Monday, February 11, 2008

The Borgata gives back

I’m going to Vegas next weekend (Venetian Baby!) but before I do I thought it would be nice to do a weekend in AC, which I haven’t done in months. W had a poker room at the Borgata, which I took advantage of Saturday night, but Friday night we all stayed with PP in his parent’s place. W took the bus down at 6:30 and PP and I were only 10 minutes behind her in his car, leaving from Brooklyn. When we got closer to the wonderfully shabby city with all the lights, we called W to arrange to pick her up from Trump Marina and drive her over to the Borgata, one hotel over. Her bus was supposed to stop at the Marina first, but through some miraculous screwup, it went to Resorts first on the boardwalk. W told us her sob story about the bus going to the wrong place and how she was going to be 45 minutes late to the Marina and could we go the Marina and wait for her. PP and I, 5 minutes from Borgata poker room, laughed heartily into the phone.

So 5 and a half minutes later, PP and I were getting chips at the Borgata window while W waited patiently for her bus to take her where she needed to go. It would be the first of may lemons for W and the first of many cherries for PP and I.

PP, skittish from the losing month he’d been having, decided to grind it out at 5-10 limit for the evening. I took stock of my own ambitions. I had gotten up at 7:15 that morning and worked a full day and just gotten off a 2 hour car ride. Maybe No Limit wasn’t the best thing for me. So I sat at another 5-10 Limit table and started a very enjoyable session. I was at my 5-10 table for about 10 minutes when the seat to my left opened up and I motioned to PP to come take it. He waved me off. Seriously? You’ve been at your table for 10 minutes and you’re attached? Ok, whatever. So who does take the seat? A fat Korean kid, fully decked out in poker regalia. He had a Borgata black card, a Borgata T-shirt, and an obnoxiously loud red leather jacket from Full Tilt Poker.Com. He had player written all over him, right? Well…. I remember seeing Annie Duke once on one of the World Series of Poker broadcasts saying how anyone who had a poker tattoo has absolutely no game, whatsoever. I think the same goes for Full Tilt red leather jackets. In fact, I’m sure of it. When the kid sat down, I assumed he was going to be an aggro monkey (on my left no less) but he folded nearly every hand. A few minutes later, it folds all the way around to me in the SB. I offer the standard blind chop to him and he says, “No, I never chop”. I must have had a look of incredulity on my face, because he added, “I have a reason I never chop”.

“Ok,” I said, “let’s go”. I completed the blind and he called. I had 7h9h. The flop came down JhJs3h. Oh, sweet. Flush draw. I lead out for $5 and I’m hoping his ego lets him call, but he folds instead, not wanting to get trapped. I turned over my semi-bluff and I say, “I don’t mean to be a dick or anything, but why don’t you chop?”

He says, “Because I assume I’m better than anyone sitting to my left or right, so in the long run I’ll make more money not chopping”.

New name for him: Biggus Dickus. Or maybe Douchbag Enormi.

About 10 minutes later, a seat opens next to PP and HE waves me over? What? Really? Oh, fine. I sat down at his table, and then proceeded to crush it. I mean run over it. I was hitting cards, trapping for big bets and bluffing pots. It was beautiful. When it was all over at 2AM, I had won $380 in profit. A beautiful start to the weekend.

PP and I were very nice to each other, poker-wise. It folded around to me in the SB and I had QQ. I said to PP, “See how nice I am? I’ll chop with you”. He said, “Ok, but who’s nice?”. He flipped over AA! Lol. The very next hand, UTG raises PF and PP re-raises in the SB. UTG re-re-raises and PP caps it, but at this point it’s heads up and there is unlimited raising. UTG raises again. PP raises again! I assumed AA vs. AA but when UTG raised one more time and PP just called. I know had AA vs. KK in my mind, with PP having KK. Which is why I got very excited for PP when the flop came down King high! W00t! There was more betting and raising and this time, UTG stopped betting. He check-called the turn and the river and the hands were exactly as I thought they were. Good for PP, but seriously, 5 re-raises with KK? At no time did you think the KK might be beat pre-flop? Hmmmm…. Well, I’m glad it worked out for him.

A little while later, I have QQ and I raise UTG. A few people call, including PP. Flop comes down 775. I continue betting and PP calls along with one other. A 9 comes on the turn. PP raises my bet! I don’t put him on a 7 because I think he would have raised me on the flop, so the only other hand that makes sense to me, knowing PP is 99. I ask him if he has 99 and he giggles. Ok, so he does. I decide to complete the bet as a way of dumping $10 to him because, after all, he did drive and let me stay over his place. But the river came a Q! “Ooooh,” I said, “I sucked out on you!”. PP looked mondo confused. Later on, he told me he was actually trying to imagine a hand in which the Queen could have made a hand to beat him! Lol. It went check-check on the river and I showed him the suckout-resuckout. Poker gods, you are kind!

We managed to pry W off of her table and actually leave at 2AM, getting to PP’s at 2:40a. We got ready for bed but we were all jazzed up on adrenaline, so we stayed up until 4:00a just chatting. PP and I were explaining, in the simplest terms possible, what Call and Put options are and how to use them for investments. We also touched on the geo-political ramifications of the Subprime housing crises and how Credit Derivatives and their valuations were to blame for the onslaught. Oh yeah, it was educational.

Finally, sleep came and we got up for a nice Saturday of poker. Driving back to the Borgata, we first ate in the Borgata coffee shop. I had been the big winner the day before so I offered to pick up the check (ain’t I nice?). We all had omelets and sandwiches with coffee and OJ and felt refreshed and ready to go. I did have one bad experience when I ordered a side of bacon. When the bacon came, W aked why I had ordered the worst bacon in the history of bacon. Ummm, couldn’t you have told me that BEFORE I ordered it? She was right too, it was awful with a capital A.

Getting back to the poker room, I ponied up to the 1-2 NL table. Nothing exciting. I played about 4 hours or so and it was a paint drying session. I dragged $125 profit by just sitting tight and playing smart. It was a tight table though, and I did manage to bluff a few pots which made a big difference in my profit. One rule I had for the weekend was not to draw to runner-runner, and I was right on schedule. Unfortunately, I was also really really tired. I hadn’t gotten much sleep during the week so I took the opportunity of W’s Borgata room to nap. The Borgata, by the way, has really nice hotel rooms with beautiful bathrooms. Just saying.

PP convinced me to eat dinner with him before I napped, which I did, and it probably added 45 minutes to the time I slept. But I was raring to go when I got back. I sat back down at a 1-2 NL table and got a nice table draw. The table was a fun one, with lots of characters. One guy was built like a Mack truck, wearing a really nice silk shirt and slacks and a big diamond pinky ring. He was sitting next to his friend, almost as big and dressed nearly exactly the same. The three of us, along with two or three compatriots at the table, spent almost all the time from 11:30p onwards leering at the waitresses and making commentary about the other women in the room. It was total testosterone night. We had a blast though. The table was super tight, and I stayed even for hours, which was frustrating from a poker sense, but I was having too much fun to leave. I did manage to win a decent pot from the big guy with JJ. I had it in the BB and decided to check my option. The flop came down Ten high and I bet out $15. Big guy raises me $25. I call. Turn is an undercard blank. I lead out $20 to freeze the action. He falls for it and calls. Now I know I’m good. The river is a blank and I bet out $40, which he pays me off with AT. “Oh, that’s it,” he says, “you’re marked now!”. I laughed but I was slightly nervous. This guy was huge and it would take him all of three seconds to kill me with his bare hands. But he was good about it.

Until I bluffed him out of a pot. Do I want to die? Really, do I?

So what happened was, I had QdJd on the button. He had limped and I popped it to $15 when it came all the way around to me. He called and it was he and I heads up. “Oh, it’s us. I’m coming for my chips!, “ he said. “Bring it!”, was my reply. The flop was Td4s7d. He checks to me and he leads out the bettin. I call his $20 bet. On the turn, I pick up the gutshot straight with the 8c. Now I have lots and lots of outs to improve. If he’s sitting on just a top pair, I have two overcards, a flush draw and the nut straight gutter. He leads out another $20 and I come over the top for $45 more. He looks at me, looks at his cards and I say, “Don’t bet with your ego man. Don’t worry, I’ll show you..” That convinces him and he folds, turning over the same AT he lost to before. I show him the semi-bluff and he looks like he’s gonna wack me right then and there. But he breaks out into a broad smile and says, “Good bet!” Like I said, a fun table. It went on like that for a few hours until about 4am.

At that point, the room was thinning out and tables were starting to break up. We were down to 6 players at my table when we got an infusion of fresh blood. A homeless looking guy sits down in seat 8. He’s got an enormous scraggly beard and he has half of a cigarette in his mouth. He’s also sucking down Corona’s like they’re liquid Viagra. He’s sauced, plain and simple. In seat 10, a young Asian kid sits down with 3 full racks of chips in his hands. I do a quick count and he has 1300 dollars. The floor, though, won’t allow him to sit with more than the chip leader has, so he pockets 1000 and sits down with 300. Both players add instant action to the table, raising each hand preflop and C-betting the flops. About 5 hands in, Asian kid raises PF to $11. I call with A9 suited along with a few others. The flop is 9 high. Asian kid bets out $25 and I come over the top for $45 more. Asian kid counts out his chips and announces a raise. $90 more. Uh-oh. He *did* raise in the SB so I assume he has an overpair. I remember Doyle Brunson’s maxim of never going broke with top pair, so I take the wise course of action and lay down my hand, which I don’t show. He immediately flips over Q7o for the bluff. Ok, mister, now you’ve had it. And on my shitlist he went. I managed to drag a nice pot from him later in the night when I rivered a flush and got him to pay me off, but it was slow going otherwise. Meanwhile, he felted the big guy with the diamond ring. At around 5AM, Asian kid makes his standard pre-flop raise and big guy calls. The flop comes TT3. Asian kid checks and big guy bets. I’ve played with him long enough tonight to know he’s on the heart flush draw that is on the board, but Asian kid doesn’t know that. So I immediately start praying for a heart. Almost out loud. The turn is a blank. Big guy makes another bet. Asian kid calls. The river is a heart. Haha! Now you’re going to get it you bastard. Big guy checks and the Asian kid bets $75. Big guy comes over the top all in. Asian kid smiles, almost in defeat and makes what looks like a crying call. Big guy flips over the King heart flush. Asian kid flips over 33 for the flopped boat. He obviously assumed Big guy had made a bigger boat with a Ten, but instead he felted him. One compatriot down. But if I were the Asian kid, I’d be looking over my shoulder in the parking lot!

Asian kid now has $425 in front of him, the new table chip leader. I am, of course, unhappy about this. He wounded me and he must pay, even if somebody else does it! Isn’t that how it works? But I would soon have my revenge, oh yes. Soon, I would be complete.

Asian kid bounces up and down and his stack goes from $425 to $80 and back to $350. It’s now about 5:45am and the big hand of the night occurs. Asian Kid, in the SB calls a PF raise from Homeless guy. I’m out of the hand and I watch with interest. Flop comes down Js5c4s. Asian kid bets out $25 and Homeless guy smooth calls. Turn is 7d. Asian kid bets out $45, Homeless guy announces a raise (between disgusting coughs) and puts $75 on top. Asian Kid thinks about it and re-raises, $100 more. Homeless guy immediately moves all in by shoving his rack forward. Asian kid turns a smile and says, “Oh wow. I have a sick hand. But I have a feeling you have a sicker one.” At this point, given the speech, I fully expect Asian Kid to have the bottom set and he feels he’s up against a better set, probably Jacks. So he sweats it out a bit and after about a minute, he gets up and shrugs and says, “ok, I guess this is my last hand of the night. I call.” So he shoves in the rest of his chips and the dealer turns over the river, a 3d. Homeless Guy turns over 55 for a flopped set of 5’s. Asian Kid looks at his cards, laughs in the sort of frustrated way that only a lost soul can, and throws down his cards, face down. He picks up his backpack and slings it over his shoulder, preparing to leave.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Before the dealer can muck the cards and shove the pot, I ask to see the mucked cards. I’m just curious about this hand (the biggest pot (700+) we’ve seen tonight) and what hand he could have been sweating with. Normally the dealer is supposed to pick up the cards, touch them to the muck to “kill” them and then show them. He forgets to touch them to the muck and flips them over and it’s Ts6s. I look at the board; Js-5c-4s-7c-3d. Ok, he flopped the flush draw, I see that. And then he turned the OESD. So *that’s* why he thought his hand was sick. He had the draw two ways. And then….OH SHIT! HE MADE THE STRAIGHT ON THE RIVER!!! AND HE FOLDED!!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!

There was some drama when the Asian Kid meekly protested that his hand wasn’t technically mucked but the floor came over and made the correct ruling, which is that if a player not in the hand asks to see a folded hand, then it’s automatically dead, even if it technically didn’t hit the much. If Asian Kid had reached forward and turned it up, it would have still been live, but I asked to see them, not Asian Kid. Also, if Homeless Guy had asked to see them, they would have been live, even if they hit the muck. So the moral of the story is that Asian Kid lost a HUGE pot, because of his own stupidity and my own actions rubbed it in! OHMIGOD, what a great ending to the night that was! HAHAHAHAH.

I only stayed a few more minutes because I had just a *little* bit of profit and I wanted to leave with the moral victory of being up for the session. I was actually up $13 and I folded to UTG when I got 22. Ok, I wanted see a cheap flop so I called $2 and it limped all around to the SB, who jacked it up to $15. Dammit! I told him that that was very inconsiderate because I was up $13 and if I called him I’d be down for the session. Dilemmas, dilemmas. I pussied out and folded and saw the flop come out As2h9h. Doh! I grimaced when SB pushed out $30 and I imagined how I would have min-raised him and got him to go all in with his AK. Oh, sweet dreams.

I went to bad happy and got up the next day to find out it was snowing in NY. So I only stayed a few hours at the 5-10 table. I managed to lose $100 in a combination of bad hands, including when the BIGGEST fish at the table (e.g. caps 4 raises with Q7o) got quad 4’s against my AK two pair. Grrrrr…. But It’s all good. PP and I drove back in good time after a rocking meal at the White House sub shop and I’m back home, safe and sound. The Valentine’s day tourney is next up before Vegas.

Come to me Venetian! You’re mine!


Pascale Soleil said...

Hey, I'm going to Vegas to play in the Venetian deep stacks in a week's time too.

If I ran into you, how would I recognize you?

Jamie said...

That depends, I suppose. Who are you? :-)

Freddy S. Zalta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Booby Stealz said...

lol stupid asians! =p

Pascale Soleil said...

I'm just another poker player who's been reading your blog for awhile... mine's at