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Friday, October 12, 2012

A Much Deserved Follow Up to Day 1....


I've decided to take another run at this entry from Hammond. Having spent an hour and a half banging out a classic last night...only to have it go totally up in smoke due to this Dell on Crank.I was just too damn deflated to try to reproduce what was...up to that point, a damn classic. Sleep just seemed like a much more reasonable option. Ah, but then I spent all night tossing and turning and really getting no sleep at all. I credit that to my Top Ten post vanishing into the cracks of oblivion. 

Day One just contained so much damn good material to chat/write/talk about that there was no way I couldn't take another stab at it. And since I have the day off....or as much of the day off as I'd like to have (leaving open the possibility of sit n go's and/or the 7pm nightly...and seeing as how I am totally caught up on my pools and other 'stuff' I owe it to myself to try again.

When Claudia and Barth came back to my room last night to devour our feast from Mickey D's...we watched some of the rebroadcast of the VP debate. All I could focus on was that smug little punk-like smirk on Paul Ryan's face. The words of Joe Biden were just like conversation between Charlie Brown's teacher and the rest of the class. That and Biden was clearly hoarse for whatever reason...but I became fixated on that little monkey and his smirk. Suddenly, The Claw yells out..."What the fuck is up with this beady-eyed little fucker with the smug look on his face!???" AMEN.

After Barth and I bagged up our Day 1 chips...we headed to valet, where Kai arrived to pick us up, all decked out in his Lord Puddingsworth attire. It's hideous. And I promise, there WILL be pictures later. But he was basically functioning as our mentally fucked up, inbred chauffeur from England....maybe.  You gotta see this freak. I don't even really know how to classify him. Maybe Joe Dirt meets Austin Powers? Yeah well...there is something kind of uncomfortable when I am in the company of black people who don't KNOW that my nickname is Monkey...that when they hear that they bristle. I don't know exactly why, but they do. And that in turn...makes me (sometimes) feel a tad bit awkward.

Well last night...it was something completely different. Barth and I were addressing Lord P. as though he were our bitch boy. He got out of the car...but didn't come around to open our door. There were two older, very heavy-set black gals getting into a rundown piece of crap Corolla behind us...and when they heard me shout at Kai...I mean, Lord Puddingsworth.....

"Get your ass over here BOY and open my damn door! You want us to take you back where we found you? I will, you worthless piece of shit!"

Ohhhhhh their heads both snapped around like someone just hollered "FREE FUDGE!!!!" Only the look on their face wasn't like that of someone about to get treated to fudge. Oh no...we set things back, straight to 1865...and we might as well have been climbing into a horse and buggy. It was funny...to US. But I'm thinking those two big 'uns  had a totally different take on the situation than we did!

Hmmm. Speaking of racism. Holy shit is there a double standard in our country that I never get tired of bitching about. So we get back into the room last night...and I start channel surfing...and when I get to BET (yeah...that channel, the one exclusively owned by, operated by, and marketed to...African Americans) there is a cartoon on. I could tell you what it was called...but seriously? I think, unless you have seen it, you will think I am full of shit and making this up. Trust me. I'm not. The name of the cartoon?  The Black Panther.' Yes, as in,..uh huh, the BLACK PANTHERS Black Panther. Dressed up in a suit...as though he were a super hero. And if that wasn't offensive enough (to a European American... a.k.a. 'white person') what really tipped the scales of ridiculousness was who The Black Panther was battling against. Ready? Wait for it......

Oh! Just Captain Freaking America! Yeah! What...I ask you...message is this trying to send to the people watching BET? I think,...and I say I think, because I feel like I am  highly adept and able to read between the lines where common sense is the element counted on to figure shit out. If you need me to break it down for you...what message I think they are trying to convey to the BET-watchers? Well...then you are kind of a fucking idiot and I will ask you to respectfully STOP reading my blog.  Forever! Being a simpleton (fancy word for moron, or dipshit) is not a flattering quality.

In case I forgot to mention it...our trip up here was flawless. Perfect commute from Biloxi to New Orleans early Wednesday morning. No traffic. Picked up Barth...who was ready and waiting. I got an exit row on BOTH legs of the flight on Air Tran. They didn't lose or fuck up my baggage. We rented an SUV up here, that actually fit ALL of us AND our luggage. Huge score there. And there were no bad surprises awaiting us when we arrived at our hotel. Everything...without a hitch. 

Then we went and met the couple who bought almost all my action for this event for dinner. Got my financial business out of the way, which is nice to get taken care of right after arriving. And we got to bed by 10:30...so even got a good night of sleep heading into Day 1...and we registered the night before...so no repeat of last year in this event, when I showed up at 11:30 am thinking I was plenty early. Wrong! I went in as the 227th alternate, in Level 4. No way I was having that happen to me again. On the negative side...and the only negative to happen all day, I drew (once again) seat effing 10. And on an early breaking table.

WHY? I seriously think there is some kind of prompt in the Harrah's tourney software that when my card gets slid through their computer...it's pre-programmed to automatically hose me and stick me in the 1 or the 10 seat. Yeah...I'm going all 'conspiracy theory' on this one! I mean its just way too coincidental for it to happen as often as it does. To make it worse...when my table broke after three hours...I got moved to my new table...and drew seat 1!!!! What the hell!???  I did catch on a break on my THIRD table move...and got the 7-seat for my last table of the night...where I would stay for about 7 hours...and witness some of the craziest shit I've seen in quite a while. (poker-wise AND human-wise)

My computer is still going bonkers. But now I'm writing in a WORD document so I won't have to worry about losing the whole damn entry again! (just got off the phone with Dell...for the fourth time on this issue. It finally acted up THIS time when they tapped into and took over the controls of my computer. So now they are sending out a technician to replace the touchpad. Hope it works. If not, this bitch is going back to the factory!)

So...I guess I should share a little poker stuff with you...explaining how Captain Super Nit somehow managed to bag up 156,900 chips last night...which, if you're scoring at home is the equivalent of 65 BB's. This should afford me a lot of room to navigate stress free through the first couple levels tomorrow...which I think is all it will require before we reach the money.  We got a total of 1,063 players yesterday in Flight A and played down to 130. We quit with 33 minutes left in Level 16 (maybe 17...not sure)...and today's group will play down to that exact spot. I can't remember what the field size was last year in this event between Flight A and B...I just know the total was 3,001. So I guess we should anticipate at least 1500 today. Maybe close to 2000. If that's the case, I expect them to play down to about 275-325. Imagine we will come back with about 400 players...with 270-300 getting paid. So it shouldn't take long. More good news is the restart is at 2pm...not noon. Love that. (as I write this...Claudia is on bullet #2 and tells me they are at 1300 right now)

So...you all know how much I bitch and whine about getting sucked out on all the time. And the theory is fairly sound that a player with my style of play isn't going to do a whole lot of sucking out...because I almost always get it in good, so the amount of times I get sucked out on far outnumbers the times I suck out on people. Well, I think there is no way I have ever won a tourney, or even final tabled a tourney...where I didn't have at least TWO suckouts along the way. Well...that happened yesterday. Two. Two nice suckouts. Granted...I had a lot of outs.

SUCKOUT #1. With an above average stack, I limped in early position for 300 with J10s. A very tight, A-B-C player...makes it 700 in middle position. It folds back to me. What the hell, I'll see if I can outflop AK. I do. Sort of. Q-9-7...with two spades. Yahtzee! I never had any intention of folding. I had the guy covered, but not by a lot. I checked. He fires out 4000. Into a pot of about 2100. Now I decided he must have an over pair. Oh well...no way in hell that I'm folding that hand...not in a $365...especially when Flight A basically serves itself up as a 'mulligan.' I re-raised him to 10k..and he didn't even stop to think...no hesitation, just (literally) clasped his hands and snowplowed his shit into the pot. ALL IN!  I call. He had aces. Ooops. Hell, I still liked my hand! And I really liked it when I turned the flush. Rivered the straight just for shits and giggles. The guy stood up, scowled at the dealer...Neal Hunt Wilkinson...and snaps at him "thanks a lot DEALER!!!"  I leaned into Neal's ear (since I was in the 1-seat) and whispered, "Thanks a lot....DEALER!"

SUCKOUT #2.  Again...a pretty tight old man...this time on my left...raised. I think we were at 600-1200 and he raised to 3500. Well, I'd been on a monster heater the past couple orbits...and was feeling a little bullet-proof, so I looked him up, knowing I was probably behind. One other person called...yeah, what did I have? AJ. The flop comes out 10-Q-8. Hmmm. Double gutter. With a back door spade draw. Another monster flop. He bets....5000. I look at his stack. He has 12k behind that bet. Hmm. I start telling him about the guy who's aces I busted earlier. How I check raised that guy...and that guy didn't even think about folding. I was kind of baiting him...telling him that I THOUGHT he had AA or KK. "Wow...what a flop...I have a feeling I'm about to snap aces or kings again." My next move was designed to make him think he was drawing dead. I re-raised to 13k. Basically I raised 75% of his remaining stack. Only two moves for him. Fold or shove. He shoved. Shit. Okay. Call. He turns over a set of 10's. Oh shit! Kind of takes away some of my outs. No problem, I river the king for the straight. 

"Oh hell...you gotta be kidding me," uttered the old guy...and he left. I kind of felt bad about that one...just a little bit. He was a nice guy. But better him than me losing 70% of my stack. It was at that stage of the tourney...where it was a good time to gamble and chip up. Again...I had a goal...to get out of Day 1a with 40BB's or more . If I got below 20BB's there was a great chance that I was going to go Kamikazi like a lot of players were doing in the last two levels...in order to either bust...or chip up to an acceptable returning stack. 

On one hand...the dreaded queens bit me on the ass again. A short stack moved all in...honestly, I can't even remember what he had. Because when the next guy 'quick jammed' in that style of shoving all in that smacks of AK or JJ...I looked down at QQ and did my usual groan. Ugh. How much? The first all in was 7800. The next all in was 15,400. I was sitting at around 69,000 right then...and granted, I know that QQ is my bugaboo, but I was in position to really set myself up for a good run on Day 2 if I was right and this guy, in fact, had JJ or AK...and I could (for once) get the QQ to hold there...and climb to around 100k and cruise. If I call and lose, I'm back down to about 55k...which was still above average...but, well there is nothing worse (as most of us know) then losing traction, and/or momentum in those critical stages of the tourney.

My pretty well documented strategy...that some think makes me 'super nitty' in their analysis, is what I call the 15/15 strategy. If I am above 15 BB's, and I'm in a position to make a big call preflop...like this one...it needs to be very close to 15% or less for me to comfortably make that call and not harbor any regrets. Very few players...especially the aggressive ones, ever employ this strategy. But you see...I know (as do most good players) that you are never going to win the tourney in ONE hand...or with ONE pot. But you certainly can lose it in one...or maybe a couple of ill-advised hands that you play too loosely or even just bad. So I've found that, as much as I might want to make a call in these spots...there are times where it just doesn't feel like the right play, where the risk far outweighs the reward.

Put it this way. If I have 40BB's...and making a call against an all-in player...and winning, will take me to just 50 BB's...but losing the hand? Will take me down to say, 25BB's? What's a better place to be? With 40 BB's you have so much more control over your table. It's hard to have a smooth run when your clinging to 10-20 BB's all day. So I do have a bit of a tendency to tighten up the more chips I get. Because I know those chips will be better served in the later levels. Being two or three times the average on Day 1 really means nothing...but having that same average on Day 2? Very, very important. So...yeah, back to that decision. Fold those damn queens? And stay around 70k? Or go for it...and try to get to 100k and coast for the rest of the night. I gambled. I re-shipped. Everyone folded (thank god no one woke up with AA) I was right, he had AK. The first all in?  Again...no idea what he had. Was too busy worrying about the AK...and so when the ace hit the flop I just sank in my chair. Ugh. Again. Queens....in the dirt. If he'd had JJ, he'd have hit one of those too. So it was back to the drawing board.

Earlier...after having a fracas/dispute with this asshole in the 5-seat, and telling him I was going to spite raise him any time he entered a pot until I busted him...he limps for 1400 on the last hand of the level and before break. I wake up with KK on the button! Hahahah...how perfect! I raise to 3800. That's when the guy (a shortstack, again...with 9200) wakes up with damn aces in the small blind. He shoves. Asshole folds...and I lose with my KK to AA. Only time I had KK all day.

44 was very good to me yesterday. At 1000/2000 a pretty aggressive player (from New Orleans, a big cash game player) the nickname Leprechaun who wears a gold sparkly hat..limps in. Two others limp...so I come along on the button with 44. Magic flop of Q-9-4 rainbow. He leads for 5500. Next guy guys. Hell I'm struggling to find a reason to raise! I don't. I call. Turn is another 9. Sweet. First guy checks now. Next guy bets 12k. Raise? Nawww. I just call again. Initial raiser finally gives up. River is an ace. Hmm. How shitty if this guy has A9? He checks. The pot is so juicy, and he has quite a lot of chips, so if I bet a decent amount, and he ships on me...I'm really going to be in a shitty spot with my smallish full house. So I check behind. I never see his hand. Mine is good. NICE pot!

So on the heels of winning that hand...I decide when I see 44 under the gun on the final hand of the night...that I will go ahead and play those bad boys. I raise from 1200/2400 to 5800. The only caller is the same guy I beat with the 44 before. Only he is doing the 'I don't want to come back with 5 BB's move' and shoving on the button for 12k without looking at his hand. I can't fold. He turns over 3c-6c. Ugh. Over card! The flop comes 3-4-5. Yikes. He turns a club draw! The river....is a BRICK! Nice! Nice pot to close out the night. 156,900 in the plastic bag.

Okay, Okay...I know I know. You want to hear about ClownBoy. Barth is sitting here in my room, fully showered and clothed and wanting to go exploring, and I'm trying to fulfill what I see as my responsibility to you guys to give you what you clamor for...which, actually...I already REPORTED to you LAST NIGHT until 4am...before this son of a bitch Dell swallowed the entire post. How annoying! It's done it 6 times already while typing THIS one...but I'm in WORD, so I am able just click on 'UNDO' and it comes back.

So. Clownboy. Also became known, later in the night...as Numb Nuts. At one point, with about 20 minutes left in the night...I agreed to buy him a beer, and I'm positive he took as me extending an olive branch to him, when in reality it was my ploy to get his lips to something other than flap jibberish...like, wrap themselves around the rim of the beer and drink that sweet nectar, whilst providing me and the rest of the table with some wonderful, golden silence.

It started like this:

I'd been at the table for only 45 minutes. I'd already seen three completely insane plays. I'd been informed that clownboy had lost all but 1600 of his stack...and proceeded to go all in 8 times in a row...and grew his stack to over 18,000. Well, that's when I (as he would tell me...over and over for the next 7 hours) would take over with my own heater....hitting everything for about two orbits and going from 22k to about 70k.

Somehow, this guy knew me. He would never call me anything other than 'Poker Monkey.' Never Monkey. Never Monk. Certainly not my name. (Will). Just Poker Monkey, every time. His numerous friends would come by to rail him...and it would  be one story after another... 

"Well I had this many chips but I got in a hand with Poker Monkey...and Poker Monkey moved all in on me on the turn...and I made a good fold to Poker Monkey. Do you know Poker Monkey!?? This is Poker Monkey!"

I'm like..."What the fuck!??"

Here's the deal. I think that he thought, that I thought...that he was a total asshole. He said as much. But the thing is? I didn't. Not at all. He's actually, very entertaining. Not intentionally rude. Not intentionally mean or anything. Actually somewhat pleasant to an extent. No...his deal, was that he was painfully annoying. He would in one breath, tell us all how he had been 'tearing up the poker circuit lately, winning left and right," which drew snickers from several of the actual circuit regulars. I mean...we all KNOW who is running hot, who is winning tourneys left and right. So it made it especially amusing, when, at the end of the night...when it was time to bag our chips...he was totally lost. What do I put in the bag? Am I supposed to write something on the bag? Why does it have the wrong seat number on this piece of paper? (that seat number, by the way...is/was his new seat assignment for Day 2. And oh...guess what table and seat he drew? Table 5 seat 6. Guess what I drew? Table 5...seat 8! Yeah! What are the odds!?? Can't wait to have him on the button when I'm in the BB.

Oh speaking of odds! At one point nearing the end of the night...he utters this beauty at a table full obvious gamblers and sports bettors:

"Hey...what's the over/under on me making it to Day 2!???"

A few quick exchanged glances and smirks were followed by me saying back to him:
"Did you just ask me what the OVER/UNDER is on your making it back for Day Two? Seriously? The Over/Under? Um...okay...I'll say...ahhhhh...76!!!"

"Huh!???" Deer in headlights pose. Other players snickering again. Dude....come on!

Another time after chipping up on another one of his luckbox doubleups on a monster fade by the other guy...oh no, actually that was the time he called Super OMRG's early raise (with  AA) with 6d7d in the BB. Not a terrible play at all. No...the terrible play came after the flop. I think he led for a sizable amount. The old guy with aces...SHOVES all in...for a LOT. The kid (actually, I'm almost positive I might have heard him say he's 44, oh no, never mind, that's his Sugar Mama that he bragged about all night. He must be about 26 or so) snap calls with his 7-high flush draw. Of course, he gets there...and sends another mumbling/grumbling OMRG to the rail. So now, with this big inheritance of chips...he starts the talking again. After every big pot that he won...with it came the incessant banter. This time...we were all informed that he was winning the tournament. I guess we all should get up and leave...and just blind out.

Well, at least he was playing for a good cause...as he would tell all of us. Apparantly his mom, or aunt...fuck I don't know...sister maybe...was locked up in the county jail on a bum rap (aren't they all?). He was playing to win enough to get her a good lawyer. Well...hey, it just so happens the guy on my right is a lawyer. (and this guy was pretty funny too)

"Ya need a good lawyer? Ya want a card?"
"Oh no sir...I'm all good, I have the best lawyers money can buy! I have lots of lawyers. And I have a lot of judges that are friends too!"

Yup.

Then in one of my favorite moments...after exhibiting some of the most illogical poker playing all day, has the audacity to say at the end of a hand...this gem, and oh...ClownBoy...if you are reading this, (which I'm sure you are) and you are wondering what I was referring to when I said "That last 15 seconds might have been my favorite moment of the day," this is what I was referring to.

Guy wins a hand. Scoops the pot. Believe there were three clubs on the board. Now...our friend here in the 9-seat? First of all, every hand came with commentary...if he was in, he would explain all the ways he played it, why he played it that way...and how he felt with the end result. If he happened to fold preflop...he almost always, I'd say close to 98.35% of the time won the hand IF he had just played it. And of course we would all hear about that. It wasn't annoying. Okay. It was. Oh..so back to that hand. He is badgering the guy wanting to know what he had. He concludes that he might have had a flush...in which case, he takes issue with the amount of wager he made on the river.

"Wow man, if you had a flush right there...that was the worst bet ever on the river."
It was the absolute PERSONIFICATION of the old addage, 'the coffee calling the kettle black' that I may ever, in my life...have heard. It was just...well...perfect! And just kind of brought the entire experience at that table full circle.

Another little quirk he had. He (and due to my ADD/OCD I was kind of timing him after the 3rd time) would leave the table for 6-7 minute blocks of time....about every 22 minutes. It was weird. Chain smoker? Coke fiend? Working a side job parking cars outside? Multi-tabling in the nightly? So...as if that was a tad bit bizarre...there comes a time when he 'really has to piss.' But for some reason won't. Why? You're afraid your going to miss a hand? Again...no sense.

Oh...Gosh, I left out the best part, didn't I? What started the big fracas on our table! I hadn't been at the table very long...but had already seen enough to know that I had stepped into the Twilight Zone of Poker. Blinds are 400-800. Girl...fairly new to the table...and playing incredibly aggressive...raises to 2400. A guy behind her re-raises...to 7000! Hmmm...what are YOU putting HIM on? Me, I'm putting him on QQ or KK. Not AA...I would think AA would want the action...and make it maybe 5500. At least I would. Hell, I might even flat, if I think she won't ever get away from her hand. Had he done that? He would have gotten all her chips. But he didn't. A short stack goes all in for about 5500 with 99. It folds back to her. She tanks. For quite a while...then calls. Oooof. Hate that play. When she flatted, I put her on either AK or JJ. Flop comes 9-high. Yeah...all in guy flopped top set. He's going to win the main pot. She bets out 5000. The other guy puts her all in. She makes that face...you know the one.

OH! FUCK!

Yeah. I see her face...and I KNOW she has JJ. And I KNOW he has QQ or KK. Well...she tanks...and now the jerkoff in the 10-seat calls clock. After only a couple minutes. She gets upset. The floor comes over. Is told the story. Gives her a minute to act...she folds...and shows JJ. As I thought. And he has QQ. I then rip into the guy in the 10-seat...telling him that was very inappropriate. Tells me 'it's in the rules' and I tell him, yeah, its in the rules alright...but even more important than that...is having a little class and etiquette. He doesn't agree. We agree to disagree and I decide he is a class A prick who needs to get busted. Well just about that time...the short little hispanic dude, who had been edgy since I sat down...jumps up and freaks out on me. About the whole clock calling thing. 

"Whoa...easy boy...what is your problem? Who shit in your cereal?"

He babbled something I just laughed at and/or mocked...and then told him I was going to go out of my way to bust his ass...that he could expect me to spite call every 'fucking' time he raises me. So what happens? Clownboy pipes up with this!

"Hey...isn't that supposed to be a penalty!??? He dropped the 'F' bomb!!!"

Okay first of all, guy who acts like he's in 8th grade....that rule is SO 2006! Second of all...are you out of your fucking mind??? What I didn't tell you yet...is that only TEN minutes earlier, he just returned from serving a penalty for exposing a card...yeah...that RULE is back at this event. It's related to the crew, not the WSOP. Whatever event this crew works...they are Nazi-like about the exposed card rule. So this kid had pin-wheeled his cards to the dealer...barely flashing the 10-seat, who actually tried to deny seeing them. But the dealer insisted on calling the floor over...even AFTER I begged him to just muck the cards and get on with it.

I went to BAT for this scrub. Even when the floor guy arrived I went to bat for him. What a fucking dipshit. Well, he got the penalty anyway. And served it...while coming back and buzzing the table after about every two hands...insisting he had probably had AA three or four times. Yeah...of course you did. Beat it! Clownboy!

So now...jackass...is trying to get ME in a penalty. For dropping, as he put it 'the F bomb' which has long since not been on the list of Nazi-like rule enforcement items. I remind him that I was the one sticking up for him. 

"Yeah..but I STILL got the penalty!"  Really, man? Wow...you really are thick, arent you?
So, obviously I didn't get a penalty. But I added him to my shit list. And over the next three hours, he tried frantically to get 'off' my shit list. But I wasn't budging. No way dude. You don't TRY to get me into a penalty and even THINK I'm letting that go. Nope. But...as the other two fucktards who had invited themselves onto my shit list were getting whacked from the tourney in perfect 'karma-serving-Monkey' fashion....Clownboy just couldn't lose. He would end up bagging around 127K...after spending the last two or three hours counting his chips every 5 or 10 minutes. He was obsessed. So when he leaned over and saw that I bagged more chips than him? It was like...he got a bike from Santa...but 'ol Johnny across the street got one too...only it was a lot nicer. Yeah...some of us just quietly accumulate chips, sir.

Along the way there were other moments with him. A guy who folded on the other side of the table...he claimed (while the hand was in play) that he saw a card...and is he supposed to get a penalty for that? To which we all just looked at him in disbelief with that look...again, you know the look. REALLY DUDE? WTF! COME ON! But he insisted he wasn't TRYING to get the guy in a penalty...he was just 'curious!' I had to share with him this pearl of wisdom...that I'm not sure sunk in.

"Uh...yeah, if you are just CURIOUS? Then why don't you wait until the hand is over...and the guy CAN'T get in trouble or receive a penalty? Because when your start chirping in the middle of the hand? You are absolutely GOING to get the guy in trouble! It's called 'timing' Clownboy...and your timing is horrendous.

I could bitch and complain about this guy...but the honest truth? He kept me interested all night. I mean...a table that is just cold, stale and quiet? It's a drag. This guy really kept me on my toes. I really can't wait to see how far he gets. He kept braggin about his 27th place finish in this event LAST year. Well...okay. Cool. I will keep my eyes on him...to see how he does. Shouldn't be too hard...since he's at MY TABLE AGAIN!!!!  Stay tuned for this saga!

Okay....Barth is about to eat his laptop....I gotta wrap this up. Pretty damn long. Sorry.

MONKEY

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