Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Summer Monday at the Blue Parrot
"Don't believe the florist when he tells you that the roses are free." - Ween
I only played once at the Blue Parrot since the summer began. Ferrari hosted a game two weeks ago but I was still on the road after my Phishy travels. I had to miss the last game. I was on tilt all weekend after a series of stupid, rookie, kick me in the balls kinda moves in $20 NL SNGs. I concentrated on my Omaha hi/lo game and as luck would have it, Ugarte was working a comedy gig. The games are Dealer's Choice and he often favors for rounds of Omaha when it was his turn to deal. Last night, we didn't play the normal amount of Omaha that I had been used too. It was a shame too, because I felt me Omaha game was the best it has ever been. Regardless, I hadn't seen everyone in over a month so I was ready to play some cards.
The Players:
Seat 1: Diane
Seat 2: Charlie (late)
Seat 3: Eli (first time player, law student)
Seat 4: Signor Ferrari
Seat 5: Joel
Seat 6: Coach
Seat 7: Dr. Pauly
8:07pm EST... My notes were very sketchy, I have nothing aside from: -30. We played some $2-4 hold'em and I probably had good starting hands, but folded after not-so-good flops. Diane took down a big pot after a crazy flop of AAK against Eli. She limped in with AK and won with the monster flop of the night. Coach was offering up a bounty of $10 if I could exactly guess his cards (in pots he played) after the hands were over. I missed everytime.

8:13pm EST... I found AA. It didn't take too long for a great hand to come along. I knew it was going to get cracked. My raises get little to no respect at the Blue Parrot. Of course, Ferrari reraised me with a hand he really shouldn't have been playing. In the last game my AA was cracked by his 22. I knew I needed to hit a flop because I put him on random face cards or a small pair. Although I wouldn't put it past Ferrari to try to bust me with The Hammer! After the turn the board read: 6789. Ferrari was pumped with his K-10o. he had a straight. By that point I put him on J-10 and figured he had the nuts. He checked on the turn and I knew the check-raise was coming. Probably beat, I checked to see a free card. The river: 10. I went from no hope to a chance to split the pot. I decided to call on the river and I got lucky... Ferrari didn't have a J like I suspected. We chopped the pot and my aces weren't cracked. It took a lucky river for me to save face.

8:19pm EST... +17. I'm the LB and Coach raised the pot on the button. I had Ad9d and called. I put him on a decent size pair or Big Slick. Coach is a savvy conservative player. If he's betting in a pot... he's got the cards, so you better have the nuts against him. The flop: Kd 8d 6x. I hit a nut flush draw and like I suspected, Coach bet out. Nothing helped me on the turn. I checked. At that point Coach made a comment something like, "When Pauly's not looking at me with his head down with his eyes (focused) on the table, that's his tell for two pair." He bet out. I called and answered, "Something like that." I hit my flush on the river and Coach's sigh was a give away that he most likely knew he was beat... and called anyway. I river'd Coach's Big Slick, but I paid to get it. Coach was going to give that away for nothing.

8:55pm EST... +55 after I split a $210 Anaconda pot with Ferrari. I had the nut low: A2345 and Diane and Ferrari were battling it out for the high hand share of the pot. Diane was showing 666K and Ferrari showed 3JJJ. He was visibly concerned that Diane had quads. He even called the last bet with a dejected sigh and muttered, "Show me your six." He was shocked to learn he won the pot with a better fullboat. Diane had a K, not quad 6s.

9:16pm EST... 10-10 cracked by Joel's 46o. I raised and he defended his big blind. He flopped an open ended straight and river'd me when an 8 hit. At that point Coach shared a new vocabulary word of the night. Ragamuffin. I think it means someone who calls a preflop raise with nothing... rags. At least that's what I got out of it. Party Poker is infested with ragamuffins.

9:19pm EST... +80 after Diane called Follow the Queen (wild card game - Queens and the card that falls up after a Queen is wild) and I won a hefty pot with a straight flush. I had a Q showing with Jx5s/6s-Qx-7s-8s by sixth street. Joel had a full boat and figured all I had was a flush, hence why he called me to the river.

9:35pm EST... +122 after I bluffed Joel out of the low hand in Anaconda. I had showing: A256... and my down card was another ace! He had A256 with a 7 or 8. Either way, if he stayed in, he would have won. About two hours in the game and I looked around the table. Coach was in the middle of a rebuy. Joel was about even. Ferrari was up a lot early and he was probably second in chips. Diane lost most of her stack when she lost a huge pot to Ferrari in Anaconda. And Eli was looking pretty decent. It took me two guesses (and a hint: 7) to figure out his exact birthday (Dec 27th). 365 to 1 shot, right? On Phish tour a few weeks earlier, I won $1 from a hippie chick when I guessed what state she was from. Ohio. 50 to 1 shot and I nailed it. Her friends were flabbergasted as she handed over a crisp $1 bill. I'm good like that, but I can't tell you what I ate for breakfast yesterday.

10:10pm EST... +150. Charlie showed up and we played one of Coach's favorite games... Seven Card Stud Push. You can elect to keep your up card or pass it on and get a new one for $1. I had a sweet low working and I passed a K and got a 3 in exchange. The hand was like buttah! Easiest money I won all night.

10:22pm EST... In a game of hold'em Joel's AA were cracked by Diane's 3-7o in the blinds. She flopped a pair and caught her second pair on the turn.

10:31pm EST... Still playing hold'em. In late position, Ferrari emphatically threw in a raise. Coach commented, "Was that a real raise, or a boredom raise?" Indeed, Ferrari wasn't getting too many hands all night.

10:48pm EST... +125. Joel called his favorite game Five Card Stud Replace hi/lo. You can replace any card after fifth street. I replaced a Q and had all low cards (aside from a 7 duplicated underneath). No one knew that of course and I easily won the low. Then the game started to break up.
Late Night Players:
Seat 1: Diane
Seat 2: Charlie
Seat 3: Ferrari
Seat 4: Joel
Seat 5: Dr. Pauly
11:23pm EST... +90. Dropped $35 in less than 35 minutes, mostly on a few loose calls seeing flops in hold'em.

11:30pm EST... +60. My AK was cracked by Charlie's 33. The flop: K32. You can tell where the rest of that hand went when another 2 hit the turn.

12:14am EST... +55. I won an Anaconda hand with the low: A2357.
The Final Tally:
Charlie +139
Dr. Pauly +55
Joel +50
Eli +18
Coach -59.50
Ferrari -80
Diane -121
Every time I sit down at the tables, my goal is to play smart while keeping a clear mind. The games at Ferrari's are Dealer's Choice, so you really have to be able to adapt and switch how you think about certain games. The normal games played are; $2-4 Texas Hold'em, $2-4 Omaha 8b (hi/lo), $1-5 Seven Card Stud, $1-5 Stud 8b (hi/lo), Anaconda, Seven Card Stud hi/lo Push, Five Card Stud hi/lo w/ Replace, and Follow the Queen. Late night sometimes Ferrari bumps up the limits to $3-6 hold'em.

Everyone has their strength and weaknesses, but cards are cards. If you get them you'll win most of the time. I knew that in order to win money at the Blue Parrot over the long haul, you have to be patient and wait for a good hand, and be ready to be aggressive when the time arises. Well rounded poker play is rewarded in the end. I was always a decent stud player (I learned stud way before hold'em and Omaha) and I picked up Omaha hi/lo very quickly. If you avoid losing your shirt in Anaconda, it's not very hard to walk away with double your buy-in. It's dangerous late night when the game goes shorthanded and that's when things get freaky! And again, Anaconda is a game where I won my fair share of big pots, but I also lost enough money that could easily feed several small villages in Southern China for two years. Last night, I pissed away a few bucks on hands I should have folded. I can think of at least $30-40 I could have saved. That all adds up in the long run. It's the difference between a $55 win and a $100 win.

Maybe next time, Ugarte will be back at the tables. It was good to see everyone again and some new faces added to the mix. I must add that I miss Rick Blaine (he and the wife moved to California) sitting across from me at the tables. It wasn't the same not having Rick semi-bluffing a Seven Card Stud hand against me. Maybe I can get him to meet me in Vegas!

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