"My debauchery I undertook solitarily, by night, covertly, fearfully, filthily, with a shame that would not abandon me... I was then already bearing the underground in my soul." - DostoevskyI was in the middle of a strange dream, but I didn't know it at the time. It seemed like a normal Friday night. I was attending a cocktail party with everyone's favorite malcontent elevator button heiress at the Yale Club in NYC. I just finished a quick discussion with Daniel Negreanu before I began a conversation with John Edwards. That's when I heard my cellphone ring. I pulled it out of my pocket and answered it, yet it still kept ringing. I closed then opened it again. And the fucker still continued to ring. That's when something triggered that told me, "You're in a middle of a dream, dipshit."
I woke up and saw that my cellphone was ringing just a few feet from my head. It was a good friend of mine calling from a different time zone. She (name witheld by her request) apologized for waking me up. It was 2pm in the afternoon and I should have been up hours before working on various projects. Still half asleep, I enjoyed her euphonious voice and that always puts me in a better mood. Of course we spoke for a long time and afterwards I fell back asleep, only to wake up at 4:20pm. I missed almost all of my Monday. Yeah, I'm still recovering from the long hours at the WSOP.
Jacks Are Good
When I finally fired up the laptop, I decided to play a little online poker with Joanne. She signed up for a MTT on Party Poker and I decided to join her. We haven't played together in months it seems. Party Poker capped out the MTT with 2000 players. I had been running well playing No Limit tournaments. Last week, I made the money and came in 13th during a Full Tilt MTT. On Saturday, I took 3rd at Sam's Town. And on Monday I grinded my way to a 137th place out of 2000. I made the money, but it was nothing to sneeze at. In a random surreal moment, Wil called me about halfway to chat about Barge.
The big story of the tournament was gleefully seeing J-J hold up for me three times in huge situations. I doubled up early on against A-K. I also tripled up when I made a great read on two players who pushed all in with an ace on the flop. The had nothing... K-Q and 9-9. Joanne lost a pot early but hung on. She doubled up when she had to, but just missed the money by a few places when her A-Q lost to J-10.
Quick thanks to my brother who sweated us all of the way. He wondered what I was doing playing at the Pot Limit Omaha tables over the weekend. That was the only time I played on Party Poker this month. Man, I miss the fishy waters at Party Poker and I'm gonna play a few hours of PLO every week now as part of my online poker diet.
Bring Your "Cup" to Las Vegas
The sun went down and it was time for me to stop playing online poker and head over to the Strip to play live poker. I decided to step up to the $10/$20 tables at the Mirage per the advice of Grubby. And I was swiftly greeted with a callow kick in the junk. Hell, make that three of them. My balls became a community punching bag. It all started when I almost lost $150 on the first hand I played... the infamous Hilton Sisters.
Yes, it was ugly. My testicles are swollen and I have been scarred for life. Inside of 2 hours, I had Q-Q cracked three times. I know that I want donkeys cold calling my preflop raises with junk. But it was not fun losing to A-3 on the river, J-10 on the turn, and J-9 on the river.
So much for me moving up in limits to play against better players, eh?
Seat 6: One guy to my right looked like Kris Kristopherson and his face looked resembled an old catcher's mitt. He had been smoking Marlboro Reds since he was three years old and he got up every fifteen minutes to smoke. He protected his cards horribly when he peeked at them. I could not help but notice his hand several times. I took the moral high road and when I saw him on the rail enjoying a smoke break, I told him that he should fix that problem. He thanked me by offering me a smoke. He caught two pair against me with J-10o and cracked my Hiltons. I should have peeked at his hand.
Seat 8: The guy to my left was the "Mumbling Russian." He smelled like cat piss and he never once stacked up his chips. Our end of the table was a mess. He would never say raise and instead he'd mumble the number he wanted to bet. "Forty," he'd say but even the dealer and all of the other players couldn't hear him. Every time a new dealer came to the table, they refused to accept his gibberish as a raise. He'd snap and an ugly incident ensued with the guy cursing out the dealer for having bad hearing. He also saw every flop. I kept asking myself, "How a guy who looks like he bought his wardrobe off the rack at Salvation Army can afford to play in a $10/$20 game at the Mirage?" He cracked my Hiltons with A-3 and called my bet on the flop with bottom pair. He rivered an ace.
Seat 9: There was a crazy Asian guy sitting next to the Mumbling Russian. He hated the Russian and straddled his blind every time. The crazy Asian was seeing flops with any two sooted cards. He even dropped the Hammer! He raised on the button and got two callers. The flop: 7-3-2. He bet out and everyone folded. He showed the Hammer! But he didn't know that's what we called it. He cracked my Hiltons with J-9 after I flopped a set and he caught two runners for a straight.
I dunno how I managed to survive the Mirage only down $170. I lost at least $400 maybe more by my pocket Queens getting cracked three times. I guess I must have won some decent sized pots to cushion those beats. With 2-2 I flopped a set and with Qd-10d I hit a flush on the turn. I also flopped trips with 5d-4d from the big blind and rivered a full house to beat a guy in a Jets hat who also flopped trips with K-4o.
Anyway, I shuffled out of the poker room with three large kicks in the junk. Those are the type of bad beats reserved for online poker, not at the Mirage casino. I guess my good un at the tables is finally over. On the way home, my cabbie looked like the actress who played Vera the waitress from Mel's Diner on Alice. I always wondered if Vera was a dyke and she had a huge crush on Alice?
On Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm heading down to the Plaza with Flipchip to cover the Ultimate Poker Challenge... the $10K diamond bracelet main event. Stay tuned.
You should be reading Derek's Poker in the Weeds and Linda's Table Tango.