Thursday, January 12, 2006

Warts and all

This is my lightly edited, nearly extemperaneous account of my night under some misaligned (Poker) Stars:

Entered my first 180 on Stars ($22 buy-in). Chipped up early without any bingo-bango starters. Limped with deuces at 25/50 then called 150 from the raiser. Flop comes a bunch of little hearts. He bets 300. Weak. I make it 1000, he folds. Damn, I'm good.

I call a smallish all-in with A-J suited, hit my flush on the river and get to 4,500. Lose 1,000 after raising UTG with K-Qo. Get to see a flop from the BB with 2-3o. Flop comes 6-5-K rainbow. Similarly sized stack bets 200, I call. A delicious 4 comes on the turn; he bets 200, I raise another 500 and he calls. I bet 1,000 on the river 10, he comes over the top, I insta-call and double up nicely. He has A-5. Brilliant!

Seventh of 81 remaining players at the first break with 6,814 chips. First hand, I get to see a flop out of the BB with 6-7o. Flop comes 3s, 2h, 5s. I check. Another similarly sized stack bets 150 and I call. Another freakin' 4 on the turn! I bet 900, he raises to 1,800, I push and he calls ... with slick suited. Yeah, baby. Grab another 1,200 the next hand with A-J sooooted. Sonuvabitch, I'm the chip leader with 14,000, nearly 5,000 ahead of 2nd place.

Now it's decision time. Been down with the flu for almost a week, dragging my ass to work. Today, I finally feel almost human. Earlier treated myself by firing up a vodka, some ice and some big fat olives. Haven't had a drink since New Year's Eve. One has given me a pleasant buzz, but geez it went down quick. What to do, what to do ... okay, one more.

I lose 2,000 to the guy to my immediate left. I raise from BB with A-9, he calls. I make a pot-sized continuation bet on a no-help, king-high flop. He calls. I check and fold meekly to his turn bet. Soon after, I go over the top in a big way against an all-in of 1,600 with my A-K of hearts. Isolation time. Except for some small pairs, it's my best starting hand of the night. But wait, there's another all-in call. He's got A-Qo. First pusher has A-J of diamonds. A-J hits his flush on the turn and I break even on the hand.

Here's a plot point. Guy limps for 200 and I raise to 800 with pocket 8s. Late-position small stack goes all in for 1,700. Limper re-raises and I call another 1,818. (Too symmetrical too fold, right?) Flop comes A-K-10 rainbow. I fumble with the slider before I put limper in for his last 2,200. He calls -- with pocket 9s. WTF? No snowman to save me and I'm down to 8,000. Does limper fold if I'm not so clumsy? On Stars, who knows.

Now I got a serious, rosy glow. It's ABC poker time. People are stacking up and I'm treading water with the worst garbage this side of Freshkills. I'm like one of those airline pilots whose been jockeying 727s for years and thinks he can handle that bad boy in his sleep -- or with a few highballs under his belt. That is, until he climbs behind the controls. Oh, boy. Glad no one at the gate smelled olive juice on my breath.

Dude to my right goes on a big rush and takes the chip lead. By the second break I'm 14th with 9,838 chips. Par is 10,800. I can ante into the money easily, but that's the coward's way out, right? Final table or bust, baby!

Into the third hour, the stink of my starters has not dissipated. Yet I laydown A-J suited to a raise from Mr. Chips, prompting waves of self-revulsion. Check e-mail and find a missive from Matt at The Poker Chronicles. I begin typing my reply, switch back to the table and ... shit. Accidentally call an all-in to my immediate right with 7-6o. Someone shoot me please. No miracle against the donk's A-9o occurs. Au revoir 7,000 chips. I'm left with 630 and am out two hands later on my blind. Twentieth place. Bubble plus one.

I'm laughing as I type this. I really do find it funny. And, as soon as I'm done chuckling to myself and get this posted, I'm headed to the john to puke some big fat green olives. But at least I'll be wretching with a smile on my face.


Anonymous Billy said...

Goddamn. Done in by e-mail. I would have went into a shell and hid once I had the big chip stack. But I am a coward, as you know.

10:11 AM  

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