Monday nights at Signor Ferrari's is some of the best fun I have had playing poker. A few regulars were absent due to the High holidays, so we had several new players join the game which added a different flavor to the already usual mix of gamblers. Overall it was another epic game that lasted until the wee hours in the latest game I ever played at Ferrari's. It was also cool that he had the NCAA Final game in HD TV on in the background.
The Players:Among the newbies (first time playing at Ferrari's... I should clarify) was fellow writer and Lower East Side slam poet Diane. I stumbled upon her site during a backtrack of Tao of Poker links on Technocrati. Diane linked up the Tao of Poker on her site AlterMe a while back. Alas, the other day I left a comment. We chatted for a bit on Sunday and she told me that she was looking for a game in the city. Signor Ferrari invited her... and she was excited to play. I knew how she felt because I had been looking for a (competent) home game for over a year, and luckily Ugarte found my site and the rest is history. Mike and James were more experienced players and Austin, an undergrad at Columbia, was our youngest player.
Seat 1: Marie
Seat 2: Coach
Seat 3: Austin **
Seat 4: Signor Ferrari
Seat 5: Christian
Seat 6: James **
Seat 7: Mike **
Seat 8: Diane **
Seat 9: Pauly
** First Time Players
I sat in between Marie and Diane. I was close to Diane so I could help out with some of the nuances of the home game. Marie, originally from London, was happy to have been "blogged" for the first time after she read about both Ugarte's and my own version of the last home game. By the way, in case you were wondering... she did not utter the "dreaded C Bomb" at all... she did however use the British term "Bugger" on more than one occasion.
Out of respect to Marie and Diane, the first few games called were rounds of hold'em, but gradually we played some Omaha High, Stud, and Follow the Queen. I can't recall winning any memorable pots early (I have nothing in my notes). One of the first big pots of the night went to Diane. She was down a lot early and stormed back with a huge pot during Follow the Queen. Her Kings over 2s fullhouse was the big winner in a multi-way pot. She was raising heavily on sixth and seventh street and I was hoping she had the better hand because if she didn't... she was going to be busted and it was still very early. Yep, so she won and walked away up $40 about a half hour later. Diane had to leave early, which was good because in her first game she walked away a winner... always good for the ego.
Rookie Mistake of the Year
I have to give Ferrari a reasonable amount of flack for a mistake he made. He's a very good player and rarely makes mistakes, but I have to say something about the biggest bonehead move of the night, and alas, he did redeem himself later! Ferrari mucked a winning hand! Ugarte has an interesting blog about it called: Ugarte's Grovel #22, or Kicking A Man When He's ... Up? Here's what happened from Ugarte (who wasn't even there!):
Despite all of his winnings, there was one hand that got away from Ferrari. One that he will have a lot of trouble living down. Sitting two off of the button, Ferrari joined a hand with 68 (suited? he doesn't remember - and by the time you finish reading this hand, you may not want to credit him). Christian raised from the button and was called by three players including Ferrari. The flop came 7-9-x and the action was checked to Ferrari.Thanks Ugarte for your guest commentary! But I was shocked when Ferrari showed his cards... because I had never seen him do that other to proudly show once or twice that he raised and won with the Hammer. It was out of the ordinary for such an excellent player to do that... and the fact it was a winning hand made me suspect that someone slipped Ferrari a tab of LSD earlier in the day.
With a straight draw, a reputation for tight play and two preflop bets on his account, he bet his straight draw. Christian raised behind him, and again four players saw the next card. The turn was a blank.
Check to the raiser, and Christian bet again. Again, everyone called. The river was also a blank; no flush draws, but Ferrari missed his straight.
Check to the raiser, fold, fold, and Ferrari is in agony. Christian carries more shit to the river than the drainage system at a slaughterhouse, so the likelihood that he was bluffing was fairly high. Still, Ferrari is essentially playing the board. If Christian has anything better than 4 high, he has Ferrari beat. So Ferrari mucks his cards face up and says "If I had anything I'd have called you, but I missed my straight." This is a questionable move, but Ferrari can build his table image however he likes. More importantly, Pauly immmediately pointed out that Ferrari actually had a straight because the "blank" on the turn was, in fact, a 5. Cards speak, but not if you don't call the bet. Scoop 'em up, Christian.
9:01pm EST... +30 after two interesting hands. I won a huge pot against Christian in hold'em. I had 9-10s in LP. I flopped a nut straight when the board flopped: 8-7-6. Of course he was betting into me the entire time and I took down a biggie. During seven card stud, my hand was: Q-10/K-K-K. Austin dealt me 3 Kings up. Alas, everyone folded and I won the pot on fifth street uncontested.
9:34pm EST... -22. Loose Pauly. I chased too many flush draws. All my mid-pairs were doomed after overcards would hit the flop. My chips started magically disappearing before my eyes. I was down $50 at one point. After Diane left I started to figure out how the newbies played. Marie had a tough time in Omaha 8/B. She stayed in too many hands and she was badly beat on the river by Ferrari's mid/low pairs on one more than one instance in hold'em when his sets arrived just at the last moment on the fateful, awful, dreadful river. One time Marie almost dropped the C Bomb after Ferrari cracked her pocket Aces. She was raising preflop and jamming the pot on the flop. I think Ferrari was the blinds in that hand and played 9-6o and either caught two pair or a straight to crack her aces. I wish I could maintain my cool like the Brits. In a very reserved manner, she shrugged her shoulders and smiled. I would have flipped over the table and kicked someone's dog if my aces were cracked like that.
10:07pm EST... +20. I won a monster hands in Omaha HIGH... A-2-10-10 was my starting hand. The flop: 10-2-8. I checked and just called on the flop. The turn: 2. I caught my full house and I bet into a three way pot. Christian is a type of guy that will stay in a hand until the river... and even if he doesn't hit his hand, he'll most likely to try buy the pot. Alas, he was still in that hand with me. Anyway, he most likely raised me and I played back, causing the third player to fold. When a 5 hit on the turn, it was pretty much a done deal. Someone made the comment, "He's got pocket 10s!" and pointed to Christian. Ferrari (who sat across from me) looked at me and and I winked. He thought I had the 10s or 2-2 for the elusive Four of a Kind. It didn't matter. I flipped over the 10-10.
10:21pm EST... +75 after I took both the high and low pot in Omaha 8b with The Wheel. My starting hand A-A-3-4. The flop: A-2-5. Happy Pauly for sure. I think Annie Duke said the key to Omaha 8b is something like... "Your goal is to win the entire pot." It felt good stacking up my chips after I started on a downward slide. The UConn/Gerogia Tech game was at halftime and UConn was covering, which meant I was just 20 basketball minutes away from a huge payday. I had big bucks on UConn and if they won, I'd come in second in my pool. Uconn's success hurt me at the poker table. With more money soon coming my way, I got lax and lost some discipline. You know the result... I played too many hands and insisted in seeing the flop no matter how much it cost me in raises in re-raises.
10:40pm EST... the Bad Beat of the Night came my way... all thanks to Christian. My JJ on the button meant a definite raise. I was heads up with Christian after the flop. Of course he caught a 6 on the river to give him two pair... 10s and 6s which beat out my JJ. I was pissed. I had been jamming the pots at every chance. But he called and called and called... and fucked me on the river. That's enough to set a guy on tilt.
11:45pm EST... +80. Marie left and Coach slid into Seat 1, next to me. Pauly vs. Coach heads up in Follow the Queen. I hate that game because I either win huge pots or loose my shirt. Alas, I got QQ/4. Ferrari peeks at his hand and jokes about having pocket Queens. Oh well. The last time I had pocket Queens in Follow the Queen was a few weeks ago when my royal straight flush beat out Coach's straight flush. Alas, I ended up with four 4s and Coach had a busted flush after catching clubs on his first four cards. Coach has a wry sense of humor, something I have learned over the course of getting to know him better over the last few months. He had me cracking up a few times, but nothing made me laugh more than his obscure ER reference regarding one of our fellow poker players. (I guess you had to be there...) I giggled as I just wrote that. He's one funny dude. Alas, he also had his consecutive losing streak of getting dealt A-2 and losing the pot in Omaha 8/b... finally beaten with a solid win.
12:09am EST... -10 after I lost a big hand to Ferrari in Anaconda. My low was not as good as his and it cost me $80+ that hand. I saw Austin take a huge hit when his full house lost to a higher full house to James. That was a huge pot and almost tapped him out.
1:02am EST... +30. Christian had lost his entire buyin and some of the others had to leave. Christian insists that every place else he plays... he's a huge winner. And he takes all that money and ends up losing it at Ferrari's. Well the second part of his statement is definitely true. So we have four players remaining. And late nights at Ferrari's is a completely different game than early in the evening. Why? The game is always shorthanded and the people left usually have a decent amount of chips, so they are willing to play higher stakes. We bumped up to $3-6 hold'em and there was a reraise before the flop by someone at least 90% of the time. A lot of action and the pots were big.
1:43am EST... I won a huge hand playing Stud. My 5 over 3 full boat took down two very high pairs (possibly A & K?) against Ferrari.
2:12am EST... Ouch! Down $40 after getting smoked in hold'em. I was determined to see a flop every time and my medium pairs ran into over cards every fucking time. When I would flop a straight, a flush would appear on the river. Austin but a nice bluff on me when K-4-K fell. I had A-4 and folded to his raise. He had 9-4. Ouch!! Nice move. Ferrari lost a big pot when his A-9 was no match for A-Q.
3:30am EST... It was bluffing city. It seemed everyone was making moves and raising and reraising with rags. A few times bottom pair was the winner! In the last hand of the night, I took down the biggest pot (for me) in a while. If I lost I would have been down $60. Alas, I won and went up $30. I had K-2 suited. James was the only caller and I raised pre-flop. He called. The flop:10-8-2. I had bottom pair. Turn: 6. River: 3. James kept raising me and I thought I was done for. I was ready to fold on the river and never should have gotten that far. I took one last peek at my cards and was about to surrender. But I looked at the pot and saw so many green and blue chips ($5 and $10) and figured that the pot odds justified making the call. I was lucky... James had nothing (well Q9 I think) and I walked away. He was shocked I called him. I was so close to folding.
Alas, it was another late night. I thought I played not so good poker. Ferrari disagreed. He said I played like the rest of the table... which was extremely loose. I should have known better and played tighter. I would have won more money. Ferrari played great, especially after Midnight. He plays better later in the night I have finally learned. He redeemed himself after the rookie mistake earlier in the night. Austin had an impressive showing in the biggest stakes game he's played in his early poker career. All the late night guys walked away up and only Diane left a winner. Alas, it was cool to finally meet Diane, another new fan of the Tao of Poker.
The Final Tally:Next time... the return of Ugarte, Rick Blaine and Sam! And there are rumors that NYC Poker Babe might make her first appearance. Stay tuned.
Signor Ferrari +348