Tuesday, May 18, 2004

The Game with the Floppy Thing in the Middle: Another Monday Night at the Blue Parrot
"The next dealer picked a game that I think was called "take Dawn's money." I'm not sure what the rules were, but we each got four cards and then there was a flop and some other stuff happened and then, they took my money." - Dawn
It was one of those Monday nights at Signor Ferrari's. I was hoping to continue my hot streak (after posting a $200+ win the week before) and end my weekend losing streak. Alas, I walked in hoping to kick some ass, and when it was over, I was shocked how much money I won. Why? Because I did not have a good hand all night. OK, that's not true. I had some decent hands and some not so good hands. But like Cool hand Luke once said, "Sometimes nothing's a good hand."
The Players:
Seat 1: Asphnixma from Riding the F Train
Seat 2: Sugata
Seat 3: Christian
Seat 4: Ferrari
Seat 5: Rick Blaine
Seat 6: Joel
Seat 7: Coach
Seat 8: Ugarte
Seat 9: Dawn
Seat 10: Pauly
Sugata made his return after missing the last few months of games. Christian came late, and actually filled Dawn's seat midway through the session. With four different blogs being represented, the game got a lot of bloggage today.

7:35pm EST... And here's a bit of what a newcomer, Dawn, said about playing with us boys for the first time:
Last night was the big game. We played at Signor Ferrari's apartment (Ugarte and Pauley) were also in attendance. I knew I was in trouble when one player referred to another, as "one of the poker bloggers."

Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't be playing my third game of poker in a room full of men who blog about poker.

Once everyone was seated around the table, we were each dealt one card face up.

"What're these for?" Dawn casually asks.

"It's dealer's choice. High card picks."

"What does dealer's choice mean?" Dawn nervously asks.

"Dealer picks the game."

"Umm...we're not playing poker?"

Considering in my life I had only ever played 5 card stud where jokers and twos were wild and Texas hold 'em (which I learned by watching celebrities play on tv), I imagine in that moment I collapsed into a pile of chips right before their very eyes. Easy sucker money.
I heard that Al Can't Hang did a spit take when he read it earlier today.

8:23pm EST... Texas Hold'em was called and UTG, I found KK (ironically my best hand of the night). I raised which drew a few cat calls from the pokerati (Ferrari, Ugarte, and Coach). Of course, my loose-aggressive behavior in past games has pegged me for a loose-maniac. And I had a great hand this time, hoping that someone would call me. I think I got two callers, including Dawn in the big blind. The flop: K-J-9. I flopped a set. Another 9 fell on the turn and I made my full house. I guess Rick had told Dawn that I bluff at a lot of pots, so she was still hanging in there, although she was drawing dead. Alas, I flipped over the Dudes, and took down my first pot of the night. It was the only pot I won the first two hours. In the Strangest Hand of the night... Ferrari raised a game of hold'em in MP. Coach called and so did F Train in one of the blinds. The flop: A-x-x. Both Ferrari and Coach let out a collective sigh. Ferrari folded and put his cards to the side to show the table after the hand was over. Coach quickly did the same. Did both guys have KK or QQ? I figured they had either of the two. Alas, F Train had A-Q and Ferrar and Coach showed their pocket Dudes. Both folded KK on the flop. That's discipline, laying down a hand like that when you know it's beat. Prime example why they are good players. A lot of other players would have kept seeing cards when they get attached to their high pocket pairs.

9:01pm EST... I'm down -50. Joel called his favorite game: 5 Card Stud hi/lo with a Replace. It came down to heads up with F Train and Ugarte, who had three diamonds showing and chose to replace his fifth card. And of course, he caught the King of diamonds that gave him his flush. When F Train took his replace card, he paired his door card, a 3, which was enough for Ugarte to attempt to win both the high and low when he declared and scooped the entire pot.

9:40pm EST... I was down -68. Ouch. Missed played a few hands of Omaha. Had A-2 twice and both time no low qualified. Joel took down a winning pot with a flush against Ferrari who flopped a straight or a set. My only notable scribblings in my notes included the following quote after Rick Blaine ripped a fairly loose a juicy fart (some would say it was a borderline "check your shorts" variety).
Coach: "Would you fart again, Rick?"
Rick Blaine: "You didn't even have to ask."
What could be better than fart jokes at a poker table between two of our nation's finest legal minds? I expect that sort of low brow Jackass-influenced humor to come from bong-rattling cretins who parited their way through state schools... not from the sort of gentlemen who were educated in the Ivy Leagues. Only at the Blue Parrot. And yeah, Ferrari made Coach take off his jacket and tie... when he sat down at the table. Ferrari has his rules. No shoes and no ties.

10:02pm EST... Rick and F Train were mugged by a pizza delivery man. Well, not really. He forgot to bring a 2 liter of Ginger Ale, and promised to come back with the bottle. Of course, he never showed up. The bastard. Next time were gonna hold his green card for insurance. Otherwise we'll drop a quick dime on him and he'd get picked up by the Federalies, and be spending the next week getting body cavity searched in Riker's Island by the thugs in Homeland Security. All because he ripped Rick Blaine off for a friggin bottle of ginger ale. Don't mess with Rick Blaine. He has chunks of punks like that soda pop thief in his stool.

Back to poker. Coach called Seven Card Stud Push. It's a game where each time you get an up card, you have the opportunity to pass it down to the player on your left... for $1, and so on and so forth. (Example: I get the 10h. I'm trying to get a low hand, so I push the card to F Train and throw $1 into the pot. I get a new card, a 5s, which is awesome. My gamble paid off. Now F TRain has to decide whether he wants to keep a 10 or pass it to Sugata. Since he has a 10-10 as his hole cards, he keeps it... Then Sugata gets dealt a card... and it's his turn...) I had low cards the entire way: 4-6/A-2-5-7 and caught an 8 for a straight on seventh street. I decided that a straight was not good enough to win, with a flush possibility on the board from both F Train and Coach, so I just jammed the pot with my low, which was locked up. In the end Coach's Ace flush beat out F Train's King flush.

Coach and I chopped a $270 pot. And that was big for me. I was now only down $5 for the night! Dawn blogged a mini conversation she overheard (and that I forgot, what I uttered until I read it on her blog. Here's her take:
After winning one particularly huge pot, Ugarte asked Pauley how much money he had taken in. Obviously, trying to be cagey and witty, Pauley feigns some mental calculations and then says:

"Oh, I don't know, the square root of 64!'

At least three people at the table simultaneously say "8?"

Ugarte: "I don't think you were as inscrutable as you were trying to be."

Embarrassed Pauley hangs his head.
Alas, I hung my head because I couldn't recall the word: inscrutable ever used at a poker table before, wedged in between a fart joke and a comment about Britney Spear's pubic hair, or lack there of.

10:40pm EST... Ferrari and Christian grappled in the first of several battles. Christian raised preflop and only Ferrari called. The flop: A-K-x. I joked, "Someone is pumped about their Big Slick." And I picked up a tell from Christian, right away after I said that. He had AK and it was interesting to see what Ferrari had. Another rag fell on the turn and when a 10 hit on the river, Ferrari came out firing. Alas, his A-10s was not enough for Christians Big Slick.

11:15pm EST... Omaha 8/b... I had Kh-10h-10d-9d. I limped in and the flop: Qd-Jx-4d. I called with my opened ended straight draw, and a flush draw. A ten hit on the turn and I made my set. The pot was getting jammed at that point by Ferrari and Christian. I had to assume one of them had a straight. When a 4 fell on the turn, I had a full boat, and the way Ferrari was raising, I assumed he had a 4 and possibly a full boat. But Christian was raising away and after it was capped... he turned over: QQ. Ouch, Queens full over fours. Ferrari had J4 for fours full over Jacks, and my 10s full were not enough to win. I pick up a few pots in hold'em and I fight my way up to $60.

Late Night Poker

Yep, when it gates late, the games get a little more brutal. The table gets looser. The players are tired. The huge swings happen after Midnight. Ask Rick. Ask Ferrari. Ask Swish. Shit, I'll tell you... the money that flows back and forth on the table after Midnight is enough to suck out your entire bankroll, or enough to eradicate your loses and pull even.
The Late Night Players:
Seat 1: F Train
Seat 2: Christian
Seat 3: Ferrari
Seat 4: Rick Blaine
Seat 5: Ugarte
Seat 6: Pauly
12:01am EST... $3-6 hold'em... Ferrari is heads up with Christian, who raised preflop. Ferrari, in the blinds called with Q-10s. Christian's A-Ks was the winner when he caught a flush on the river. I think Ferrari had top pair on the flop and (or at least a pair) and again, Christian sucked one out on the river. Another Frustrating match up for Ferrari. Here's what Dawn thought of our reaction to Christian's appearance:
The phone rang and it was someone wanting to know if there was any more room at the table. His name was, I believe "dead money."... Seeing my opportunity I said I would be leaving soon, dead money was then told to come over (oh and "to hit the ATM heh heh heh")... These guys are evil.
Earlier in the night, Ferrari's Big Slick didn't hold up to Christian's A-A! Here's how Ugarte views Christian's play:
The news of Christain's impending arrival was greeted with whoops and hollers. He is a good guy with a habit of losing a lot of money at our game. His reputation cost Ferrari a lot of money last night...

Christian's raises haven't been respected in a long time, so Ferrari probably thought he was going to drag a big pot with Big Slick when (1) Christian capped the betting preflop and (2) an A hit on the flop (maybe a K as well; I really need to take better notes). The pot got very large, particularly for heads up, and you could have knocked Ferrari over with a feather when Christian turned over Rockets.
It was another rough night for Ferrari. Last week it was Swish. Last night it was Christian's turn to be the spoiler in his night.

12:11am EST... +120 after I won a huge pot of Follow the Queen. Ugarte got a Queen on fourth street which meant whatever card I got next was a wild card... until another Queen came out (which never happened). Deuces were wild, and I had a one underneath with an Ace showing. In the end, I missed a flush and had a straight. I ended up winning in a three way pot with Rick and Ugarte, neither could beat my flimsy Ace high straight.

12:14am EST... Anaconda. Always a tough game. I had a nice low and I was waiting to fill it the Wheel, but I missed it. Here's how I arranged my cards to disguise my busted low (rolling each card one at a time): A-5-2-4-9. On fourth street I had A-5-2-4-X exposed, and Christian had A-2-3-6-X. With X being a 7. The way I confidently kept jamming and reraising the pot (thanks also to Ferrari who was battling out the high with Rick and jamming the pot) which made Christian fold. There were a few $25 chips in the pot, that was filled with plenty of blue and green $10 and $5 chips. There is a declare in this game and you have to say your intentions for the high, the low, or both. I don't like declares. I like to have The Cards Speak! Here's what the F Train has to say about it:
Now, I'm not such a fan of "declare" games. I think that for any game, cards should speak. Quite often, there are only three players left in the hand by the time of the declare, two going one way and the third going the other. The declare allows the solitary player an extra betting round to build the pot. I have been on both sides of that coin, and frankly don't care for either. Be that as it may, those are the rules at the Blue Parrot.
The pot was well over $200 and I chopped it with Ferrari. I flipped over my 9 (because you have to show your hand to win the low regards if you are the only one left) and Christian was pissed. I think that set him on tilt. I had almost $300 in chips!

12:34am EST... I lost a few hands of hold'em and won Follow the Queen with four sevens! I ended up with $280 in chips.

I guess that huge bluff in Anaconda helped me out. That and chopping Coach's Seven Card Push was enough for me to stomach all the other poor plays on my part. I won $200+ in the last two hours of play... and both Rick and Ugarte's huge multi-colored stacks slowly dwindled away. At one point Ugarte cornered the market on the rare $25 white chips.
The Final Tally:
Pauly +180
Rick Blaine +81
Dawn +24
Coach +15
Sugata -3.50
Ugarte -23.50
Christian -55
Joel -70
Ferrari -72
F Train -73
Yeah, I'm on a roll. Consecutive weeks of being the big winner at the Blue Parrot. Let's hope the streak continues next week, when Ferrari hosts his second NL tourney!

OK, go read about Tony Randall next...

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