Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Three Poker Bloggers Walk into a Bar with the Hilton Sisters...
"In the U.S. you have to be a deviant or exist in extreme boredom...Make no mistake; all intellectuals are deviants in the U.S." - William S. Burroughs
The title this this entry could be the start of a really dirty joke. I'll let Ugarte finish that one. I'm always a little nervous in small towns. As a New Yorker, I'm freaked out by everyone's politeness. Usually if someone is nice to you in the big city, they either want money from you, or want to touch you in strange and uncomfortable ways. Polite is just their "in". With that being said, thoughts of vulnerability in small towns make me nervous, like a U.S. marine walking down a sketchy Fallujah street with his pants around his ankles.

Well, I arrived at chez Boy Genius in Grand Haven and we hung out for a while shooting the shit. After checking out the waterfront we headed back. While BG fielded phone calls, we played sample hands of seven card stud and hold'em. BG was getting monster hands. That worried him. We were playing for fun, but he might have used up his good cards quota for the day. Dinner rocked. I had been sparsely eating the prior two weeks while partying and what not. It felt good to get some real protein in me. The wine was smooth. And I encouraged BG to take an eager step towards writing more. He bounced around a few ideas about the direction of his blog, and the direction of his writing. The dude has vision, which I hope he can follow through on because he has some great ideas on where he wants to take his writing. More to come, I'm sure.

The game started a little late. It was a collection of some of BG's regulars, a couple of college guys that Lord Geznikor knows from their home game, and of course... Lord Geznikor and Gil themselves. Everyone seemed nice. It was an honor to meet Lord Geznikor. I'm a fan of his blog and I follow his weekly updates on playing professionally online. I always like to play against good players. That's how you improve yourself.

In all, 12 players with a $20 buy-in for T1115 chips. I'll let BG explain his theory on T1115 chips to begin with. BG had two tables going, and I was seated at the black table with Lord G and BG. I think our host rigged the draw to let the poker bloggers play with each other. It was a great idea.
The Players
Seat 1: BG
Seat 2: Lord Geznikor
Seat 3: Matt
Seat 4: Dr. Pauly
Seat 5: Gil
Seat 6: Mikey (Brother of BG)
I had not played cards in over ten days at that point. I was rusty and was determined to play tight and not force the action. After the concerts, my mind was very fuzzy for sure, I eliminated thousands of brain cells at the same pace Courtney Love churns out on a Thursday afternoon bender. It was BG's birthday and we did a little celebrating that afternoon as well. But I was there to have fun.

8:27pm EST... On the first hand, BG went heads up with Lord G and lost when he bet out on the flop and BG folded.

8:49pm EST... Gil won a few big hands and was the chip leader. I'm on the button with KQo. Everyone folded to me and I called. Gil (LB) called and Mikey (BB)checked. The flop: 10h-Jx-3h. The blinds checked to my open ended straight draw. I bet out and Gil called. The turn: Ax. I nailed the nut straight. Gil checked into me. With two hearts on the board I was worried about a river flush. No time to mess around. I went all-in. Gil took his time to think about it. I figured he was on a flush draw or he had A-little and was trying to figure out if I was trying to steal the pot. He sighed and pushed his chips in. Then, I knew it was a draw. He flipped over Jh-9h. And he had me covered in chips. I doubled up my T975 and had almost T2000. I was the chipleader.

The Lovely Ladies

8:54pm EST... I look down and see Nicky and Paris flashing me. I throw out a bet of T400. Mikey called in LP. The flop: A-4-A. D'oh! I checked and he bet T400. It was an odd bet. I figured he had an Ace that's why he was just betting small to get me to call. If he went all-in I would have guessed he was bluffing trying to steal the pot. I over-thought and forgot about a pearl of wisdom BG shared earlier in the night about his brother bluffing at a lot of pots. I had the chip lead and wanted to play tight. It was still the first hour, so I laid down the Hilton Sisters. Mikey took down the pot and showed me his K-Q. Bluffed by a local thespian! It wasn't the first time I let an actor (actress) bluff me out of a pot.

9:16pm EST... I have T1800+. BG knocked out Gil who tried to catch a straight draw and BG's kings held up. Al Can't Hang called (from Mrs. Hang's cellphone... ACH isn't a cell phone kinda guy) from a beach party at the Borgata in Atlantic City. He wanted to do dial-a-shot. We tried our best. He described his adventure with the words... "whorehouse"... which BG repeated twice while on the phone with ACH. Then we take our first smoke break. I was at the front of the pack overall in chips and feeling good.

9:36pm EST... BG heads up again with Lord G. Rags on the flop and BG pushed his stack all-in with the Hilton Sisters. Lord G had 9-10s and a straight draw. He river'd his straight, but it gave BG a flush. Lord G got knocked out.

9:50pm EST... I'm doing solid with T2080 after I flopped two pair with A4s.

10:32pm EST... Matt is shortstacked at the table and pushed out a decent sized bet preflop. I had AKo and went over the top putting him all-in. He called with KJs. We both flopped a King, but he caught a Jack on the turn and doubled up against me. It was a crucial hand (especially since Matt went on to win it all) because it chopped 2/3 of my stack and started a rush of cards for Matt. I was left with T695 and my first Western Michigan bad beat story.

11:01pm EST... The other table broke up and there was nine of us left. I found AKs and I raised all-in after Matt raised preflop. He quickly called with his Dudes. Man AKs vs KK is not what I wanted. I was out in a heartbeat. Lost two big hands to Matt. I'd like to think I helped him build his stacks with my chips.

Yeah, I busted out in 8th. I hit the Loser's Lounge and chatted with BG's lovely cousin, sipped Oberon Pale Ales, cured my munchies with BG's homemade bread, while everyone quickly dropped out faster than I expected. Suddenly, BG was heads up with Matt for the first place prize and vastly overstacked. He aggressively played his short stack but failed to do any damage. Second place is better than 8th!

Here's what BG wrote about the rest of the tournament:
From that point forward, the cards went ridiculously cold. I literally (not in the sixth grade girl usage of the word, in the "didn't land a hand worth playing" sense) folded my way into the money (top three). Problem was, MH was responsible for taking out the last six players. After Ms. Third Place Finisher bounced out, and I went heads-up, I had 3200 to his 10000. With blinds at 100/200, neither of us were hurting for needing to make immediate moves, so MH just sat there and waited for the right all-in preflop of mine to call. My 97s versus his ATo. He caught his Ten, and that was the ball game.

Still, second place without raking a legitimate pot over the last two hours isn't bad. It does ruin my perfect record playing heads-up in the home game though. I've finished third, but I've never finished second...
Yeah, he played pretty well but Matt was getting all the good cards and great flops. I'm glad he won, because he was really a nice guy.
The Top Four
1. Matt
2. BG
3. Sara
4. Mikey
Anyway, after a long night, I crashed and left early the next day. It was cool that I was able to meet another two other poker bloggers on my Phishy excursion (in addition to Daddy from Snailtrax in Indiana). In Las Vegas during the April Phish shows, I met up with Felicia and Glenn. That might be my new thing... traveling around the country, like a true rounder, playing cards with all my favorite poker bloggers. Early next year, I might try to set up a road trip where I can crash four or five home games or head to casinos with some of my fellow bloggers. Something to think about.

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