Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Monday at the Blue Parrot
"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive...
and all the impersonators would be dead."
- Johnny Carson
Well, it had been a while since Signor Ferrari hosted a game. I was eager to get back into the action. I fared well, my previous two times and wanted to get a little quick cash and gas money before I hit the road on Saturday morning. Last night, some familiar mugs were missing. Rick Blaine and his wife moved to San Francisco (anyone in the Bay Area looking for players, drop Rick Blaine an email. I will vouch for the guy. He's a gentleman and a scholar. Plus, he's the dude from Rick's Cafe.) Ugarte was away on holiday and Coach was on his honeymoon. A couple of occasional players dropped in and we had a new face to the mix. Apshnxma, a fellow poker blogger from Riding the F Train, has picked up Rick's old seat and was fresh off a satellite win at the Borgata (he won a seat at the $1500 NL later this year.) And writer, Diane Roy, joined the big boys for a second time. During her first appearance at the Blue Parrot, she took the money and ran! And posted a good sized win.
The Cast
Seat 1: Asphnxma
Seat 2: Dan
Seat 3: Signor Ferrari
Seat 4: Sugata
Seat 5: Diane (arrived late)
Seat 6: Charlie
Seat 7: Dr. Pauly
8:23pm EST... The game got started late. It was tough getting players last night. I considered holding up a sign next to the odd lot of homeless people panhandling near the entrance to Penn Station. A catchy phrase was all that I needed to snag a few well-off commuters heading back to the burbs for the night.
Need Poker players
$100 buyin
During hold'em, Apshnxma hit four jacks. He had AJ and was head up with Ferrari (x?-10). The flop: 10-x-J. Then it got crazy, when two running Jacks popped up which gave Apshnxma his quads. Nice. During Anaconda, I caught the Wheel, but the pot was fairly small. But it was a win. Let me say that set the tone for me... Anaconda wise. It was the first of six Anaconda pots that I'd win. That's ridiculous. I think we played no more than 10 times. Normally, I'll win one or two big pots and lose a big pot in an average Monday night. The nights when I walk away a winner, are when I don't lose and big pots in Anaconda. $200 and $300 pots are not uncommon (it's a hi/lo game with the pot getting chopped to the two winners with the best high and the best low hand). Coach and I chopped a $350 pot once. That was nice.

9:01pm EST... -25. Playing $2-4 hold'em with five players, I raised in UTG with AA. Ferrari was the LB and reraised. I played back to cap the betting. The flop was no help: 2-8-J rainbow. Betting was capped (I can't recall if Ferrari check-raised on the flop or he bet out. But it was capped). Ferrari emphatically checked on the turn and at that point I knew he flopped a set. I put him on 8-8 especially when the check-raise on the turn came. No help on the river and he bet out. I just called and flipped over 2-2. Ouch. He cracked my aces. It was the first big hand I played all night and I was shot down. Despite my tight play, Ferrari wanted to see a flop. His set did some damage to my stack.

10:17pm EST... -50. Omaha 8b. I limp in on the button with Ks-10s-10-9. The flop: A-Q-x. I called. I caught my Broadway straight on the turn and took down a medium pot.

10:48pm EST... +30. Anaconda and I got a full house 10s over 7s passed to me. It's a toruble hand. I could lose a lot of money with a medicore full boat. The betting gets down on third street and it's me and Dan battling it out for the high share of the pot. Ferrari had the low locked up and was jamming the pot. I knew I had the nuts. Dan was showing a straight. He underestimated the values of hands in Anaconda or he felt that I was flat out bluffing. My reputation as a loose-maniac has spread slowly but surely. I was playing tight all night. I was going to laydown my boat if I saw anyone with a potential higher boat. I jammed the pot and Dan called me down to the river. I chopped a $250 with Ferrari.

11:27pm EST... +10. Diane arrived and right away we were heads up. I took down a nice sized pot with J-8 in the big blind when I flopped two pair. The big blind special, indeed... but I ordered mine with wheat toast. Didn't bring me the toast. Charlie had been getting a nice run of cards and he double up early. I don't recall too many hands he had, but he made it easy for me to fold marginal hands. He'd be raising in front of me, so the decision was easy.

11:48pm EST... +35. Two Anaconda hands. I got the Wheel again and caught Diane in a bluff when she represented a full boat K over 10s with two of each showing. I had nothing. Four to a flush showing (I had a flush, missed a straight flush by two cards.) She didn't have enough chips to chase me out with reraises. She wilted on four street and my flush took down another pot, chopping it with Apshnxma. I hate Anaconda. This is why. It's teases you with good hands and monster pots. Next time, I'll loose the equivalent of one of Al Can't Hang Sunday morning bartabs.

12:13 am EST... +60. Heads up with Ferrari in Anaconda. I had: K-J-K-J on fourth street. He had: 8-9-9-9. I slowed down the betting and got concerned. I had a full house. If he had one I would win. The risk was: Did he have quads? Anaconda is a game of strength. I've seen straight flushes get beat by Royals. Quads beating quads. I got lucky tat time. Ferrari had a full house and I won, but Ferrari saved himself some money by slowing me down. The arrangement of cards in Anaconda is vital in bluffing out your opponent. Great move by Ferrari. I tip-toed through the last round of betting, like a drunk, one-legged man, walking through a mine field.

12:50am EST... +90. Apshnxma took down a nice pot during a round of Follow the Queen. He fought back from almost losing his stack. He had to lay down some good hands. He consistently had the second best hand all night. He had to lay those down or risk losing big pots. Diane and Ferrari were heads up a few times. And I wish I took better notes. Maybe they have more specifics. She caught some good cards. And at one point, she declared actual fear of Signor Ferrari.

(To Ferrari) I'm afraid of you.

Ferrari Shrugs his shoulders.

How afraid? Like, you're afraid of spiders?
Or like, how your afraid of Al-qaeda?

Anaconda was game for the showdown of the night. Ferrari had: 2-3-3-3 showing. Again, he was betting out representing quads. Diane had 6-K-K-6 showing. She had a full house, and would win the pot if Ferrari didn't have quads. It got pretty ugly in the end with all the betting, and, sure enough, Ferrari had the quads. Diane had a feeling he had it, but called anyway. How many times does that happen? I do it a lot. The tough job is laying down hands when they are beat.

I counted up the chips and I was up $86. Not too shabby. No complaints. I was down a lot early after getting the rockets cracked by 2-2 and all those Anaconda pots helped. I got some gas money for the road and I went home a happy dude. Sugata and Dan are good player, they weren't getting good cards all night.
The Final Tally:
Charlie +170
Ferrari +98
Pauly +85
Asphnxma 0
Diane -49
Sugata -140
Dan -160
Next write up will be about the Michigan home game I expect to crash next weekend. More details to come.

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