I got a call from Tommy Drama at 7:00PM on Saturday night. “Do you want to go to Salami for the tourney?” I hadn’t showered yet that day, having woken up at 2PM after last night’s League festivities extended to 5AM, but I asked for 10 minutes to clean up and ran to meet him at Broadway and Rector. We hopped in a cab and drove up the FDR as quickly as we could. There was an accident on Houston tah we had to take a detour around and we didn’t make it into the club until about 7:40pm but we needn’t have worried. When we got in, there were about 10 players just sitting around waiting. By the time the tourney kicked off at 8:00 pm, we had 16 players, eventually extending to 23 buyins.
The first round saw only one decent hand from me and I was down to 1250 oout of my initial 2000 chips when the second round hit. With 6 minutes left in the second round, I was on the button with KQo and a pre-flop raise from an aggressive guy in early position. I decided to try to double up with my KQ because I could still rebuy in the second round. I figured I was a 60/40 underdog at worst and could be as good as 50/50. My instincts were right as I pushed all in and he called with pocket Tens. But I didn’t get love from the deck and I called for another stack of chips. Things went better with this stack as I moved up to 2800 quickly and managed to keep afloat at around 3900 for another hour before the final table hit. I was 7th or 8th stack at the table and I managed to take a few blinds while the shorter stacks busted out. With 6 players left, and 2 stacks shorter than me, I thought I had a legitimate shot of making the money when all hell broke loose for me. I was in the big bind with Ac7c when the UTG player, the short stack at the table, moved all in. Everyone folded to me and it was only 1000 more to call. With blinds at 400/800, it was a no brainer to call with an Ace in my hand and I did. He showed Q9o and I was happy to be ahead. The flop missed him with KJ-rag. The turn was a blank and he stood up to leave but the river (cruel river) was a Ten and he made an inside straight! Ouch. 3 hands later, I got Ah7h (same hand, different suits) and I pushed all in. The same player called, this time he had KhQh. Not only was I leading, but his heart flush draw was dead to mine. The flop came…AcJdTc. He flopped a freakin’ Broadway straight!! The table groaned in sympathy for me. A King came on the turn and I fantasized the river might bring a Queen so we could chop but no such luck. Mr. Lucky raked in his chips and I was left feeling sick. I still had 2500 in chips but I was about to be blinded in for 800. I looked down UTG and saw Q9o. I figured here was my chance to triple up and I moved all in. The guy to me left (a different guy) called and everyone else folded. I figured to be behind but was happy to see him turn up KJ. I had live cards and a fighting chance. Sly, the dealer, commented that I was “finally behind” and had a fighting chance. The table was laughing about it until the flop came out KJJ. My opponent had flopped a full house!!! I had no choice but to laugh about these awful circumstances and I went to join Drama for some dinner at a bar on Bleeker Street. He had busted out earlier after 3 buyins and went to go watch the Dallas game.
The bartender at the Village Lantern is sooo incredibly hot that I had trouble paying attention, but the mini-burgers and pint of Sam Adams really hit the spot.
Refreshed after dinner, I went back to join the cash game. Darko had shown up but gave up his seat to Drama who could only stay for about an hour. I was sitting in my favorite seat, seat 5, but I was in AWFUL table position. To my left were the most aggressive guys in the club. Sal, Elias and Steve were to my left in order and, sure enough, they were cold-raising like crazy. I tightened up and waited for good cards which never came. Pretty soon, my $200 buy-in was down to $120. Then, like a light in the woods, Drama gave us all a story for the ages. Thomas had about $325 in front of him when he called a pre-flop raise from Steve with a few other callers in the pot. The flop was 578 rainbow and betting commenced. Steve bet, Thomas raised and Steve called. Everyone else got out of the way. A Queen came on the turn. Steve bet out and Thomas raised, but not before causing some controversy. Thomas was measuring out a raise juuuust in front of his cards when he then reached into his rack and pulled out $100, placing it on the table well in front of him. The dealer called “raise to $100” and Steve complained, saying the chips in front of Thomas’ cards should be counted as well in the raise. The dealer pointed out that if you want to be technical and count Thomas chips in front of his cards then you should consider it just a call since he hadn’t said a thing. Sly came in and made a floor ruling that just the initial chips would be counted. Thomas agreed and the raise became $75 total. Steve sat back and thought about this turn of events, taking a good 3 minutes to think. The scene was surreally quiet except for the porn on the TV in the background (no joke, fully explicit porn with comments of quality from Elias). Steve finally called “raise” and put in an extra $100. Thomas didn’t hesitate, calling “All In!” and sliding his full rack forward. The trap was sprung and Steve looked like he had been stung by a hive of angry bees. He agonized about calling the extra $200 when he finally folded. Thomas, jubilant, slammed his cards face up on the table. Ac3c. A complete bluff! Thomas had executed brilliantly on arguably the best player at the club. Steve made a comment that he only had 9-Ten for the OESD but this is complete crap because he was muttering about not making the call for a good hour afterwards. I was amazed Drama was able to rattle his cage like that.
I made a friendly suggestion that Thomas should take this opportunity to leave with his winnings and though the table wasn’t happy about it, he left a few hands later, up about $400 in the space of 30 minutes or so. My luck wasn’t nearly as good. I was down to $95 when I called for another $100 in chips. The hand after I got my chips, I looked down at my best hand of the night, AhQh. OK! I raised out to $20 pre-flop and Steve called, still looking like he was steaming a bit. I factored this into my next move. The flop came down 589 (again!) and I bet out $50, trying to represent a high pair. Steve called right away and now I was worried. He was on the button. Did HE have the high pair? What could he have the would cause him to call but ot raise my pre-flop bet. The next card took away all my worries. The beautiful Ace of clubs gave me top pair with Queen kicker. I moved all in, hoping to represent a bluff and he called with… 78o. Grrrr…. I don’t know how I could have laid that one down, to tell you the truth. I was the victim of position. If the Ace hadn’t fallen, I could have gotten away from it. Oh well. When I coupled this with my tournament hands, I figured this wasn’t my night and went home.
I’ll get you Salami Club!!! You will rue the day you messed with me!!!