, you will have room to play and it's all going to be alright! You may even win this time! Let the good times roll!
The dealer deals out the flop and you try not to smirk as it comes an unconnected T-3-7.
The old guy is picking up his hand cream and small truck card protector and stashing them away in a scaly old leather satchel with still trembling, arthritic fingers.
You want this over with really. You take no joy in crushing the old man's dreams.
The turn is a J. You stiffen slightly. Suddenly he's picked up a draw of sorts.
A gutshot straight draw.
He hasn't noticed yet.
He's turning over in his head what he'll tell his grandkids who were so excited grandad was playing at the world series. He can imagine their little faces falling as he tells them he got knocked out outside the money.
Sorry guys, Christmas is going to be tight this year...
Back with you and a small bead of sweat has appeared above your eyebrow and trickles saltily into your left eye, momentarily blinding you. The dealer deals the last card and you can't quite make it out but you think it looks like paint. It's a Jack! Hooray! You prepare to sweep in the chips when suddenly your eye clears and you take another look.
It's a f***ing Queen!
OH MY GOD! You stare at it, all smugness vanished as you realise the implications. The old man is looking at the flop trying to work out what's happened and the dealer cuts in, pulls the Q-J and T forward and sweeps the pot to Old Man River.
Suddenly his whole demeanor changes and he begins to dance. His arthritic shakes are gone and he is spinning his walking stick round like a cabaret performer.
You are still staring wide-eyed, mouth gaping at the hideous river card. The rest of the table give their reaction to this.
Some ignore it, you hear someone quietly say "sooo sick" emulating your own inner thoughts. One guy who has kept himself perma-sealed in a hoody, shades and ipod combo, presses his ipod and drops his hoody, preparing to cast his verdict.
Despite the horrible scenario you are facing, nonetheless you have a morbid interest in precisely what sage utterance this guy who is young enough to be your son is about to share.
You brace yourself for the impact of the words of wisdom this infant will bestow upon you.
He tilts his head to take another look at the flop and laughs as if amused.
He zips his hoody back up, flips the hood and presses his ipod, back in his hermetically sealed world of radiohead, numbers and variance.
You are the one who has to leave now. You gather your meagre collection of belongings, including the "lucky" rock that will later be flung venemously off the edge of a nearby cliff.
Someone taps you on the shoulder. It's the cocktail waitress you called over earlier.
"Can I help you sir?"
"I don't know. Do you serve root beer with cyanide in?"
As you walk out of the playing arena, just another loser $2,000 worse off, you see a huge photo of Daniel Negreanu beaming down at you from above, his ear-ring twinkling.
"That'll be me one day" you think glumly as you walk off to drown your sorrows and find someone to share your story of woe with.
As you wander off, you pass the satellite room running sats to the main event. There's one starting in five minutes. "This time!" you think as you rush in to register, your vanquished bullets a distant memory.
The game begins anew...