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Sunday, May 15, 2016


It's May!

We'll call this the 'Month of Mimi's' since my mom has been here two weeks and just extended for another week, and Squirrel's mom just left after being here a week. It's been great for Carley...and us! It means we get some good home-cooked meals, and the occasional 'date night' for us. This week we went to New Orleans for the night, so Cheryl could see one of her favorite country singers, Chris Stapleton. I didn't know even one of his songs, but clearly, he is very talented and put on a good show. The Big Easy is still a gross, dirty city, and customer service is still lacking in almost every sense, but we got what we came for I guess.

A couple times since my mother has been here I've taken her to play poker. She is hooked. Fortunately, her losing sessions have been offset by my winning sessions. Yesterday, I took her (and staked her) to play at the Golden Nugget and their $130 tourney with a $5k guarantee. There was an overlay yesterday, as they only got 37 players. The mom did not fare well. After my table got broke, and I was moved to her table...despite trying hard to give her helpful tips to use, she managed to donk off her chips in glorious fashion. After she raised (at 200/400) to 4000 (leaving 1500 behind) UTG with Ah2h, and getting flatted (which was a constant occurrence during this tourney, much to my amusement) by a guy with J-J...the flop came out A-K-4...and when she went all in, he couldn't really fold. Double up for the mom. Well, as I told her later...that hand kind of murdered her table image, and made her 'out hand' a pretty predictable scenario. 

'The Mom' about to use her 'Super Tight' image to bust out of the tourney!

So...with the blinds now 400-800...and her sitting on a reasonably comfortable stack of 13,000...this guy limps utg for 800 with, it turns out, tens. It folds around to my mom on the starts getting that squirmy she has a decent hand but doesn't know how to play it. The more I observe her actions the more I'm thinking she actually has a monster. Then she goes all in. Which makes no sense to me. Folds around to the the guy with 10-10's and I guess he was remembering the A2 hand...because he called. My mom turns over Qd5d. Hey! It was suited. I bury my head in my hand...fortunately, my mom isn't sensitive to criticism. In fact, over the years, she's gotten rather battle-hardened from 'taking it' from me and my equally sarcastic sister. QUEEN FIVE! Wow...and no..she didn't hit that magical three-outer. She was out. Yes, I gave her shit the rest of the day. She did the only thing she could do that made up for it, went to the gift shop and bought Carley a stuffed animal. To add to her ridiculous collection of stuffed animals.

Yep! That says 'Carley's Zoo' and those ARE all stuffed animals!!

So me? Well...I was playing my 2nd tourney of the week. The first, I played the $60 fun-fest at Scarlet Pearl on Thursday. Arriving with 1 minute left to register, I pretty much steamrolled everyone on my way to the final table. Down to 6 I had 60% of the chips in play. I ended up heads up with a very excitable Asian fella, who got incredibly excited when winning a hand, any hand. He was very fond of the ALL IN play...apparently not possessing the ability to play after the flop. While 3-handed he shoved all in with K5c. And ran into the BB's aces. Big deal. They're just aces. Runner runner flush. Bye Bye guy with aces. Heads up...and I still had an edge. I got to where I had a 2.5-1 edge and raised with QJ. He shoved all in. And I really wish now that I had called. But I folded. So when I raised with AJ and he shoved with was an easy call. He hits a 9. Ugh. Now short, I shoved with SNAP called (weird) with K3d. It held. The guy stood up...hollered 'YES!' and pounded his hands on the table. You would have thought he just won the Main Event. Well...good for him. I settled for 2nd place. $560. Yay.

In the tourney at the Nugget yesterday, it was one of those where I would get short...double...sustain...increase, then get rivered, to get short again. Then build it back up...nice stack...then boom, get rivered again. Back to being short...again. This happened four times. 99 vs AK.....king on the river. Then late I have AQh...flop comes Kh-Js-8h. Pretty disgusting hand. Four handed too. It checks to me, so I check to the button, hoping he bets. He does. He shoves. He wasn't thrilled when I called, mainly because he was hoping to take it down with his 10-10. But I missed all 17 outs..and was short, AGAIN. It went like this ALL DAY. Very aggravating. 

But I did at least make the final table. It's a 5k guarantee so they automatically pay 9. 9th got me $ basically, me and my mother's buy in back. I floundered around for awhile...while three more players lost. So I was up to $450. Hip hip hooray. Earlier in the tourney...this old guy, who I'd been told was playing awful and getting lucky before I arrived, kept to that theme. I picked up KK utg for the 1st and only time in the tourney. I made it 750 at  150/300. He called (as well as three others) with 10-3 offsuit. The flop brings the always-predictable-ace-whenever-you-have-kings. It checked to me...I meekly checked. Old codger bets 300. Yeah. 300...into about a 3000 pot. Button calls. I call. Turn is a ten. He now has two pair. (3 on the flop) I check again. Now he bets 1000. Still not enough to make me fold. I call. The river is a 4...which makes anyone with a five a straight. He checks. We turn over our cards...the table shows disbelief. I roll my eyes. Nice hand, sir.

Well...this guy? He made the final table. Somehow. Now..understand...this guy NEVER talked. Except ONCE. I had 78c. Flopped two pair against a guy all in with AJ...who, after rivering a useless ace...has him tap the table in that "nice hand, nice double up" way that players do. When the dealer slid me the pot...the old guy looked like someone had shoved a spiked finger up his polyp-lined colon...sitting up and bellering out, "Wait! What won that hand!???" When informed I'd won with two pair, he seemed almost personally affected. Hmmm...what's THAT all about I wondered? First words he'd spoken all tourney, and I was the catalyst. Interesting. 

So here we are 5-handed, me in the big blind, blinds 4k-8k..and he makes it 20k. I have pocket fours and about 60k. Now...why in the hell I didn't shove there, I'm not sure. OR after the flop...when it came Q-Q-3. I checked a dumbass. And he bets out 25k. Well, as most of you with half a clue about poker know...I've just played that hand very badly. Because, now even if I shove, he can't really fold. Which allows, as some of us like to say, 'the deck to beat us.' Because even though I might be ahead (which I was) he still gets two more cards to beat me. As opposed to shoving on him...and him meekly folding, and me dragging a nice pot of about 60k. Dumb dumb move, that probably cost me the tourney. Well...after he bets 25k, and I fold, he SHOWS me..yeah SHOWS ME...a bluff, of 7-8. Why? The old buzzard shows me a bluff! 5-handed! I mean...sure sure, we all understand the showing of the bluff early in a tourney. You know, set the tone for the rest of the tourney. Put the guy on tilt maybe...make him play bad. But dude...we are FIVE HANDED! Zero point there, other than he felt like being a dick. An old dick. A dusty, old, buzzards-flying-over-him-waiting-for-him-to-die dick! But I didn't freak out. I just looked at the guy next to me and laughed...

Next time around, he min raises my BB again. I have 5-6 and call. I couldn't really ASK for a better flop....but I wasn't going to check-raise this time and allow myself to get sucked out on...especially since I really needed to win a big pot. Flop comes 6-4-2. I shove. He snap calls, and turns over (ugh) pocket tens. Damn. It held. I was out. And...after the usual (happened at Scarlet Pearl earlier too) refusal to chop from me (absolutely refuse to chop in small tourneys) they all decided to chop it with four left. I hate that. It's so stupid. Maybe because I just love playing tourneys down to 1...and being the bonafide WINNER. I guess there was a time in my poker life where I didn't mind chopping. Not anymore. Okay...if we are talking about millions? Sure, I will do a deal. But anything less than $5k? Forget it.

So that's the past couple weeks for me. That and trying to wrangle up a bunch of shares-purchasers for this summer's edition of the WSOP Main Event Grinders. We are currently at 109 shares sold. But that is without MY shares (10-15'ish) and my friend Barth's, who says he will come in for 'whatever I need him to' but lets be realistic! I'm not going to ask him to buy 100 shares! Mark him down for somewhere between 10-20. So we are approaching enough for THREE PLAYERS. I really, really want to send at least FIVE players again...but its starting to get late. And these guys/gals are going to need at least a couple weeks to make their travel arrangements. My next blog post...coming in the next day or two...will give you the first two players...with a BIO on each...and then (still contemplating) the next two or three players that are 'on deck' in the general pecking order. This year has seen a RIDICULOUS number of candidates apply. Some have sent me very comprehensive emails...with personal stories, stats, even references. 

I've gotten phone calls asking to be considered. I've gotten Facebook messages asking for consideration. Good friends giving me all the reasons why I should choose them. People I've never met who think because they aren't my good friend they don't have a chance. Nope, not the case. The bottom line...I am trying...and trying hard, to pick people who would never get to play otherwise. Who are SO hungry and desperate to play in the main event. But who also have a chance to get deep, cash, and even make a run to the final table. I know what style works in that tournament. And I've definitively concluded what style does NOT work. There is SO much that goes into picking the right people. And I am always acutely aware that there is/are those friends, or good poker acquaintances, who are going to be offended or have their feelings hurt by not being selected. 

Here's another thing: I don't want to be someone's 'easy path' to a Main Event buy in. There are a lot of good players out there. There are also a lot of good players that have a somewhat reasonable network of friends, family, and/or poker acquaintances, to where if they even put in a little bit of grunt work, they can sell a WSOP package and get to play. So if you are one of those players? Try to understand that its for that reason that you aren't going to be garnering any serious consideration. It's not because you aren't good enough. You probably are. It's because I feel that you can get yourself sold with a little bit of effort. The one's who can't? The guy with a full time job. Who rarely gets a chance to play...let alone travel to the circuit events. But when he does play? He almost always gets deep. These are the people I want on the team. I hope that makes sense. Also, to those of you who have applied, and whom I have yet to respond to? I apologize big time. I have meant to carve out some time...sit down, and respond to each and every one of you. But it's been a REALLY crazy/busy/hectic month. We finally bought our house two weeks ago. Then all last week we had new appliances and a new AC unit installed. And then the moms came...which has kept me going-going-going. Hell, just finding time to sit down and write this blog post was a massive accomplishment!!!!

Well, I hear Squirrel walking in from I'm gonna go ahead and push the 'publish' button and put the wraps on this post! Talk to y'all soon!


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