Saturday, January 13, 2007

PokerNews Invitational or How I Got Unstuck

I woke up hungover. Again. This time I drank for pure enjoyment on the eve of the Main Event. I was invited to the PokerStars party and drank with Carl and Schaefer as we ogled over the hot waitresses at Blvd. nightclub in Queensbridge Square.

I wandered back down to the casino and found Shecky who told me about the private table that we were going to have spread for us. Gaz, one of the guys at PokerNews, happens to know pretty much everyone at the Crown Casino. Even though it was the busiest night of the year in the poker room (the Saturday night prior to the Main Event which starts in a few hours), the staff managed to spread a private table so we could have a SNG. There was only one table open... the final table or the TV table underneath the lights along the rail.

The format was $100 buy-in with one option $100 rebuy. I've never played a rebuy SNG but didn't care. I was loaded and kept drinking James Boag's beer as the table seated. Our table was... Shronk, a random blonde, Mrs. Matt Savage, Gaz, Hux, Liat, Shecky, Tim Lavalli, Barracuda, myself, and some dude who I forgot his name.

On the first hand, I found AQs in EP and raised. I got five callers. The ever shifty Gaz pushed all in against Justin on a flop that I missed. Both had junk hands. It was going to be one of those days.

Lavalli jumped out to an early chiplead as our table became the focal point of the room (from the few folks who weren't in the high limit area watching Phil Ivey). The railbirds flocked to the rail and poor Shecky got no cards.

Schaefer and Carl stumbled into the poker room and I had never seen Carl that drunk before. They were hysterical. But they were also good luck and giving me a ton of shit. "Pauly, you suck! No wonder you write about poker. How could you fold 5-3o? When I made the final table of the EPT, I didn't choke under the lights like you are."

Good old fashioned ribbing. And they both kept drinking as they entertained the rail while sweating me. Carl promised me $500 everytime I'd push all in blind and lost the hand. He pulled out a few black chips as proof of his promise.

I raised in EP with KJs and got two callers. I flopped trips and rivered a boat. I cracked Liat's pocket Aces. Ouch. I promised to buy her a drink. I also busted Gaz with AK after he sucked out on me twice with pure bullshit hands. One of those days.

Tony G wandered over and I offered to play him heads-up for $30,000. He said, "Anytime!"

As play got close to the bubble, Carl and Schaefer started taunting me even more. I'd show them my cards and they blurt out, "All in!"

Schaefer had to piss and I wouldn't let him walk away since he was my good luck charm. Once it got three-way, I picked up AK four times and busted one guy and found myself heads up with Tim Lavalli... aka the Poker Shrink. Heads-up play lasted three hands as we both eyed the $1000 first place prize. The final hand was K-8 versus 10-5.

I picked up the first place cash and fanned out ten green $100 Aussie bills. I ran to the bathroom with Schaefer and pissed for like eight minutes straight. Best piss I ever took in Australia. Whoever was left around the TV table, I offered to buy them drinks as we headed to the Atrium Bar where Gaz picked Strawberry Mojitos to drink. I ordered seven and hoped a giant beer can would not fall out of the sky and crush me. To combat the fruity drink, we did shots of tequila and in honor of AlCantHang... a shot of Southern Comfort.I tipped the bartender $20 and he shook my hand. Tipping in not required in Australia. I was drunk and just got unstuck so I didn't care.

That was only a few hours ago and I woke up in a blurry haze as I flipped on the TV to watch the NFL playoffs.

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