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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Running Dogs, Crouching Donkeys, Galloping H.O.R.S.E.'s

My birthday was most interesting. When I left our room, I placed upon my head my 'Lucky Canada' hat...that I always reach for when I am running kind of bad and really need a cash. We were on time. I felt good about the day. I know it was my fourth and final bullet...but I didn't care. The field was massive. 856 players for the 4th day...bringing the total to somewhere around 2500 players for this event. I had a tough table. Two OMRG's...who would leave by level 5 and give me a brighter outlook for the future in the tourney. 3 super aggressive players, one who ran like God all day...sucking out on the river over and over and over and sending numerous players to the rail with the look of disbelief on their face.

I find out later...via a text message, that this particular player was a good friend of my buddy Christian Iacobellis, and we all sat around the 'Hooker Bar' in the lobby of Rio a couple years ago chatting. No idea it was that guy. Because I had allowed myself to envision myself setting fire to this guy about 9 or 10 times throughout the day. If I raised...or if anyone else raised...he was incredibly fond of wrapping his hand around all of his red (5k) chips and shoving them in and making us all decide if it was worth it to see our tournament end there, with whatever hand we were holding onto. Usually the answer was no. But occasionally, for some, the answer was yes...and while the 'other guy' was always ahead...he seemed to almost ALWAYS suck out. Which just added to the anxiety involved with my willingness to pull the trigger. It was after raising with KQ...having another guy flat behind me...and him stuffing on us...and me folding, that I decided it was time to change up my strategy on him. And it was compounded by the fact that I was seeing my chip stack dwindle down to about 12-15 bigs. 

Yeah...the new strategy was going to be....basically, 'fuck it. If I have a hand I like enough to raise with when he's in the big or small blind? I'm just jamming.' And so that was the case when I looked down at A10s and needing to win a pot. So I get it in for 10,500 at 400/800...and he calls me. With 6-7off. He flops a 7. It holds. And I was out. Unreal. It's been that kind of week. 2538 players...probably, if I had to guess...about 65% that had played all four flights, including myself. Definitely weren't very many who only took one shot. I can't believe I put $2320 into that damn tourney, and invested 34 hours of mind-numbing torture to come up empty handed. 

That was NOT how my birthday was supposed to go. I got knocked out at 5pm on the nose. I decided to go ahead and play the $365 H.O.R.S.E. tourney. Yeah...there is a game I have NEVER cashed in. Granted, I haven't played in a whole lot. But I bubbled it up in Bossier City last year...and also went out 3 from the money at the Bike in LA last year...so I knew it was only a matter of time before I finally broke through and made a nice splash in one of those events. Well. it attracted one of the biggest fields I've ever seen for a circuit event H.O.R.S.E. tourney. 174 players. When you play hour upon hour of hold em...it really is a nice break to play something different, and that game (obviously) gives you a nice variety of games that switch up every 8 hands. 

I pretty much cruised through that tourney. I never really got too low at any point. My table was damn soft. And very predictable. And made a lot of glaring mistakes. I caught some lucky breaks, I caught some unlucky breaks. I just kind of always had double the average...and at the end of the night....with 27 players left...paying 20, I bagged up 85k chips and was sitting in 8th place...with a lot of confidence coming back for Day 2...and really thinking about a 2nd ring, a nice score money-wise...and a win that always garners respect from your fellow players. I can't think of any event I would ever want to win a ring or a bracelet in other than H.O.R.S.E. 

Well...it didn't happen. I did at least make the money. Which didn't require much. Since we came back just 7 from the money and a lot of shortstacks...although I did make it interesting somewhat, losing a couple of monster hands where I got nipped on the river. But I won a big 3-way  pot to get back some breathing room as we hit the bubble. Once in the money I wanted to start accumulating chips in a hurry to have a shot once we got to the final table.

Well...that's when I ran into the biggest buffoon at the table. The night before I was transfixed by this clown. One of these dicks who think its cool to copy other players' idiosyncrasies. He was munching on a big fat cigar like a dock worker....had his Beats head phones (pieces of shit only worn by those who have been sucked into the marketing scam to fit in and be part of Dr. Dre's 'cool club' when BOSE costs exactly the same and offers 80% better quality) around his head, and was wearing his sunglasses upside-down like Marcel Luske. Yep...it would that fucking clown who would ruin me. I raise while in Omaha portion of the game with A-A-K-2. Two clubs. I catch a flop of Kc-4c-9s. Pretty good flop. I bet. He calls. Turn another king. Sweet. Now the low is out of play. The river brings a 3c. Flush! I bet. He raises. WTF? I have to call. He is holding king three. Boat. Fuck ME!

He finished me off when I raised with A3QQ...and he called with 9936. He flops a damn nine...and it held. I was out 17th. Very very pissed. I didn't show that emotion, of course...just wandered off into the sunset, disgusted with another deep run that ended in disappointment. The line for payouts was insane...due to the bustouts of the 2538-player $580. So I  decided NOT to stand in that line. Instead I went and stood in the line for the 4pm $365. Two people working that line. And they refused to use the registration window downstairs. Yeah, needless to say, there was a lot of grumbling among the players. I didn't really care...I was still smarting from my HORSE bustout.

I didn't win a single hand for 5 levels. And when I finally did, it was because I got fed up with this guy's incessant button raising behind the limpers. It was another limp scenario, me with Ac4c...and five others for 400. This guy makes it 1000 on the button. Two people call...and me, sitting there with 5400 saw a good spot to shove and try to double up with a flip. So I shove. Button boy folds. Small blind...who was a total call station maniac...calls, with 33. I flop a four and hold...and suddenly have 13k. So might as well try to win now!

Things go well for several levels...and before too long, the starting field of 398 had been whittled down to 90...and another cash....which would be my 31st circuit cash...and move me into a 3rd place tie with Dean Schultz all-time was just on the horizon. Then it happened. Kaboom! My super sneaky check-raise strategy blew up in my face. This complete donkey...who had earlier made one of the dumbest plays I've seen in a long time...to surrender 75% of his once-healthy stack...raised my big blind. Min raise. I call with Qd8d. The flop comes Q-8-2. Yahtzee. I check...92.5% positive that he will bet. He doesn't! What? Dammit. The turn brings a jack. Now I lead into him. He raises. ????

Very real possibility, based on how I'd watched him play that he had AJ here. So I re-raise him all in. He snap calls. Uh oh. I look over there and see two jacks in his hand. Oh fuck. On the one hand...I wouldn't have been too surprised if I had led the flop and he had floated, anyway, only to get rewarded by a set on the turn. But I was just looking up at the sky and cursing the damn poker gods for fucking me once again. I failed to hit a queen on the river and was crippled. I got it in good at least...with KQh...with another guy all in with KQd and the third guy with 10-10. I flop two hearts...then bricked out.

I went downstairs and continued my hot streak in sit n gos...winning two out of the three I played to improve my record in SNG's on the trip to 4 for 9....with two irritating bubbles. I know there are some who think I should just do nothing but play SNG's...but I didn't come here to make a few thousand bucks...I came here to make a bricks of money....and so far it's not happening. Gotta go play the 6-max now...my boys are FINALLY ready! I was up and ready awhile ago, for a change. Much more to report...MUCH MORE. Promise more is coming!

MONKEY

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