Friday, April 30, 2004

"It's Friday. You ain't got no job. You ain't got no shit to do!" - Smokey
Bored? Hit the tables at Party Poker and tell them Pauly sent ya. Going away for the weekend, be back soon, might sneak away to play a few hands... in the meantime, visit your friendly neighborhood bloggers, like...

Boy Genius who was gracious enough to hook me up with some insight in this Saturday's Kentucky Derby! I like Tapit. Visit BG to find out who he likes, after all his blog is all about: random thoughts and thoroughbred selections.

Felicia posted three excellent parts (I - II - III) to her entry into the $1500 Stud event at the World Series of Poker. I'm proud of her play... and that she made it as far as she did even with Barry Greenstein and Ted Forrest at her table. Great write up too.

Check out Glenn's Poker Journal. I like how he writes about poker.

And Cheap Thrills finally completed his home made poker table and it looks kick ass! He has pics linked on his blog.

But make sure you pick up on HDouble and his tips on counting cards and winning at Blackjack.

Al Can't Hangover is at it again... he's on a wicked bender. See what kinda hijinks he's been up to!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

A Day Away from the Tables

I did not realize how much poker I had been playing. I almost hopped on Party Poker yesterday afternoon to continue my decent into poker's version of Hades... I was not peeking at the darkness of the abyss, but I was ready to lose the last few dollars in my Party Poker account before my first rebuy and taking advantage of the April RELOAD bonus. Man, just when I hit full tilt and was ready to make the leap... I got a phone call that saved me.

There's nothing better than a conversation with someone that makes you smile. Instead of dropping into the depths of full tiltdom, I was amused by several stories that Paris shared with me yesterday afternoon. One particular story was a hilarious tale about her first Grateful Dead concert, when she was 13 years old. Her brother ditched her and left poor Paris to wander around a field in the middle of Ohio... and she recanted the story of a young Canadian girl lost in a sea of dirty American hippies.

Alas, we spoke for a while, hitting various topics, but mostly talking about writing. Our conversation made me realize that I needed a break from poker, but not for just one day. Writing and playing poker online are similar in the fact that they are both solitary functions. I need to spend some more time outdoors. Luckily, I'm taking some time off this summer to follow and tour with both The Dead and Phish... as they play throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. Paris helped put some other things in perspective for me. And that's why she's a kick ass intern.

It's not the first time a beautiful woman pulled me away from the insanity of the trecherous tables on Party Poker. And I expect it won't be the last.

Not to fear. I will not be taking a break until this summer. I will be hitting the tables on Party Poker this weekend, looking to play in a few WSoP super satellites. I might even make a cameo tonight at 8pm EST to play in tonight's super satellite.

One more last attempt to scale the Mountain. The World Series of Poker is within my sights. After watching some of the WPT Championships at the Bellagio live and in person, that made me realize how close I had a chance to making it, and yeah, I think that lit a fire under my ass. Stay tuned.
Poker on The OC

Wow. It was so cool to see poker collide with pop culture, during a scene on the new hot show The OC, in an episode where the guys went to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. Ryan was playing Texas Hold'em with a truck driver and he won a huge pot with pocket Aces. I think he had a fullboat Aces over Kings. OK, what did you expect for network TV? And yeah, what's Vegas without a hooker scene?

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Ferrari's No Limit Tourney #1
"Eighty percent of success is showing up." - Woody Allen
If only it were that easy. I had a bad feeling about the tournament. Why? Because I was in the middle of a horrible nightmare. What's worse? Getting no cards and losing or getting good cards and losing? OK. We're on the same friggin' page here. Let's continue. Ever since I arrived in Vegas, I have never seen so many pairs. Pocket pairs. High ones. The Jerkoffs. The Hiltons. The Dudes. (My nicknames for pocket J-Q-K). And this ain't online poker I'm moaning about (I'm convinced the sites are programmed to give out a higher percentage of better hands than in "real life") and I'm talking about Las Fuckin' Vegas. I was playing live games daily and saw a ridiculous amount of top tier playing hands... so much that I've been able to play much tighter and muck those marginal hands which got me in a slew of trouble. It's easy to fold an A-small when you know a pocket pair is coming soon. I eagerly kissed the illustrious K-Jo good bye especially when I knew the Hilton Sisters are right around the corner. I haven't played KJo in weeks. And that Varkoyni hand... Q-10? See ya! Have fun in Brooklyn with all the other babushkas.

So in Vegas I got hot cards. Sizzling. I had burn marks on my fingers from all the hot cards I got, just like a crackhead developed after firing up too many late afternoon hits off the crackpipe. Ensuing, was a desperate series of beat downs.... like when those baton swinging, water spraying, juiced-up Chicago cops beat up all those hippies en masse at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It was bloody chaos. Outdrawn. Badbeated. River'd. Smacked down like a redheaded child at a family picnic. Monsters losing to drunken field mice. You get the gist.

And this past weekend on the tables at Party Poker were no better. Al Can't Hang witnessed the carnage, as did many of you.
Exhibit 1a: Sun, 11:17am EST... 4-4 losing to 3-4o. Party Fish called my preflop raise in LP and my reraised me on the flop 2-4-7 after I made my set. When he caught the straight on the river, he wrote in the chat. "Sorry, I thought you were bluffing?"
With a distasteful shake of my head, I kept plodding though the online waters and saw great hand after hand being taken down. It spooked me for sure, and was part of the reason I walked into Ferrari's not feeling so good about my game. But like Woody Allen said...
The NL Tournament Players
Seat 1: Pauly
Seat 2: Austin aka College Boy
Seat 3: Coach
Seat 4: Ugarte
Seat 5: Rick Blaine
Seat 6: Mike 1.0
Seat 7: James
Seat 8: Swish
Seat 9: Mike 2.0
Seat 10: Ferrari
There were four guys named Mike at the game. But I was most happiest that Swish showed up! He moved to DC recently and made the drive just to play and see everyone. That was way cool. The games have lacked a certain... je ne sais quois... since Swish moved. Anyway, everyone got $100 in chips to equal their buy-in. Top 4 places paid: 50%, 25%, 15%, and 10%. $500 to the winner. I was looking to make my money back... at least.

Level 1: The blinds are 25c and 50c. On the button I limped in with Q-6s. Only Swish and the blinds saw the flop. I gave everyone a free card when it was checked to me. On the turn I bet $5, both blinds folded, and Swish called. I went all-in on the river when he checked to me. I had nothing, but Swish didn't have anything either. That was the worst hand I played all night. The first big hand involved College Boy and James. With Kc-Jc-7c-7h on the board, College Boy bet $15 and James reraised him all-in. After a few moments of thinking about it, College Boy called and he showed his K-Jo and James had Ac-x. I don't recall the river, but James lost the showdown and had less than $10 remaining. It was an amazing call by College Boy. In the face of a possible flush, he made the correct call and doubled up. He was the chip leader after the first level and I was up $9.

Level 2: Blinds 50c and $1. Ferrari was heads up with Swish and bluffed at a pot when he had A-3o. The board: 4-8-Q-9-7. Swish had at least a pair of 9s and laid down his hand at the river despite calling a $25 bet on the turn. That was not like Swish. He's the type of guy that goes all the way to the river... and ends up a winner. He should have called. It would have made a difference later on. College Boy had a chance to knock out the two short stacks... Swish and James. With AKs he went all-in after the flop with an A-3-6. With two sidepots he looked strong. Big Slick vs 5-7s and 3-4o... College Boy lost both, when a miracle 4 hit the river to give James a straight and Swish two pair. Talk about two bad beats on one hand. Ouch. The small stack doubled up against the big stack, and College Boy lost the chip lead to Ferrari. I was down $2.

Level 3: Blinds $1-$2. I won a pot with KK and I bet out strong on the flop with two hearts. No time for fancy slow plays at that table. Then the first person to be KO'd was Swish. He was heads up with College Boy. The flop: 6J3. When an Ace fell on the turn, Swish went all-in. College Boy called. Swish held AQs and College Boy had K-J again! The river: J. Swish was KOd. I told him afterwards that since he was shortstacked he should have went all-in preflop, not to say that College Boy wouldn't have called him anyway, but it's what I would have done. College Boy said he would have folded.

Heads Up with Coach

I had AJs. With one limp-bet in front of me, I reraised in LP to make it $30. Coach, sitting on the button, went all-in. I didn't have to even look at him. He played one hand all night besides his blinds. His reputation for being a rock solid player was enough to convince me that I should fold and get outta his way. I paused for a few moments to see if I could put him on a hand. I had been getting great at "putting players on hands", something that I improved upon while in Vegas. I'm nowhere near the status of the great Hellmuthian Master of looking into people's souls. However, all night I had been reading the table correctly. I made Coach for KK, possibly Aces. I dunno if he would go all-in with Big Slick or QQ's and lower in a three way pot... unless he reraised to get out the first limper and the blinds. I wasn't about to overthink the situation. Coach has my respect and I showed him my cards while I folded. And in a rare move he flipped over his AKs. A stellar all-in bet from Coach. He got the blinds to fold and my $30. It goes to show that good players lay down good hands to tight players all the time. Probably a few others would have called Coach and he's lucky that decision came down to me. Otherwise he would have been KO'd in 9th place.

It Was Nice While It Lasted

9:13pm EST... the world shook. Actually I just got bounced from the tourney. Heads up with Ferrari and I made a crucial error. I overestimated my hand reading ability and made Ferrari for a wrong hand. If I was looking at the board clearly, instead of trying to play the player... I would have not gotten KO'd at that point. Again, if Swish had called Ferrari an hour earlier, I might have been able to avoid the confrontation. I had A6o. I raised on the button. Everyone folded except Ferrari who called. The flop: 9h-A-5h. I have top pair. Ferrari bet $5. I raised to $10. That was my mistake. I put Ferrari for A-x. Small ace. I was concerned about kicker problems. I should have put him all-in on the flop. Why? If he did have a small ace, he would probably folded. If I was completely wrong and he had a medium pair or on a flush draw (which the board should have told me) then I should be making him pay to catch cards. I fucked up and only bet $10 which he called. I only bet $10 because I thought there was a chance that Ferrari was playing A9 or A5 and I was slowplayed by two pair. It's not the first time Ferrari had done that. I overanalyzed the situation and I should have just made the normal call... something the over aggressive Pauly normally would have done. Anyone else, I would have ran right over them. "All-in!" and the hand would have been over. I punked out and it cost me the tournament.

When a heart fell on the turn, Ferrari checked. I bet $25 and Ferrari reraised me. I was doomed. I called and ended up going all-in. Of course an Ace on the river was not good enough, although I held the Ace of hearts and a nut flush draw... so I had a few outs and was not drawing completely dead. Ferrari had Kh-8h. He caught his flush on the turn and I gave it to him cheaply for just $10. So many decisions... All these maybes and what ifs. Bottom line... I fucked up. Ferrari admitted he would have folded to a bigger raise on the flop. Alas, I was bounced in 9th place. Ferrari was the chip leader.

For more detailed analysis of the remainder of the game, you'll have to visit Ugarte's Poker Grovel. I left for a few minutes to get some fresh air and when I returned both Rick Blaine and Coach were bounced. We started a side game in the Loser's Lounge.

Congrats to the winner: James. He rallied back from next to nothing to beat Ugarte headsup. And good job to Ugarte, who pulled in a second place finish. And yeah, I was impressed with the exploits of College Boy, who was a good sport the entire night, allowing everyone to let his moniker stick. Well College Boy schooled most of us.
The Final Tally:
1. $500 James
2. $250 Ugarte
3. $150 College Boy
4. $100 Ferrari

5. Mike 2.0
6. Mike 1.0
7. Coach
8. Rick Blaine
9. Pauly
10. Swish
Congrats again to the winners and thanks to Ferrari for organizing the event.

Late Night Poker: The Losers Lounge

Marie showed up to join the side game which was played on Ferrari's coffee table and on his couch. It reminded me of the home games I played back in my college days in Atlanta... at Jerry and Schanzer's apartment. That was when we would have two games going on at once... with upwards of 14 people playing at the dining room table and on the coffee table. The sorortiy girls who lived across the hall were hooked. They played every night with us, yep... every night in the summer of 1994 that we played poker. And yeah Schanzer had a three legged cat to amuse us in between hands. Those were the days, and I might get around to writing up some great stories from games that happened a decade ago this upcoming summer. Good times for sure.

OK, flashback aside, it was fun to get a cash game going. Rick sat on the floor. Marie sat on the edge of the coffee table and Swish opened up the window to get some fresh air into the apartment. And that led to some comic relief. Ferrari has two cats and one of them, Shadow, was attracted to the ledge of the window. Despite plenty of pleas to the "tournament table" about the curious cat, Ferrari insisted that the cats were fine and not to worry about a wide open window. Ferrari lives on the 19th floor, but he was bogged down in the middle of a hand... so we were all still concerned for the cat's safety. Swish blurted out, "This is like a Disney flick... That Darn Cat!" To which, Coach could not stop laughing. He was brought to tears over the obscure Disney reference, and Swish showed us why he's missed at the games ever week. And in some morbid way, we all agreed that it would have been kinda cool to see a cat fall 19 stories. Not necessarily Ferrari's cat. That would have been fucked up. But not on our watch, so Swish closed the window and the cat drama ceased.
The Players in the Losers Lounge
Seat 1. Coach
Seat 2. Swish
Seat 3. Rick
Seat 4. Marie
Seat 5. Pauly
I lost a few hands early, but won a monster headsup with Rick playing hold'em. He raised preflop and I called with 5-5. More pocket pairs. Guess what I flopped? A set! Whooooo-hoooooo!! Rick kept jamming the pot on ever bet. Why? He had the Dudes! Pocket Kings. And was shocked to know that they got cracked by a set. Ouch. Sorry, Reeeeeeeeeee-k! I won a big Omaha hand on the river when my I caught a set for my pocket pair (6-6-10-2) and there was no qualifying low.

When Ferrari was bounced he joined the mix. I got QQ in LP. I raised and Ferrari reraised. I called. The flop: A-8-Q. The Hiltons held up. I decided to slow play. He bet and I just called. Ferrari never would have put me on QQ. On the turn we capped out the betting. Of course, Swish was still in the hand... on a draw of some sorts. After putting almost all my chips in, I started to wonder if Ferrari had AA. That was the only hand that could burn me. No flushes, straights, or full house potentials... so I had to think Ferrai had made his A-x two pair on the flop and he was slow playing. I guessed A-Q. Alas, at showdown, Swish had nothing and Ferrari had A-8. He had two pair and I took down a huge pot.

The Blind Hammer?

I also played a hand completely blind against Swish, all the way to the river, calling his every bet. The board read: A-Q-A-8-5 and I called him all the way down, without looking at my hand because I knew he had nothing. And what did he have? The Hammer!!! Wow... and I had 9-3 to take down the pot with 9 high!!

When the tourney was over, we moved the game to the kitchen table. College Boy and James joined the mix. Ugarte sipped Jack Daniels and watched the Kings-Mavericks game.

The Hand of the Night

Anaconda. I was almost dealt a Royal Straight Flush... K-Q-J-10... and the Ace of hearts eluding me. I ended up with four jacks. I had two and Marie passed me two. Unless someone had a straight flush, I had the nuts. And in Anaconda at Ferrari's unless you have the nuts (Wheel for the low or a four of a kind for a high or better)... you're ging to lose a lot of cash playing Anaconda. I could have sponsored an entire village of those sick kids in Africa that Sally Struthers cries about, for a whole year on my Anaconda losses. Barry Greenstien, I am not. OK, the game is four way, with Rick and Marie battling for the low and Swish and I slugging it out for the high. By the way Rick and I were betting hard and fast, you had to suspect we both had the nut high/nut low. One every instance, Rick bet, I raised and he reraised and I cap it out... and poor Marie and Swish were caught up in the middle.
The hands:
Swish: Q-9-Q-9
Rick: A-2-3-5
Marie: 2-3-4-5
Pauly: J-K-J-J
Swish thought his full house Qs over 9s would be better than my Jacks over Kings. And for a second I misread Marie's hand. She was showing 2-3-4-5... all hearts! But I knew College Boy folded the Ace of hearts so only the 6 of hearts would give Marie the nut high with a straight flush. Alas, at showdown, I had four jacks and Rick had a better low. It was a monster pot. $210+ and Rick and I were super excited to stack up our chips. I like splitting monster pots with Rick better than going heads up with him. That pot alone put me up $60.
The Final Side Game Tally:
Rick +88
Pauly +53
Coach +38.50
College Boy +38
James -10
Swish -40
Ferrari -59
Marie -85
Another wild night at Ferrari's. Thanks again to Signor for setting up the event.

Monday, April 26, 2004

NL Tourney at Ferrari's

Signor Ferrari is holding a NL tourney instead of his regular Monday night game. $100 buy-in. I'm having a not-so-good run of cards, so I'm looking to stop the bleeding with a big win tonight. I like my chances of finishing in the money. Top 4 get paid. More to come of course.
Coach's Corner: SNG Lessons Learned

The following is another installment of Coach's Corner. Enjoy!

I just played a $5 SNG on Poker Stars. My goal was a warm up for tonight. It was something for everyone to say the least.

1) You know you're in trouble when the lead player on the table, sitting in the 1 seat no less, has photo which is all white with the three letters G O D in it.

2) You know you're in more trouble when you have AA on the button, people are raising into you left and right, and, when it's just down to you and one other caller, with a possible flush on the board, you *both* flip over AA and tie. I've never seen two AA in the same hand before, have you?

3) G O D was a massive chip leader, with three of us left. I managed to outlast #2, and drew dead even with G O D. How many players, religious or not, can say that?

4) G O D put a whupping on me, but did not knock me out, when he successfully soft-played J6o with a 6-6-J flop. (I had QQ).

5) I then beat G O D, and took first, on two very luck draws back to back. I had 87h, and the flop came 5c-6s-Q-d. He pushed all in, and when i called, he flipped 5s-6c. The river was a 9, saving my bacon and making me 2-to-1 chip leader.

6) Next hand, I had my least favorite cards -- AQo. He went all in again with K4c. Flop was 5c, 8c, Kh. Not only was he in the lead, he had a great draw. Turn was very kind, showing As. Only a 4, K, or c could save him. He didn't get it. 3d.

That's a lot of writing for a $22 prize, but as I said, something for everyone.

Thanks Coach. Best of luck tonight!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Quality Blogs

Grubette posted a little diddy called Young lady, I don't play crap cards on her brother's site The Poker Grub. I got to see him at the tables on Party Poker today, which is always a treat.

HDouble over at The Cards Speak is one of my favorite (overall) blogs due to the quality of writing, in addition to the quality of content. Anyone who quotes Shakespeare is "the Dude" in my book. Speaking of the Dude... check out his Big Lebowski posts: The Dude Abides: More Lebowski Wisdom and Zen and the Art of the Dude. Here's my favorite part:
The Nihilist is the typical tourney player who complains about a bad beat. Accept that short term luck is the most important factor in tourneys. Your AA is a big favorite, but not that big. Suck it up and get ready for the next tourney.
By the way The Poker Prof posted a report on the first day at the WSoP. Check it out.

The Poker Penguin is back with a post. He's a great writer. Here's what made me chuckle:
Once again I am in de Nile, and the water smells like every single Egyptian is trying to take a piss on my head. I am a better player than these idiots. One rocket scientist called three bets pre-flop with T3 off only to kick my KK in the head with a runner runner flush. I mean someone's got to be scripting this shit right? Online poker is rigged, and it's rigged to kick me square in the junk whenver I have just gotten over the last time it kicked me in the junk.
In the immortal words of Homer J. Simpson... "It's funny because it's true." Check out his entry about The Seven Deadly Sins.

Alas, both Iggy and Chris Halverson got shoutouts on Wil Wheaton's blog. Very cool.

Earlier this morning, I watched Maudie take down two huge pots in a NL ring game. It was awesome! Good job grinding it out there. Maudie. And what's a Sunday morning without Al Can't Hang sending me pictures of one of my favorite Canadian actresses?

And lastly, I think Paul's Burbon had to put his cat to sleep. RIP... Lola.
Getting Recognized on Party Poker

I hopped on Party Poker yesterday afternoon and I was watching fellow poker blogger Al Can't Hang play. I left a comment in the chat box to tell Al what table I was playing at. Aparanetly, one of the players at his table from Texas just started his own poker blog and recognized both Al and me! In the chat he said something to the effect, "I like your blog Pauly". Which was pretty amazing. Al was more excited because earlier into his session, it was the first time he has been noticed on Party Poker by a random reader of his blog. Here's what Al said about the experience:
I feel famous like Iggy or Pauly.
I'm getting more and more cyber railbirds, either fellow poker bloggers, or readers of my site, who like to watch me play on Party Poker. It's kinda cool.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

And the Winner Is... Martin Deknijff?

The Final Table Results from the WPT Championships have been posted. Some guy from Sweden named Martin Deknijff won.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Escorts at the Bellagio

I forgot to mention this... but I never saw so many high priced hookers (street walkers, prostitutes, escorts, massasge therapists, hos, etc.) at the Bellagio during the weekend prior to the WPT Championships. They were swarming around the bar across from the poker room at the sports book. I'm from the big city... I'm a writer... I've seen a lot of movies... and I know a hooker when I see one. My initial impression was: "Wow, there are sure a lot of hot women here tonight... and they all have implants."

And then I figured it out. They were too good looking. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I was approached by one particular femme du soir at the bar. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fairly decent looking guy and I can talk to anyone. But it's been a while since a very good looking woman tried to pick me up in a bar. The last one... well the last one was so shitfaced hammered that she passed out in the cab ride on the way home. Oh well. At least I got a cool cellphone and a credit card to fund my Party Poker account. (By the way, I was joking about that. I didn't steal her credit cards, just her cash and her tin of altoids).

Anyway, I figured I blog that juicy nugget of Bellagio hookers... just because with so many poker blogs out there and new ones starting every day, you just can't have a regular poker blog these days. Alas, I don't think you'll find any specific hookers and poker blogs just yet. If there was one, Iggy would have mentioned it. I read poker blogs. I read hooker blogs. How about a blog from a hooker who services Las Vegas poker players? I'll even give you a head start with a name.... Nut Flushes. That would be interesting.

OK, for the new issue of my literary blogzine Truckin', I wrote a short story inspired by true events that went down at the Bellagio involving a hooker and yours truly. Stay tuned. I'll blog the link as soon as I publish the April issue.
Robert's Rules of Poker

The Poker Prof sent me a link: Robert's Rules of Poker which is a helpful site. Good job and thanks for the link.
Link Backs and New Blogs

Sorry for the delay. But check out these new sites that I recently added.
Bill's Blog
Studio Glyphic
Poker Prof
Orgy of Lies
If I forgot to mention ya, drop me an email. I know there are still fifty or so blogs I don't have linked up. I'll get around to checking them all out eventually. Thanks for the link ups and for reading my site. Best of luck with your sites and see ya at the tables.
My WSoP Shootout at Binion's

Binion's looks nice since they reopened the place. I got there early at noon to play in the daily satellites. I came in 4th out of 10 in a single table tournament. $125 was the buy-in. The winner got $1000 in Tournament chips... good towards the next round of the shootout or to use in any 2004 WSoP event. My table was a mixture of a few tourists and Binion's locals, otherwise known as sharks.
The Players:
Seat 1: Old Japanese Guy
Seat 2: Rich Local = Mr. Big Shot
Seat 3: Crazy British Guy
Seat 4: Young Dorky Kid a.k.a. Unabomber Wannabe
Seat 5: Elderly Black Guy
Seat 6: Old White Guy
Seat 7: Midwestern Tourist
Seat 8: NJ Tourist
Seat 9: Pauly
Seat 10: Local Pro
The young kid wore sunglasses and a grey hooded sweatshirt just like the Unabomber. My first reactions to that guy... "what a tool". Every one started out with $1000 in chips.

Level 1... With AK in late position, bring in $200 raise and win the pot uncontested. Two guys are knocked out quickly, including Mr. Big Shot, who had a stack of $100 bulging out of all of his pockets. AK was ko'd by AQ. K-10 out drew QQ. The underdogs were winning heads up at my table and I am 6 out of 8th.

Level 2... I'm the little blind with A7 and it's folded to me. The BB (local pro) is short stacked so I raise to put him all-in. He has 4-4 and I lost the race. He tells me right afterwards that he has one WSoP bracelet for a Stud event in 1998.

Level 3... I'm shortstacked with T300 and go all-in UTG with J7s against the Unabomber wannabe. I flopped a flush and triple up with T900. He said, "I knew it. I never should have called. You're getting all the cards. You're Mr. Lucky today. You should go to the track."

Level 4... I call a shortstacked crazy British guy all-in with A8s. He went all-in preflop, and I knew he was a loose player. Even if he had a small pair, I knew I had two overcards. I flopped an ace to beat his 8-8. I'm the chip leader out of 5 left. The other locals said I was lucky he didn't try to hit me or flip over the table. Two things he had done to tourists in the previous six months.

Level 5... The NJ tourist to my right has been loose. He's the button and raised. I put him all in because I have KQs. Of course I misread his play... a button raise... because he had AA! I was fucked. The flop: K-10-Q! What a miracle flop! Holy Jesus! Everyone watching on the rail was shaking their heads. I heard, "That kid's getting every flop! He's hitting everything today!" Yeah, I had been catching cards like that all day. Alas, they spoke too soon. I got proper fucked on the river when a 10 hit... NJ guy had a higher two pair A & 10s and I had just K & Qs. I was fifth out of 5.... and not happy about my misplay, the second mistake of the tourney for me.

Level 6... The blinds are 300/600 and I found A7s on the button, with just four players left: me, NJ guy, Unabomber wannabe and the old black guy. The black guy is the BB and took several minutes to call me with J-10o. He told me afterwards that he never would have made that move but since the level was over after the hand (the timer went off as the dealer was dealing the hand), he decided to take a gamble. He won the pot with a river straight.... and I got busted in 4th place. I blew my shot... especially because I was catching cards and flops and reading everyone perfectly (aside from the misplay against pocket Aces). Sure, I wasn't the best player at the table. I would have put me at 5 or 6th in skill level... so I guess I should be content with the 4th place bust out, espeically since I had been getting my ass kicked all week.

My brother was playing one at a different table and he came in 3rd! I expect he'll submit a writeup soon. I was super impressed with his run. He also ran into pocket Aces on a button raise and fell for it... he lost to a monster flop: A-Q-Q.

Overall, I'm a better player than last year at the same time. But in 2003, I came in 2nd place... in the same satellite and I had no clue what I was doing then! Oh well... if I hadn't taken such a hit on my bankroll at the time and didn't have to meet NYC Poker Babe at the Bellagio, I would have played in another one. But one was enough.

In the next week or so, I'll play ina few WSoP qualifiers on Party Poker.
WPT Champtionships... Day 4 Results

Nemo D's buddy is third in chips! A complete update has been posted. TJ finished in 9th place.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Halverson's Hammer

I got home last night and watched the WPT Tunica (Jack Binion Open) at my brother's, while I had Party Poker fired up! I won a $10 SNG and joined Chris Halverson's table. He was a folding machine. Alas, I got the hammer and tried to play it. Alas, one guy got disconnected and he had to go all-in. He won with 7-9s versus my 2-7o. Oh well. I must have inspired Halverson because without mentioning it, he played a hand, then showed the hammer! It was awesome and I was going apeshit, screaming and hootin' & hollerin'. Check out his version of his amazing hammer play. I think I won $3 playing 2 hours. I was down a bunch, but rallied back when I caught a flush with A-Qo.
WPT Bellagio Day 3 Update

The results for day 3 have been posted. 31 players are left.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

WPT Champioships at the Bellagio Day 2 Results

NemoD's buddy is in third place. The results from Day 2 have been posted. Gabe "Mr. Kotter" Kaplan is 8th in chips!
Photo of the Day...

The Phish shows in Las Vegas fuckin' rocked! Here is some evidence from the Saturday show.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A Decent Run... and I'm Now a Local!

I had a nice string of cards last night and posted my first winning day since day 1. I'll write more later. Not to Fear... I turned the corner and my losing streak is over.

I played in a World Series of Poker satellite at Binion's and came in 4th place. I shall write more info later.

When I sit at the poker tables, everyone asks me if I'm from Vegas. That's awesome. Both locals and tourists... I guess I don't look like a tourist. Haley suggested that sometimes "you have to look the part", so I dress semi-casual, like a well-to-do gambler would wear... I started saying, "Yeah.. I live on the other side of the Valley."

It's even better when the dealers and cocktail waitress call me by my name: "Pauly, you're turn to bet..." or "Pauly, sweetie, another ginger ale with two cherries?"

One dealer named Sang calls me, "Mr. Pauly", and sounds more like, "Meeeee-stahhhh Pawwwww-eeee."

Vegas rocks. Tourists are so stupid... if they were smart, they would have vacationed elsewhere.
WPT Bellagio Day 1 Results

Day 1 Results from the WPT Bellagio have been posted. Ben Affleck survived day one... TJ Cloutier is 6th in chips.

Monday, April 19, 2004

WPT Championships at the Bellagio: Day 1

My brother and I met NYC Poker Babe at the Bellagio and watched a few hours of the WPT Championships. The celebrites I saw: James Woods, Al from Home Improvement, Mimi Rogers, Ben Affleck, and Ming Na from ER. All the girls/tourists were trying to snap photos of Ben.

Phil Ivey & Phil Laak (the Unabomber) were at the same table. I saw Clonie Gowan. I saw Jen Harmon talking to Doyle Brunson at the break. Jesus walked by me.

Other notables: Paul Darden, Mel Judah, Dan Harrington, Sam Grizzle, Devil Fish... I'm sure I'm forgetting some people.

My brother was smaoking a cigarette and Scotty Ngyen slapped him high five. I never saw my brother so excited! I also shook his hand and he seemed happy to see us. My brother struck upa conversation with two random railbirds... who happened to be related to Hoyt Corkins. they loved Derek after he told them he knew who Hoyt was... and even more so after Derek tooled on Phil Hellmuth in front of the Corkins clan.

Jeez, I'm sure I'm missing some players... but I'll wrote more later!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Congrats to Rick... While I'm Getting My Ass Kicked

I heard that Rick Blaine won the PJK 4 tourney. Congrats! You know Rick, that you only won because I wasn't playing!

Alas, I have been getting killed at the tables. I modified my game and tightened up after I met Felicia at the Bellagio where pretty much the first thing she said to me was, "Pauly, you play too many hands..."

All my great hands were cracked left and right. When I won pots, they were small. When I lost pots they were big and I was river'd to death. I know in the long run, I'll make out and have a fat bankroll... but it's difficult when you see sunburnt tourist idiots catch so many ridiculous cards and inside straights... it's enough to make me want to jump out of my 26th floor hotel room.

What to do? Keep plugging away and hopefully I'll catch good cards when they count the most... on Monday, I will play in a WSoP shootout at Binion's Horseshoe. More to come.
Confessions of a Losing Poker Player

2:43 am PCT... Las Vegas... Man, do I suck cow eggs these days. I dunno what happened? My bankroll has vanished before my eyes. I have lost more money in the last week... than the average American makes in an entire month of working. Think about that for a moment... some of you get paid every other week. Imagine losing both paychecks for the month of April... and you'll get some semblance of what I have been enduring the last few days. And here's the scary part... I did not play poker or gamble for two entire days, while partying down at Phish concerts and I was mired in a serious festive binge and a narcotic orgy while hanging out with Phishy chicks almost half my age.

What the hell happened? I guess the Vegas Gods purposely booked Phish for three days because they knew it would draw me and my entire wad of cash out into the middle of the desert, where I'd quickly fall ill to the fatal illness of greed and debauchery. I am a weak person, it's a known fact. And yes, the demons of Vegas quietly lulled me into entangling myself into their web of despair and darkness and gluttony. Like a mirage in the distance, I thought I saw sand angels dancing and twirling in the cool Nevada night, their soft voices enticing me with orgasmic whispers and tickling me with smooth feathers. But I was wrong. I was ambushed by gutless thieves, an army of henchmen who shook me until all the change and hundred dollar bills fell off of my body.

I just scrapped together a few dollars to buy breakfast... the crappy buffet where they serve other degenerate gamblers and Grandmas with thinning blue hair, one foot in the grave and the other firmly planted in front of the Wheel of Fortune $1 slot machines.

Have you ever smelled the stench of old people near death, combined with burnt buffet style bacon? It's an awful smell that had etched itself into my memory banks. I could just walk out into the middle of the desert and never return. And would anyone notice?

And here's the scary part... I don't want to leave. I could live here for sure. I was greeted with luke warm thoughts about writing for three hours straight, then wandering down Las Vegas Blvd. every day past the leggy blondes from California and go into my new office... the poker room at the Mirage and attempt to steal away hard earned cash from tourists from Indiana and Northern California. I could watch my eyes glow in the reflection of the three billion lights that illuminate Vegas. Could I just move out to the middle of the desert and never return to NYC... and would anyone ever notice?

A Las Vegas Blog

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Vegas Day 5 Update: Sweating Glenn

I didn't play cards today, I'm about to go to the concert tonight. Been too wasted to focus and play. I headed to the Bellagio today to meet Felicia. Her husband was playing in a satellite for the WPT Championships. It cost $2500 to enter and the room was filled with celebrities. I found Felicia fairly quickly and she was standing on the rail right behind Glenn's table.

We walked around and my brother found Dutch "Tool Boy" Boyd sitting at one of the front tables wearing a bandana. My brother said he looked like a "Gimp". I also saw TJ Cloutier, Evelyn Ng, Howard Lederer, Paul Darden, Andy Bloch, Mel Judah... all playing in the satellite. And Erik Siedel was sitting at the table adjacent from Glenn. I recognized some guy, a regular from Foxwoods, but I didn't know his name.

Glenn played tight... going all-in a few times with no callers. He had AA and also went allin, without any callers. He doubled up with KK but a few hands later was knocked out when his set of 9s lost to a set of 10s. D'oh! He was playing well, and it was cool to watch the satellite.

Felicia suggested that we play in a $280 one table super staellite. The winner gets a $2500 seat in Sunday's satellite. We were going to split the prize money no matter what happened (if either of us won, we'd chop up the $2500). For me, it was a better deal since Felicia is a better NL player. I wanted to play despite my tired a semi wasted state. But I had a show to leave for a 5pm and the satellites didn't start until 4pm. I had to decline.

We might catch up with them later tonight. But it was very cool to meet Felicia & Glenn and see TJ Cloutier, and my favorite player Howard Lederer.

More to come... will try to play in a super satelllite at Binion's tomorrow!
Day of Rest

It was a busy day yesterday. I didn't get a chance to play and took a well deserved day off from the tables. I went to the Phish show early to get a good seat (4th row, side of the stage). I posted mini-reviews to the first two concerts on my other blog the Tao of Pauly.

Yesterday my brother played for several hours at the Excalibur while I was at the show. He has some interesting stories that I hope he'll share in a future post.

Today, I expect to finally meet Felicia and Glenn over at the Bellagio. I also want to watch the Yankees-Redsox game in addition to the Knicks-Nets playoff game.

Then it's night three of three of Phish. Yep, no poker again for me today. When I return to the tables on Sunday, I'll be refreshed and ready to kick some ass.

Alas, the last 24 hours was my most proifitable time in Vegas: win rate = $0 an hour. I was losing a ridiculous amount, an amount that's not blogworthy! More to come.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Viva Las Vegas... Day 3 Update

I think you can see the shoe prints on my left buttock... because I got my ass kicked yesterday at the tables. Geez, thank goodness for the Phish shows. In the middle of a horrible run of cards... my bankroll disappearing before my eyes... I desperately needed a break. Phish pulled me away from the tables and outside! A place I had not been since my arrival. Man, I forgot how beautiful this place is during the day. I got some sun and hung out outside the venue for a while and forgot about my problems at the tables. It was a well needed break.

I made the final 3 tables at the Luxor tourney and bounced 26th. I had a great chip lead early after I got AKs on the first hand. I was hot early winning 3 of the first five pots. My brother was at the table next to me and he said he looked over and saw I had all the chips. Alas, by the third level I lost some on a bad beat AQ losing to 34s. Don't ask. I doubled up against the new chip leader when my AJ was better than his J-10. Yep, I was playing tight, but aggressive, and I felt good, like I could win the whole thing.

Then I ran into a kid who had no idea what he was doing. He was calling everything to the river and chasing inside straights. I was heads up with him (I had KQs) and I knew he had nothing. A J and K hit the board and he called my raise. He called my rasie on the turn and when a 3 hit on the turn he bet and I raised. he called and flipped over two pair J and 3s. Ouch. He caught it on the river and instead of stacking up chips I looked down and had $100 left. I got bounced the next hand and could not believe that nimrod's play... calling a preflop raise with J3 (he was the little blind). At least I outlasted my brother. I was irked because I had been getting good cards.

I went to the Excalibur and played with my brother and two other Phisheads. One guy looked like Jesus. I made a bad play when I thought I caught an Asian woman trying to steal a pot. She had been drinking heavily, asking for two drinks at once. She would sneak off to the bathroom every twenty minutes to snort some cocaine. That's one tell that was freakin' obvious. She was scratching her nose with the same frequency Billy Bob Thorton would attack and scratch his crotch after a late night interlude with Angelina Jolie. Anyway, I made a bad call and saw her bets to the river only to find out I misread her hand... AQs. Ouch. I was outkicked A-2. Oh well. It was time to leave after a bad run.

More to come... I will be posting a review of last night's Phish show to the Tao of Pauly. Check it out.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Well Rested Pauly

I got some good sleep and I'm ready. Another Luxor tourney at noon. My brother arrived last night. Hope to play some cards this afternoon before the show!

I dropped $80 last night waiting for my brother to arrive. AA held up but I got fucked on Big Slick again. D'oh!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Vegas Day 2 Update Part I: D'oh the Humanity!

12:31pm PCT... Luxor tournament. $28 entry fee. 50+ players. I was one of the first 10 knocked out. I made the money in December when I was there last and only played one hand. This time I played 3... AJ and won and two big losers. AK lost to J-8s and my 99 lost to 55. Both times I river'd by a pair or a set. I was moderately pissed and stormed out of the Luxor. I took the tram to Mandalay Bay and bumped into a Phishead friend of mine while he was signing up for a $1-5 stud game! It was cool. I didn't know Chris from Boston played poker. Alas, the line was too long for a $4-8 game and after 30 minutes, I took a cab to the Mirage.

I love the Mirage. It's one of my favorite places on Earth.

The wait for $3-6 was as long and hellacious as Courtney Love's rap sheet. With the Bellagio dark... most of the poker action happened in the Mirage. I reluctantly sat at a $6-12 table and played tighter than tight. I won a huge pot early, semi-bluffed at another one when I was on the button and was up almost $195. Then I played nothing over the next two hours... and when I finally did... I got proper fucked.

The guy in the corner was a huge black guy and he mentioned that he played pro football somehwere. Linebacker sized (6'4" & 325 lbs.), he was intimdating for sure, especially when his hole cards looked like a flimsy business card in the hands of a giant. Anyway, he saw pretty much every flop... which was a problem.

3:43pm PCT... Pauly got AA in the big blind. I brought it in for a reraise when the button raised. The football player called. Of course I lost to his 9-6o when he caught a straight on the river. I was wicked pissed and wanted to kick his ass. I glared down at him. A bad beat is a bad beat and you should expect the other guy to be steamed. (The first raiser had QQ). That cost me a few dollars.

5:02pm PCT... Pauly got AKs in the little blind. I raised and of course the football player called and caught a pair ont he river. He had Q-8. I couldn't believe it. More astonished was the rest of the table when I barked down at his end, "You lucky motherfucker."

That was probably not a smart thing to do. He could sqaush me like a baby cockaroach. Dejected, I counted up my chips and left. I rerally wanted to bust that guy, but my mindset was reaching tilt and I didn't want to play a higher limit than I normally play on tilt. I only lost $105, but I was up almsot $200 so it was a $300 swing on two hands... AA and AK.

The highlight of the afternoon was sitting across from a former showgirl/stripper. She had a diamond ring on her finger the size of a softball. I dunno what was more fake...
1. Her boobs.
2. Her tan.
3. Her dyed blonde hair.
Anyway, she was nice and I helped her out a few times explaining to her what the blinds were. She told me she liked watching Celebrity Poker Showdown. She told me all her turn ons (guys with a great sense of humor... and yes, I told her the infamous Prison Joke) and turn offs (guys with hairy backs... I said she could rub mine... smooth as a seal!).

She was not too bright. All I could think was... I have some prime real estate in Arizona I like to sell you. Yes, the dumb blonde, with watermelon sized boobs took down a huge pot with her low pocket pair. And the IQ level of the entire table was lowered by her mere appearance. I think it has to do with the brain activity of males which is seriously compromised when any amount of silicone is within 10 yards of said male.

Celebrity sighting... I saw Mel Judah playing $75-150 Omaha 8 at the table right behind me.

Ok. I'm waiting for my brother to arrive. Gonna blow off that chick I met at the Excalibur yesterday. I have a fishy suspicion that she's an integral part of a Chinese organ theives ring. And I'd like to keep my kidneys for now. More to come.

A Las Vegas Blog...
Vegas Day 1 Update...

It was hell getting out of NYC. My flight was delayed due to some nasty weather and I ended up hoping on the flight before mine... via standby and it actually left at roughly the same time as my scheduled flight. Go figure. I flew JetBlue which means free Direct TV. I watched a John Belushi biography on A&E and watched an episode of Band of Brothers on the History Channel (an amazing series).

When I got to Vegas I was hit by a wave of inspiration and I went to my room to write for just twenty minutes. Well, twenty minutes turned into two hours... and I dragged myself away. I didn't come to Vegas to write... but I didn't want to deny myself the chance to get out some good shit.

I played $2-6 spread game at the Excalibur because I was too lazy and cheap to head over to the Mirage. With the Bellagio still dark, I expected the Mirage to be uber crowded. At my table were two old Asian guys, a doctor from NYC, two middle-aged women from the Midwest (with some expensive jewlery... and yes, they saw almost every flop). My favorites were a guy from Holland and a drunk Swede who sat next to me. He was on a rush.

I also flirted with an adorable girl from San Diego. She looked like Jen Garner (I know Halverson's eyes just perked up while reading this)... except she was hotter! She sat next to me, drank vodka tonics like they were water, and recanted how she watched poker on TV all the time. I wanted to say something about my site, blah blah blah... but I didn't. She laughed and rolled her eyes when I told her I was going to see Phish. She invited me to an Ozomatli concert tonight at the House of Blues. Something to consider...

Ok... poker talk... I won $60 in a few hours then crashed. I got decent hands QQ 2x, KK, AKs. I was down $50 early... so I had a decent run late. I took Jen Garner lookalike for a huge pot when I raised preflop with 88 and caught my 8 on the flop... K-8-Q. Her KQs screwed her as she bet into me all the way to the river.

I just got up and registered for the Noon tourney at the Luxor ($28) then I'll head over to the Mirage afterwards for some $3-6.

Right now, I'm almost in heaven. It's perfect weather, I'm gonna play poker, Phish will be here in less than 36 hours, my brother arrives tonight, plus I'm watching reruns of Dawson's Creek while I blog. And just in case you were wondering... Katie Holmes is my favorite actress. Hubba hubba.

The only thing that would make this pure heaven is if the NGC would allow me to smoke pot at the poker tables. I did make a suggestion... and I hope to hear from the NGC very soon.

Stay tuned.

A Las Vegas blog...

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Vegas Bound

Just got some great news... there's a rumor that Felicia and Glenn will be in Vegas this weekend!! I am excited at the thought of getting to meet one of my favorite bloggers! The improvement in my NL play has a lot to do with conversations with Felicia and following her blog. I will be able to thank her in person. Hehehehhe, whooooooo! NYC Poker Babe will be in Vegas as well.

Check out Felicia's write up of Iggy's WSoP satellite. Visit the Poker Mecca while you are at it to get the skinny from McBoobs himself (or herself).
A Stormy Monday at Ferrari's

Another wild night at Ferrari's. Pauly's big hands? Cracked! Ferrari's nightmare? River'd a jillion times. Pauly & Ferrari heads up with AA vs KK... you betcha. And poor Ugarte... lost with a straight flush. Yep, it was one of those nights. Of course I learned a new legal term (thanks to Coach) which I will share with you later.
The Players:
Seat 1: Mike (early)/Dan (late)
Seat 2: Joel
Seat 3: Signor Ferrari
Seat 4: Marie
Seat 5: Coach
Seat 6: Josh (early)/Ugarte (late)
Seat 7: Pauly
8:01pm EST... I dunno what happpened, but less than 30 minutes into the game... I was down $50! Ouch. And of course I went all the way to the river in Stud 8/b and although I had Josh's Jackson Five beat with my two pair Qs & 9s... coach was betting strong with two aces showing. Did he have the third ace or did he have two pair? Either way I was fucked. He had As and Ks. It cost me dearly chasing the fullboat.

9:04pm EST... down -85. Omaha 8 killed me. Had A-2 a few times only to get those cards duplicated. I was considering a rebuy. Joel was on a hot streak. He got a straight flush in Anaconda and won several huge Omaha pots.

9:20pm EST... I had As-Ah-Jh-4s in Omaha 8. I called a preflop raise and saw the flop: 10-J-J. Another 10 fell on the turn and I caught a full boat when a 4 hit the river. It was my first big pot of the night. I won another big pot when I flopped the Wheel!

9:46pm EST... The hand of the night: AA vs. KK.

Preflop, I raised with KK. Everyone folded to Ferrari who raised. I reraised and he played back. Now there was a situation that came up... How many times can you raise heads-up? The rule at Ferrari's is that there is a 3 raise max on multi-way pots and heads-up... it's unlimited raises. However, we never set precedent with that rule pre-flop. Alas, Ugarte cleared it up... before the betting round starts - there has to be two players. Since this isnatnce happened pre-flop... it was capped out at 3 bets. I couldn't tell if Ferrari really had A-A. He was betting like he had them, but maybe he had AKs? Or perhaps he had KK? I couldn't tell but I continued the hand with sincere caution. The flop: x-Q-x. Ferrari bet and I raised, he reraised and I called. The turn: another rag. The river: K. Nice, very nice. Ferrari bet, I raised and he called knowing that his A-A got river'd. Alas, I turned over the COWBOYS and caught my set on the river! It was a huge hand and I went from almost having to rebuy to only down $35.

11:39pm EST... I called a preflop raise from Coach. I should had known that he had a premium hand, but I suspected he had a marginal hand was raising only because he was on the button. Man... was I wrong. I had J-10 suited so I called. The flop: A-K-Q. Coach had trip Aces. I flopped a Broadway straight. I was properly fucked on the turn like a cheap strung out hooker... when a King fell and Coach made his fullhouse. "Oh the humanity!" as Iggy would scream in a drunken tirade! I suspected superhuman strength when he raised me. I just called and prayed for a miracle on the river. Alas, I was drawing dead. He flipped over his cards... and I was smoked. Aces full of Kings. That whooped my straight. I had just fifty cents left... and felt so.... used and abused and had no money left. I should have chosen a career in porn, sure, I'm still just a piece of meat, but at least I would have gotten off few times.

I needed a break before a rebuy. Had to make a few phonecalls and went downstairs. It was pouring outside which sucked. I got some ice cream and went back upstairs. I missed a huge hand... which I'm sure will be one of the highlights of Ugarte's Poker Grovel.

11:48pm EST... Follow the Queen is called and Ugarte was heads up with Marie. Ugarte had a starigh flush and bet out. Of course, Marie though she only had four of a kind... but when Ferrari looked at all of her cards... he discovered that she did in fact have... five of a kind. Ouch. Poor Ugarte got tapped out the hand right after when his four of a kind in Anaconda lost to a higher four of a kind.

Several of the players left and we only had four players remaining. Ugarte stuck around and acted as dealer the remainder of the night.
Late Night Players:
Seat 1: Dan
Seat 2: Ferrari
Seat 3: Marie
Seat 4: Pauly
We only played hold'em. I reluctantly did a rebuy. Behold... a list of

12:07am EST... AKs lost to 99. The flop: A-K-9. Yeah I walked into that one.

12:11am EST... AK lost K-8s when the board read: 3-8-3-8-J. Ouch. I was down -150 for the night.

1:10am EST... AKs lost to Ferrari's A-5. Ouch, double ouch. Big Slick getting maliciously beat down like a Russian dissident.

OK, I made a decent run despite all the bad beats... I won a pot with AK and a bigger pot with 66 when I flopped a set. I was only down $60 at one point. But that was short lived.

1:50am EST... Pauly sees AA and knew they were gonna get cracked. I didn't have to call Mistress Cleo to get the skinny. The flop: 2-3-4. Of course, as if one cue, another 2 hit the turn. And I lost to Dan's A-2. Ouch, double ouch, triple fuck.

I suffered a slew of bad beats. My repuatation of a loose-aggressive player hurt me big time. Even when I slowed down and only played big hands... my raises were not enough to drive people out.

Of course the MVP was Coach. He won big Omaha hands and smoked me with his AA. He did very well. He taught me a new legal term: Mopery.

What is mopery? Mopery is the act of exposing yourself to a blind person. Thank goodness for Coach... now I know it's a crime and I will stop flashing the kids at the NY School for the Blind.

Ferrari had a bad night. He rallied back, but he still was off his game, mainly due to a series of several river cards that spelled his doom. Alas, Ugarte had been on a sweet run since he got back from his holiday in Paris & Pakistan. But last night... was an evening I'm sure he'd like to forget. Me too.
The Final Tally:
Coach +206
Joel +93
Josh +19
Mike +14
Dan -17
Marie -40
Ferrari -70
Pauly -75
Ugarte -119
Off for Vegas, with $75 less in my bankroll. D'oh!
Lost on a Rainy NYC Night

Something happened about ninety minutes ago... that is worth at least a short story, but for now... due to time constraints, I'll just mention the overview of what happened.

I left Signor Ferrari's at 2am. Played poker all night and was mentally drained. I was in a hurry to get outta there. I played like shit all night and lost $75. It was pouring out, heavy droplets of rain and the street corners were all flooded with massive puddles the size of small lakes. No cabs in sight. I walked several long blocks across town to the subway station on Seventh Avenue. My plan was to take the train uptown and meet up with Haley. It was going to be the last time we could hang out before I left for Vegas. She had to work until Midnight, so she was up and about. Alas, I was going to call her to let her know I was on my way. Just before I walked into the subway, I realized I left my cell phone at Ferrari's! I never do shit like that. The phone is the first thing I check for... alas, I was in a rush and my mind was focused on other things... including replaying every bad hand of poker fromt he previous five hours... and anticipating my trip to Vegas and three Phish concerts, while forgetting about the now.... in the moment. I had to walk all the way back to Ferrari's in the cold, pouring rain. I was miserable.

When I got my cell phone back, I walked one block and a cab pulled up. Normally, I'd take the subway to 72nd Street. But for some reason I said, "Fuck it." and splurged, probably because I was soaking wet and wasted too much time go back to Ferrari's.

My cab driver was a young Pakistani man by the name of Mohhammed Ali. I'm not shitting you, that's what his picture ID said. Anyway, his wife was sitting in the front seat riding shotgun and eating some sweet smelling food. I wanted to ask, but chose not to get involved. I thought it was kinda weird, almost 2:30am in NYC and a cabbie is driving around the Upper West Side with his wife on one of the worst nights weather wise in a long time and a dejected card player in the backseat. Oh well. Of course as the cab pulled up to Haley's corner, the rain was reduced to a minor drizzle.

Monday, April 12, 2004

The Countdown...

Vegas beckons thee... like a cold beer taunting me on a sweltering summer day... like a neatly wrapped present underneath an elegantly decorated tree early on Christmas morning.

I heard the Bellagio had a blackout this weekend. Can anyone confirm? Ah, I like playing at the Mirage anyway. I'll be there or at the sports book in the Mandalay Bay, one day from... now!
Planet Felicia 3

Another bad decision cost me a shot at the money in a tournament. That is the sad story of my life. Anyway... congrats to Paul's Burbon for winning last night's event hosted by Felicia on Planet Poker. We had a decent sized turnout of 16 (for a holiday that's pretty good!) and I made the final table and was 3rd in chips looking decent and busted out 9th when I walked right into Paul's Burbon's KK. I had A9s. Bad call = Bad Pauly. Good job to all the money winners.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Penguin Droppings
"Somedays you're the pigeon, and somedays you're the statue." - The Poker Penguin
Phish Tickets!

Here are my Phish tickets to the shows later this week (Thurs, Fri & Sat) in Vegas. Now I am starting to get restless... between poker and Phish, I will be one happy camper this upcoming week.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Iggy Does Good and Another Profitable Saturday

Congrats to uber-player Iggy for his feat today. You rock bro.

Alas, I had an interesting day as I watched the Yankees game and the Masters and hit the tables at Party Poker. First up, I played at the NL ring game with Grubby. He's my hero... playing three $30 SNGs at the same time while sitting in the ring game with me. He saw me get my first ever four of a kind! I had 10-10, flopped a 10 and told Grubby I was going to hit the quads... which I promptly did on the river. A huge pot for sure.

Played NL with Stinky Pants for a little bit and one of Al Can't Hang's buddies... Lanlow. When I was playing multiple tables, NL and $2-4 with Maudie... I hit my second four of a kind of the day in the NL game.
PaulyMcG balance $75.75, bet $60.60, collected $75.75, net +$15.15 [ 6s 6h ] [ four of a kind, sixes -- 9c,6s,6h,6c,6d ]
Four sixes this time. I was on a roll. (Party Poker failed to email me my other hand history with the four 10s.)

I had a $22/hr win rate at the NL ring games. I had a +9BB performance at the $2-4 table and then bumped up to $3-6 to test out the games that I have been hearing about. I did fairly well, up 15BB for the session. I think my bankroll is almost at a point where I can play those games with more frequency.

Before I left for the day, I played a $5 SNG with Jerry and placed second. Played one with him on Friday and won it all. Alas, I had one of my best days on Party Poker. Every game I seemed to play, I hit flops with my good cards.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Another Day at the Tables & Derek's Straight Flush
"Always look out for #1. But don't step in #2." - Rodney Dangerfield
My brother hit a straight flush on Party Poker the other day. I forgot to blog it... a low limit game and he chased for the hell of it, pissing off a guy who flopped a nut flush. Way to go bro. I have never done that. Last time we were in Vegas, Derek also got a straight flush at the Luxor.

HDouble told me that he got four aces on his birthday. Nice, very nice.

Earlier today, I won a $5 SNG. I also got rocked this afternoon on the NL ring games... including flopping a fullhouse then losing to a four of a kind... runner-runner. A hand like that makes me wanna jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

Alas, I watched Maduie play a few hands (she won two big pots back-to-back with AJ!) and then ended up back on a NL ring table. I was joined by Bad Blood Poker and of course Stinky Pants was on the rail cheering me on. They saw me take down a huge pot, which brought me back to even for the day.

Another Big Slick Adventure... AK vs. Small Pairs

$25 NL ring game... UTG I get AKo. I bring it in for a raise of $2. Next to my left, short stacked guy went all-in for $5 more. The big stack called, as did the other small stack in LP. I went over the top... all-in. The big stack called and the other small stack folded. AK vs 33. Another classic matchup... a coin toss. I flopped an A and it was history. I won a $60 pot which was sweet since I had most of my good hands cracked the last two days.

Now, I'm done with poker for a little bit (meaning the rest of today) .... work, writing, and a busy social schedule dictates my life the next 72 hours.... I have a couple of home games to play in... and then on Tuesday... I'm off to Vegas for one week. Which reminds me that I have to do laundry. See ya on the flip side.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Blogger Party on Party Poker... Hanging with Halverson, BG, and Iggy McBoobs

Party Poker is an amazing place to play. In the last two nights I was able to sit at tables with some of my fellow bloggers. (I hope to build up my bankroll someday to hit the $5-$10 tables with HDouble and Grubby!) Last night... it was me and Chris Halverson. I noticed he was on two 50c/$1 tables and I joined on for a little bit. He had a great entry called: Vegas Bound and Playing with Pauly. Chris had a monster night. Read all about it.

And then... just a few moments ago, I had the pleasure of playing a $10 SNG with both Iggy and Boy Genius. The players at that table had no idea what they were running into. I didn't win and busted on on the bubble... but it was one of the most hilarious games I ever played online. Between Iggy being drunker than Ted Kennedy on St. Patrick's Day... and Boy Genius hell bent on setting one player on tilt through the chat... I was having a blast. Yeah, I myself... the non-drinking (while playing) poker player had a few cocktails with NYC Poker Babe after work (gotta love the top shelf vodka at the bar in the Time Hotel) and was a little tipsy when I hit the tables.

On the very first hand I set a player all-in with K-10 when I had K-K. Astonished, I doubled up on the first hand and didn't do anything the rest of the SNG. Alas, BG got a run of shitty cards and ended out in 5th. I followed next and Iggy... well of course Iggy won the whole thing when he went heads-up against tilt-boy. Here's some of the crazy chat with a guy I'll refer to as Tilt Boy:
Tilt Boy: games not over yet bro, we will see the competence level i posses as oppsed to u
Tilt Boy: dont judge me by what u dont know
Iggy: let me guess
Iggy: public schools tilt boy?
Boy Genius: phonics monkey?
Tilt Boy: no, i go to the largest business school in new england
Tilt Boy: didnt know i had to spell words correctly for u morons to read what i write
Tilt Boy: but i be more careful from now on
Tilt Boy: and competence is judge based on a type-o?
Boy Genius: no, it's judgeD based on a typo
Tilt Boy: well i would like to say im pleased to be in a room full of brilliance
Boy Genius: good to see the largest B-school in all of NE can help you identify genius
Tilt Boy: no, someone made a comment about public schools
Iggy: i did!
Boy Genius: i'm the freaking ron popeil of poker
Iggy: shouldnt you be on a ledge somewhere?
Tilt Boy: wtf is this the spanish inquisition
PaulyMcGrupp: hey tough guy tilt boy, do u go to harvard b-school?
Boy Genius: no one expects the spanish inquisition
Tilt Boy: no, bentley college
PaulyMcGrupp: then stop talkin smack
Iggy: sometimes when i sneeze i pee
Boy Genius: yeah, b-school certainly trains the next wave of independent thought
Tilt Boy: what do you do for a living bro?
Boy Genius: all you need to know is that i like two things
Boy Genius: bubble gum and kicking some ass
Boy Genius: and i'm all out of bubble gum
So all this crazy shit-talkin' banter was over the course of the first two levels of the SNG. It was too freakin hilarious. I haven't read through the enitre hand history, but BG had some funny shit to say. Both he and Iggymiester were hazing the shit out of Tilt Boy. A fun night for sure.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Watching Pauly: The WPT Satellite II
"Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt..." - Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act I, Sc. 5
Where to begin? First of all, I have to thank everyone for their support. I woke up this morning truly humbled by the adoration and support from my brother, friends, and fellow poker bloggers. Thanks to all of you for staying up late. My brother has to get up at 5:30 every morning to make his trek down to Wall Street, but he hung in there to the very end (almost 1:43am EST) as did so many of you. Al Can't Hang was there from start to finish providing the updates and showering me with phrases like:
Everyone is here now (watching). You can go ahead and win the damn thing!
HDouble gets a ton of credit in his scouting abilities. During a break, he shared with me some notes on a player at one of my tables. It came in handy later on when I went all-in over the top of the guy when he re-raised me.

My buddy Jerry was watching in Miami. Even his lovely wife Sara got hooked on the drama and stayed up late to cheer me on (thet're bumming this morning though... but I do sincerely appreciate the fact that so many of you suffered severe sleep deprivation to be there). Whenever I won a pot there would be a random comment from a different blogger. That fired me up. That was jet fuel. That was smack for a junkie. A sip of warm hooch for an alkie. Yes, I had some great railbirds... Felicia, Maudie, Chris Halverson, Boy Genius, Grubby, Signor Ferrari... and the rest of the folks out that silently cheered... Bad Blood mentioned he watched. Knowing that you were out there was inspiring. In some cheesy way, when I won a pot, didn't we all feel elated? And when I lost a pot, didn't we share in the disappointment? True drama. And it was free. The ups, the downs, the twists, the turns. To hell with reality TV. My life never ceases to amazing me. A TV show would never do me justice. I deserve an entire freakin' channel.

Editor's Note: OK I'll save that rant for another post. Hey, if I forgot to mention you watching, please forgive me... just shoot me an email and I'll add you to the roll call.

And lastly... in true Obi Wan Kenobi fashion (to my Luke Skywalker)... when times got tough, Iggy's words rang through my head and kept me focus on the task on hand. But he didn't saying anything Zen Buddhist or George Lucas like "Use the force." Rather he simply stated, "Make moves!"
6 April 2004, WPT Satellite ($330+ $25), 312 Players
1. WPT Seat ($27,000 Value) at the Championships at the Bellagio
2. WPT Seat
3. WPT Seat
4. $6300
5. $3780
6. $2520
7th thru 312: Nothing
Level 1: Started with T1000. Levels are 20 minutes long. 312 players. I was at a table with 9 players. Some of my early folds were 2-2, A-9 and A-4s in LP in unraised pots. Then I got Big Slick in the big blind. UTG raised and doubled the blinds. Both the LB and myself called. Flop: J-9-4. Everyone checked. The turn: 10. LB checked, I bet the min. UTG called and the LB pulled a check-raise of T125. Did he make a straight? I called and UTG folded. The river: Q. Bam. I made my Broadway Straight. No flush possibilities, so I had the nuts. LB bet 400. I re-raised all-in about 820 more. LB called with K-Qs. Ouch. River saved me. I had 3 outs after the turn to win and caught one. I doubled up with T1995.

Level 2: With 275 players remaining and an avg stack of T1151 I was where I wanted to be. I caught JJ in middle position. I am going to write something up soon about Pauly's Trouble Hands... A-Q and J-J. I can't stand them both. They malicioulsy taunt me like a jilted ex-girlfriend. Alas, I limped in with JJ and fold to a flop with an Ace. I have T1975 and playing tight.

Level 3: About 187 players left with an avg stack of T1390. I folded 77 in EP. I limp-folded 99 in MP to a raise behind me. With JJ UTG I raised (4x BB). The button reraised to 500. I folded to AQ and QQ. I would have won with a J on the turn. I guess it was a good lay down, but I should have limped in UTG. That was my first mistake of the night. It only cost me T90 in chips, but it was a bad play period. I escaped with T1740.

Level 4: Field was down to 187 and the avg stack was almost T1700. I played 10-9s on the button and A-9s in LP. Bailed after the flop in both instances.

You Have to Beat a Superior Hand Heads Up if You Want to Advance

I shall go into more depth on the issue later in a future blog. But now, you get the example. AJ in MP. I almost walked into a huge trap. The BB did not raise the pot preflop with KK. I limped in with AJ. I bet on the flop: 4-J-6 and he called. When a 7 hit on the turn I put the BB all-in. He called with his KK. I caught an Ace on the river and took down KK. Would I have folded if he raised pre-flop? Probably. Alas, with T2375 I had twice as many chips as I had the week before when I got bounced in 71st. Time to play tight and not get involved in dangerous pots.

Level 5: Half the players had been eliminated, only 149 left with an avg. stack of 2100. I got a table change and I was 3/10 in chips at my new table. I got a dangerous hand... K7S on the button. Normally I'll see a flop for a cheap when I have position with almost anything. I hadn't played a hand in a while and wanted to test out my table so I limped in. The flop: 9-9-7. I had two pair, but someone must have the set. I check-called and bailed out on the turn when a 10 hit with a possible straight. Boy Genius discusses this hand in a recent blog but he thought I had K9 not K7:
Those are the types of hands that kill me. At least Pauly had the good sense to just call on the flop (again, assuming he was playing at least a set)... Normally, on a flop like that one, I'd have probably went in for a raise, and someone with 8T would have chased. And, of course, hit the straight. And I would have been stinging from the hit. Good and sensible. That's our Pauly.
I ended the level with T1855.

Level 6: 109 players left with an av. stack of T2800. Another table change. Had to adjust to new players. Was 9/10 in chips at my new table. There was a guy named Wang and he was raising a lot of pots from LP. I knew he most likely never had anything. I limp in UTG with AQ. Another trouble hand. Wang raised about half my stack. I called to see a flop and didn't like it, when 3 spades including a King hit. I was fucked and pissed and left with T505. It was time for a break and I ate a slice of poundcake.

Level 7: With just 81 remaining, I was on the verge of being the next to go. Time to be aggressive. I have to thank Felicia for some sound advice in plugging the leaks in my short-stack game. I still need work, but I have made a definite improvement. Heeding her advice I knew that the next hand I played... I would have to go all-in on and hope to double up. I got 2-2 and I was ready to pull the trigger but I got gun-shy! Seriously. I had not seen a pair in almost two hours. But I folded. The very next hand 2-2. It was time. I went all-in against AK.

The Classic Matchup: Low Pair vs Big Slick

Have you sent hose stats the the WPT cuts to just before commercials (right after a nice shot of Shana)? What is the better hand 2-2 vs A-K? Statistically heads up 2-2 is the better hand. But it's a coin flip. I was ready to start packing. I was done for. But no aces or kings fell on the board. I doubled up and was fired up. I felt like Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction when that guy ran out of the bathroom shooting at them like a madman... and he missed with every shot! And what happened after that? Still alive by a miracle, Jules killed them all. After that hand I had T1815 after being down to T505. I could hear the rumble of everyone watching me play. A few bloggers rattled off congrats in the chat. Al Can't Hang wrote me: You're my god dammed hero!

I folded JJ but ended up go all-in UTG with 99. My Jacks-o-phobia kicked in, but shit, Nines are a whole different story. No one called and I stole the blinds. Next up A-J my lucky hand for the tourney. I went all-in preflop in LP over the top of two players who limped in. One guy called with KQs. I caught a J on the flop and I was golden. I doubled up once again for the second time within fifteen minutes. I had T3930 when the level ended. A huge difference from the T505 I started with. With more energy, I was alive again. HDouble suggested I calm down and play smart.

Level 8: 54 players left with T5600 the avg. stack. I stole some blinds with A-medium suited twice. I lost with A-10s UTG to a shortstacked QQ trying to knock him out. It cost me about T1200. When the level ended I was around T2500.

Level 9: I'm about 40th with 48 players left and the avg. stack of T6600.

Overcards vs. Middle Pairs

I had AJ again in MP. I limped and the button raised. He's the guy that HDouble gave me some notes on. I made him for a medium pair, possible A-medium suited. The time to act goes so quickly in tournaments. I wish I could have studied him more. I made a quick snap decision and went all-in. He called with 77 and it was a race! The flop: K-3-4. The turn: A. Nice, very nice. I was leading and I could breath for a millisecond. The turn: 6. I made my pair of aces and doubled up with T5540. Signor Ferrari wrote me:
To borrow a line from Han Solo... "You're doing great kid. Now don't get cocky."
Two hands late Big Slick. I raised and everyone folded. No action. With A8 in the BB I caught a huge flop with A-x-8. The level ended and I had T6340.

Level 10: I'm around 17th out of 36. Avg. stack is T8600. My buddy Wang, the bluffer raised a pot and I called with JJ. I figured I had him on bluff-steal. I had all rags hit the flop and moved all-in. He folded. Up to T7800. Then I folded AK UTG after I saw a flop of QQ8. I figured someone betting had the Q and wasn't willing to pay to see any more cards. I had AK again on the button and caught a flop with a K. I stole some blinds with preflop raises with A-10 and A-2 suited and ended the level with T8740.

Level 11: I was 16th out of 28. With the avg. stack around T12000. The blinds were 400/800 and coming around quick at my shorthanded table.

Miracle River

I should have been knocked out when I went all-in preflop with A-10s against JJ. I had T4400 and the button's raise put me all-in which I called from the LB. The flop: 5-2-3. The turn: J. I was fucked. I only had four outs. I needed a 4 for the inside straight. Then... BOOM! The river: 4. A miracle 4. I was fired up. I was pumped. A slew of congrats hit the chat. My brother could not believe my luck on the river. Once again saved. I needed cards if I wanted to go to the Bellagio. And I was catching them.

I few hands later I had A-10s again. I flopped a full boat: 10-A-A. I slowplayed and let people try to catch cards. I won T5000 in that pot. Nice. I saw a flop with AK UTG and folded when all hearts hit. I ended up with T9954.

Level 12: I'm around 11th out of 21 left. Two tables. I was so close. Avg. stack was T14,000. I didn't play any hands and the table was fairly tight. I went all-in in the BB with A2s against the LB A9. I got lucky when the board had two pairs and I ended up chopping the pot. Whew. Saved again on the river! The level ended and I was right back where I started at T9500.

Level 13: I'm mentally drained. It's past 1:30am EST. Been playing for 4.5 hours. 18 players left. I was 15th. I had strong hands and made some moves. AK, AQ, A10s... I went all-in and stole blinds. I had AJ on the button and folded to two players who went all-in (10-10 and 7-7). When there were 12 players left, my table went to six handed. I had a little over T10,000. The blinds were 750/1500 and coming around fast. I won a pot with AQ but lost all my blinds and could not play back to raises. Then I saw 7-7. I took a deep breath. It was time to make a move. I went all-in and A3 on the button called me. He caught a 3 on the flop and I was leading until he hit an Ace on the turn. It was over and I was bounced in 12th. I probably never should had made it that far. I used up all my good cards in prior hands.

I was disappointed and dejected, but honored that so many people watched and hung in there for almost every hand. That made me absorb the brutalness of the loss. I was so close to making the Final Table. I knew that once I got into the final 10 that it didn't matter how many chips I had. I knew if I got that far, I could make the right plays to win a seat. I got several nice emails and messages from everyone telling me that I played great! Thanks again.

Oh well. That's that. My next pursuit will be a seat at the World Series of Poker.

Thanks again for everyone who watched and cheered me on. You guys rock. For some good write-ups on last night, visit both Boy Genius and Al Can't Hang.
Bounced 12th... D'oh! No Bellagio for Pauly
"Nobody ever talks about the guy who took his shot and missed..." - Mike McD, Rounders
I was so close... WPT Satellite... bounced 12th out of 312. I had a chance at winning a seat at the WPT Championships at teh Bellagio. Top 3 places would have gotten seats (worth $27,000). Places 4-5-6 got cash. Ah and I blew it. 7-7 vs A-3o. The nimrod caught a 3 on a flop and an A on the turn. Oh well. The coolest part was knowing that I had so many of my fellow poker bloggers, friends, and fans watching... and rooting me on. To all of you about twenty or so... maybe more? Thanks... I might have lost at poker, but knowing that I have an amazing and loyal support system, is a blessing. In life, that makes me a winner. Thanks again. I could never had gotten that far without everyone cheering me on and hangin on every friggin' card! More to come.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Big Night...

I suggest you read the post from last week around this time: Sink or Swim: The Biggest Night of My Life.

In two hours... at 9pm EST... the WPT Championship at the Bellagio satellite on Party Poker. Time to get some food and relax while watching the Yankees game.
Another Late Monday Night at Ferrari's

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:

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
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.

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.

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.
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.

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:
Signor Ferrari +348
Austin +74
Diane +40
Pauly +30.50
James +10
Coach -2
Marie -150
Christian -160
Mike -180
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.