Friday, October 22, 2004

WBT 5: Poker Stars Fall Classic

Greetings from the smallest state in the union. I woke up early on Thursday and inhaled a couple of deep breaths of fresh early morning New England sea air as I casually took pictures. The Rhode Island coast is majestic and I quickly understood why my buddy Senor moved his family to Naragansett. After almost a year of life in the fast lane, it was soothing to get to take a break from being me for a couple of days and allow my mind to wander aimlessly to ponder the important things in life while staring out at the ocean for hours at a time. And the best part of getting away from the city... Foxwoods was just a little more than 35 minutes away... and Senor took Thursday morning off so we could go gamble! I'll post my Foxwoods trip report in the near future... which included a $15 loss at a $4/8 table and a paltry 4th place bubble finish in a $150 ACT II tournament (roughly it's a SNG with a chance at winning a seat in the World Poker Finals) and being the lone Yankees fan in a disgusting sea of Red Sox faithfuls.

I started the day off at a casino... and I ended the day in front of the computer in Senor's basement office relentlessly cursing at those damn Hilton Sisters after placing 63rd in Iggy's latest poker blogger tournament. At 8:45pm, Senor kicked his wife off the computer to let me fire up Poker Stars and install AIM. His 11 month old son wished me luck as most 11 months could do... he rubbed my face with his hand covered in baby drool. I took it as a blessing from the poker gods. I tried to wipe off my face, opened up my notebook to a fresh page and was stunned to see that 133 players signed up for a prize pool of over $2200. Wow! Almost $800 going to the winner. It was going to be a huge pay day. I was pumped to play with my brother in our first poker blogger tournament together (he played in the Pacific fiasco which I skipped to go to Santa Fe) and I knew that Coach and some others like Signor Ferrari and Asphnxma from the Blue Parrot signed up. I also heard that Wil Wheaton was going to finally join us... which certainly excited all the degenerate gamblers in bloggerdom. I recall that last spring, Grubby contacted Ben Affleck's people to invite him to play... and they promptly blew us off. Don't expect me to go see that awful Christmas movie now... Affleck. Felicia got pro Roy Cooke to play with us a couple of times and that was fun. Alas, Wil's a good egg and he signed up looking to take down some of his favorite poker bloggers and even pimped the tourney on his popular blog.

Yeah, at 8:59pm EST, I had one of those existentialist moments like, "How the hell did I get here?" I was sitting in the basement in a coastal town in Rhode Island playing online poker with 132 other degenerate gamblers, stuck in the middle of Red Sox nation licking my wounds after a horrible Yankees collapse, with baby drool on my face, and gleefully humming the words to the theme song from Diff'rent Strokes...
"The world don't move to the beat of just one drum
What might be right for you, may not be right for some.
A man is born, he's a man of means.
Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans."
Just another random Thursday in my life. Right?
The Players:
Seat 1: Nktek
Seat 2: VIPDirect
Seat 3: Bruno 75 then SirFWalingman
Seat 4: FTNJake
Seat 5: Emrod
Seat 6: Ankonrahi
Seat 7: MonkeyFu
Seat 8: Dr. Pauly
Seat 9: MadRoxx
I apologize in advance if I spelled any of the screen names wrong or didn't link up your blog. Shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll do my best to correct it. And let me say that I'm sorry I also didn't get to talk to everyone. I wasn't trying to blow anyone off. With my AIM ringing off the hook and trying to watch my brother's table, taking notes, fielding calls from Briana who was checking up on my progress, oh and most importantly playing in the tourney... yep, I was definitely all over the place. It was cool to chat with some bloggers I never spoke to before and to be recognized by loyal readers of my blog(s). I've been saying that playing in these poker blogger tourneys are insane... kind like showing up to a cocktail party on speed... oh yeah and then there's gambling involved an dif you are lucky enough... having a bounty on your head.

Level 1: The key to winning 100+ person multis is survival. My goal in the first hour is not to get knocked out while looking for that rare chance to double up early. I won a small pot in the first orbit with AKs. I saw a flop with 44 and folded and took down another pot went I moved all in with AKo. I had a feeling that my reputation preceded me... because everytime I raised a sizable amount, everyone folded. T1440 and I was 74th out of 128.

Level 2: I saw Jake from Flopped the Nuts' AA get cracked by Nktek's 87s on a river straight. I was happy it wasn't mine! I was sweating Derek's table and he was sitting at the same table as Otis. I kept getting comments in the chat from Spock326. At first I thought it was Wil, but when I checked I realized it was Signor Ferrari from the Blue Parrot. I saw that Derek got knocked out and I missed the action. At least he wasn't the first guy to get booted, but might have been the first blogger to get KO'd. I limped in with another small pocket pair 33 and folded crap cards after crap cards. That's when I saw The Hammer staring at me. I wanted to win the tournament and logic told me to fold but this was a poker bloggers tournament after all... and in honor of Grubby... I felt compelled to at least see a flop with The Hammer! I limped in and caught an open ended straight draw when 689 fell on the flop. After everyone checked to me I moved all in. I took down the pot uncontested and proudly showed my 27o which drew some catcalls from the railbirds. In my best Elvis impression (Fat Elvis, I don't do Skinny Elvis), I quivered my lip and muttered, "Thank you. Thank you very much!" The level ended and I had T1400 and was 67 out of 121. Not good, but not bad either. The King would have been proud and that's all that matters.

Level 3: I saw a flop with AQs and folded when nothing helped me. I lost a few chips there. Then I saw The Hammer for a second time in twenty minutes. I moved all in in late position. I took a deep breath and pictured Friday morning's blogger headlines, "Good Doctor Bounced by the Hammer!" Everyone folded, I stole the blinds and two limp bets, and showed 27o for a second time. I thrust my arms out in the air, made dual Peace signs and in my best Dick Nixon voice shouted, "I am not a crook!" The level ended and I was 81st out of 11 with T1100 and not looking good. I checked to see who got booted and was surprised to see some familiar names; NemoD, Mr. Decker, Derek, and Boy Genius.

Level 4: After the blinds came around, I had T900 and was moved to a new table.
The Players:
Seat 1: TXAcsUp
Seat 2: Edimus
Seat 3: Predator314 and later Tactix
Seat 4: Koso (Middle Aged Man)
Seat 5: Bernardine and later Carter
Seat 6: Grubette
Seat 7: Endless4727
Seat 8: Dr. Pauly
Seat 9: Waxman
On the third or fourth hand I was dealt AA. I pushed all in hoping to get one of the bigger stacks to call me to double me up. No callers. I glanced at my notes. My five winning hands: AKs, AK, 27o, 27o, and AA. I was watching Coach's table (TP was there too) and cheering him on when Wil got moved after his table was broken up. I caught the tail end of Wil bad beating Coach's AJs with KTs. I picked both Coach and Wil to make the final table and that heads up battle was ruining my chances at winning the side pool. Coach, one of the biggest Star Trek scholars I know, slipped out, "Nice hand, Wes." A couple of hands later Coach moved all in with the Hilton Sisters and TP had him right away with his pocket Kings, er... Hellmuth's as F Train would say. Wil wrote something hilarious in the chat like, "That's karmic payback for calling me Wes." Poor Coach was kicked to the curb by skanky hotel heiresses. Some guys would pay top dollar for that honor. Coach only forked up $22. With one of my picks for the final table gone... I was pulling for Wil and Maudie (who was 5th in chips). The level ended and at the first break I was in 75th place. 90 players were left and I had T900. Notable players KO'd included; Life's a Grind, Coach, DoubleAs, Helix, Otis (another one of my final table picks!), Blu, Johnny Flop Bot, AlCantDance, Halverson, The Film Geek, and Signor Ferrari.

Level 5: With a slew of good players gone I should have liked my chances. Nope. My stack was looking thinner than a strung out cokehead model from Copenhagen. I made the decision to move all in at the first sight of a face card, heck, or any two suited. Luckily I had nothing but crap and I folded a few hands while I watched Iggy's table. He moved all in with the Hilton Sisters and lost to 99 when a third 9 spiked. Ouch. Second time I saw the Hilton Sisters take out a friend. The scantly clad btiches were feisty and not taking it easy on anyone. I stole the blinds when I pushed all in with JJ, KJ, and A4s. I moved up to T1350 and was 57 out of 78. I noticed that Iggy, Wil and CJ were all booted.

Level 6: The blinds were getting up there and I still need to play aggressive. I heard HDouble was booted as well as Pokerama, the Poker Genius, and John Paul. Wil stopped by to tell me he dug my av/icon. I must say that I thought there were some creative ones out there, but how can you top Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes? By the way, Maudie was that a picture of you as a youngster? The bloggers were dropping out quickly. In late position I saw QJs. I pushed all in and Grubette called me with the Hilton Sisters. They ruggedly molested me like the dog that I am. When it was over I was violated and left speechless with a flimsy T187. I usually like getting beat up by rich women, but not in front of 150 or so of your blogging peers, faithful readers, and friends. I was last place in chips and at one point I typed into the chat, "I'll let the rail decide if I should move all in..." Of course the entire peanut gallery egged me on to push! HDouble comically wrote, "Nice friends." I folded! And went all in during my big blind. 56o vs. pocket 10s. I was done. 63rd place. Thanks for playing and don't let the door smack you in the ass on the way out.

I cheered on Landow and Hank987 while sweating Sean's, Maudie and Asphnxma's table. Then I heard that someone cracked AA with the Hilton Sisters. Man the girls were out ruining everyone's night! Tactix from Bullets in the Hole. Looks like I'll be shipping a Pauly painting to Canada! Good job.

I watched the final table in between chatting with Maudie after she got knocked out. Congrats to everyone who made it... and especially to both to Todd Commish and MtDewVirus for a great ending.

Of course thanks to Iggy for setting everything up. Thanks for everyone for watching my table and cheering me on. Again, I wish I had more time to chat with everyone. My first full poker day ended with a 6+ hour stint at Foxwoods and a 63rd place finish in WBT 5. I saw the Hiltons relentlessly ravish the hearts of young poker players and some newer bloggers make a name for themselves. Grubby's arranging the next event. I dunno if I can play in that one... which made Thursday night a little more special. I wish I had more to say about the night, but I have some walking along the ocean I'd like get done before I write about the last few days. Before I go, I will share the funniest thing I heard all night. It was the last thing Briana said to me before she wished me good luck... "Tell Wil that I loved him in Kangaroo Jack."

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