Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Danger, chases, escapes and true love

Ok, maybe last night wasn’t as exciting as the title of the post but I thought it was pretty much filled with that same spirit. I arrived at my home at 6:30 to find Brian (A.K.A. 23skidoo) standing in the lobby. He wanted to be early. You hear that crew? Early! I rewarded him for his diligence by inviting him into my apartment that was strewn with clothing from 3 different trips and 5 boxes of a Fresh Direct shipment that came the day before that I hadn’t gotten to unpacking yet. I was going to get home early to tidy everything up but Brian beat me to it.

Brian is a fellow blogger who knows Jordan and comes to us from Atlanta, GA. He was up in New York for a few days for work and figured he’d see what all the hubub was about. Of course, I put him to work immediately (hey, he was the only one there!). He was so nice, helping me stack the chips for the tourney and setting up the poker table. I went about throwing my dirty clothes in a pile in my bedroom. If you can’t see it, it ain’t there! Then I tried unpacking the Fresh Direct shipment. I had about 8 cases of soda, 3 cases of water, 24 rolls of toilet paper, 24 rolls of paper towels, a few hundred plates and cups and an odd assortment of shampoo bottles, extra razor catridges and Q-Tips. The soda had been very badly packed and the cans were everywhere. I tried to corral all the stray dogies but they eluded me. As people started to filter in, I knew that the task wouldn’t be finished in time. So when Kearns walked in, I greeted him with a task. Actually, to be fair, he volunteered to help before I could ask. You hear that crew? He volunteered! I put him on soda duty while I took on the less pleasant task of throwing out the existing garbage and making room in the fridge for all of this soda. I hardly blinked when I heard, but didn’t see, Kearns drop something, but when I stepped into the hallway, he was just standing there with a look of shock on his face. He had picked up a poorly packed case of soda and one of the cans, already dented from some previous drop by the deliverymen, had fallen through the bottom and landed square on it’s weak corner. The can had EXPLODED all over my hallway in what I’m sure was a miniature ‘soda Nagasaki’. There was soda all over the wall, in the bathroom, dripping down my closet door and covering the floor. We swept into action, sopping up as much liquid as we could and then I got on my knees and washed the floor as best as a bachelor man with a regular cleaning woman can. This morning, there were still streaks of dried soda on the walls, so some more cleaning tonight is going to be warranted. Hardly a good start to the night, but a fun one!

We finally got the game going at about 7:20. Even though we had a bunch of last minute drop-outs, the game was still jam-packed, with Tommy Drama taking the last spot. The game was full of interesting twists and turns. For me personally, I was making incredible spot-on reads, and getting destroyed for it. Ok, that’s not totally true. I made a few mis-steps too. Early on in the game, I got AA UTG+2. Ok, now how to play these. There was an UTG raise from Brian to 175. I could raise or I could smooth call. The raise was large enough and early enough on that I decided to simply call, hoping enough players behind me would fold to give me the edge. Luckily, everyone did exactly that except for Jordan on the button, who called. With three way action, the flop cam a craptacular QTT with two clubs. I checked my hand for clubs. Uh, no. Brian checked, I checked and Jordan led out. Now, I know he’s perfectly capable of leading out with nothing on this flop in position, but when Brian smooth called behind him, I got nervous. I don’t know Brian at all and the odds of him making a raise UTG with a Queen was high. But he could have just as easily done it with AT. And with Jordan also in the pot, the odds of someone having me crushed right now were getting larger. So I did the safe and prudent thing and folded. Bad move as it turns out. Brian had AQ and Jordan had either a bluff or a flush draw, neither of which worked.

Later on, in the 100/200 round, I DID make a very good read which worked out in my favor. I had AJo in the BB and Tony, UTG, made a small raise to 500. It folded all around to me and I completed the bet. The flop came A-rag-rag. I figured if he didn’t have an Ace, it would be a scare card for him. I checked the Ace flop to see how he would react. He paused a bit and then bet out 800, leaving him about 500 behind. I had nearly the same stack as him, so calling would really mean pushing all in. I tried some Darko moves and tried to see if I could pry any information out of him. I asked him the usual questions, “Do you have the Ace? How good is it? Do you want me to call?” He was pretty stone-faced about it. Then I switched questions. “Will you show me if I lay down?” He said, “Maybe. Ok, sure”. Aha! I got my tell and I ran with it. “All in”. He insta-called and tabled QQ. When he called so quickly, I thought for sure I was going to be out-kicked, but I made the right move and doubled through, leaving Tony with a measly 50 chips and BB in the next hand. Dawn said aloud, “Note to self: Never talk to Jamie when I’m all-in in a hand!” Ah, respect for the reader. :-) Thus began what we will term, “The Tony Odyssey” or “How can a man with 50 chips and a forced all-in go on to take second place in the tourney?”. Somehow, in the BB, he managed to get A-middle and it stood up against 3 players (without pairing anything!). Just like that, he had 200. He was all in again on the next hand and won that one too against three players. Boom! 600. A few hands later, with even more chips at his disposal, he had 33 and went all in, getting called by Scott, who had J9. The flop came 993! Tony flopped a boat and Scott still had outs with a running pair over 3’s, a Jack or a 9 all winning for him. The turn was…a 3! Tony had made quad 3’s, leaving Scott a miraculous one outer river to win. But all the luck was on Tony’s side and the river was not a 9. Scott was gone and Tony had come back quickly to take 3rd place in chips. Truly, a “chip and a chair” situation come true. Meanwhile, I was still doing well with about 4000 in chips when I got Jh8h in the BB. There were a few limps and I checked my option. The flop came a very tasty T87. I had the gutshot draw and a middle pair. I tried a blocking bet and it folded around to Dawn, who had a smallish stack of 1500 on the button. She re-raised me to 1000. It was all in or fold for me. I would be left with a decent 2500 stack but the blinds were at 200/400 and were about to increase to 300/600, giving me very little room to maneuver. Now Dawn is a tricky player and I know she’s perfectly willing to risk her short stack on a draw. She would definitely have pushed all in with an overpair pre-flop, so I wasn’t worried about Queens or some such. I also knew she wouldn’t give me an ounce of information after she had already reminded herself out loud not to! So, instead, I worked the hand out in my mind and was able to read her for an OESD. It would make sense completely, though I suppose she could have had 87 for the two pair. I said to her, “You’ve got the straight draw. I’m good here.” I pushed all in and she called, showing 89 for the OESD AND a pair. An irresistable combination for a short stack. Unfortunately for her, her two pair and trip draws were dead as an 8 would make me better trips with my Jack kicker and her 9 would make me my own straight to the Jack. Instead, she had to hope her OESD would come through and I had one of her outs in my hand! I patted myself quite vigorously on the back (figuratively speaking) and smiled broadly as a rag hit on the turn. The Jack came on the river, giving me two pair. The pot was nearly pushed to me as the board got confusing to read, but I already knew that it would be exactly three seconds before Dawn noticed she had made her draw. 3…2…1…”I’ve got the straight!” {Sigh} Poker loses again. Dawn has been wildly successful at sucking out on me. She wouldn’t even give me props for making a good read, sore winner she is. What a complete luckbox!! ;-P

So now I was down to just a normal stack, with even Tony way ahead of me. Then came a successive string of 10-3, J-3 7-3, J-5, etc… I was down to 1500 when I got 44 on the button. It folded around to Mary, on my right, who limped in. Ok, “All you can eat”. PP, in the BB, couldn’t get his chips in fast enough. He had only 150 more than me and Mary, who had a pretty decent stack, seemed anguished about the call but must have been doing some vigorous math in her head because she made what she knew was just a pot-odds call. I tabled my 44, Mary had 55 and PP had QQ! I was third best, blech. But 3rd best is a winner, right?!?! The flop came down 23rag and I could feel a suckout coming. Here it is, the turn….a 5! Uh, wrong suckout god. Get it right, would you?!? I could hit a 3 to make a straight but the river was something other and PP and I were out in one shot. PP was very concerned that his ranking would reflect a higher placement than me but he needn’t have worried. I’m quite the anal host when it comes to the stats!

Alceste went on to bubble in the tourney, with Drama taking 3rd (sitting uncharacteristically tight throughout). Tony and Mary went heads up, with Tony a chip leader! But Mary’s heads up skill prevailed and she took down the big prize. It was a great tourney and congratulations have to go to Tony for his amazing comeback. Also, we wish him condolences when, sometime next week, he breaks his ankle stepping off of a curb into a completely empty street, having used up all of his available luck on this tourney….

I wish I could say it ended there, but there was a cash game afterwards which lasted until about midnight. W came out the big winner, carving up the table to the tune of +$374. The tourney started out in grand fashion as Drama got red pocket Aces on the first two dealt hands! Unlucky for him though, the cash game wasn’t settled enough for him to get any callers to his raises and he ended up making an accumulated $5 on four successive red rockets. Two hands later, he lost about $15 to KJ, which makes him the first person I know of two get AA two hands out of 4 and still be down! Scott was involved in a heartbreaking hand. He had AK and the flop came K8rag. There had been some preflop raising and there was about $40 in the pot. Scott led out with $25 with TPTK and got min-raised by Wendy. Uh-oh. Scott went into the tank but eventually made the call. The turn was an Ace. Top two pair for Scott. Sounds good, right? He checked, or bet (I can’t remember) and Wendy went over the top all in. Scott was now thinking out loud and, in true “Poker Idiot” fashion, managed to call out Wendy’s hand right on the nose. “You’ve got 88. Oh, I guess I call.” Wendy tabled her 88 and must have been thanking her stars that Scott would keep ignoring his better instincts. In fairness though, it’s a tough laydown and we’ve all been in the same situation where our gut told us we were beat but we made the crying call anyway, usually for our whole stack. Chin up Scotty!

Wendy, now flush with real chips (rather than those pesky Sklansky chips), set her sites on more, more, more. She, PP and Mary were invovled in a hand where there was another pre-flop raise, this time by PP and a call by Mary and W. The flop came J45. PP bet out, Mary came over the top and WW re-raised! PP went all in and Mary called. The turn was a rag. Mary bet out again and Wendy shoved. Mary saw the call, which was about 90 more, would stack her. But she was heavily pot-invested in the pot and couldn’t get herself to lay down, though she looked sick about it. So she called with a very painful, non-bacony, look on her pretty face. She turned up KK, W had 44 flor the flopped set and PP had JJ for the better flopped set. The river was a 5 and W took down the huge side pot. When PP reached for the main pot, W asked, “Why are you taking that? I have a boat”. PP gently showed her the much larger Titanic-like 2nd nuts and W laughed. She had been so focused on stacking Mary, she missed that she had been outflopped! Mary, wisely, declined to rebuy and the table started to break up.

At the end of the night, Wendy, Brian and Jordan had all made out well. PP made a modest profit, I broke even (up $5) and everyone else had their shirt handed to them. Sorry guys, that’s how we roll at Wall Street Poker! Better luck next time.


HighOnPoker said...

Hey Jamie. For the record, in that AA hand with the QTT flop, I had a Queen as well, but with a lesser kicker.

KJ said...

At the end of the day, The 'soda nagasaki' accident got me an entry on your post. That's not too bad. However, I will try to make my poker skills the reason for my next entry. I apologize again for the mess. You did a great job hosting. I am nominating for "Host of the Year".

23skidoo said...

Thanks a bunch for the invite Jamie!

I hope to play again the next time I'm able to play.