Monday, May 12, 2008

California Trip – Addendum

The New Jersey leg…

I took the redeye home from California and it actually arrived almost an hour early! I was on the ground at about 5AM and back in my apartment at 6:30AM. My sleep schedule was still completely out of whack but I was on the tired side and I took full advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to go to work that day or the next. Interestingly, the couch seemed more comfortable than my bed and I crashed there, waking up at 3:30PM, much later than I’d hoped. You see, the Van Halen concert, the one postponed since February, was being held in Cracklantic City the next night and I had a hotel reservation at the Tropicana the night before. I wiped the sleep out of my eyes, took a shower, repacked an overnight bag, and managed to make the 6PM bus from the Port Authority.

The trip down was uneventful and I played a few hours of NLHE at the Trop ($140 profit) before sleep overtook me again.

I woke up Friday morning full of vim and vigor. I checked out, took my stuff and walked on the boardwalk up to Caesars. The concert hall is next to the pier at Caesars and I figured the best thing to do was check my bags there and pick them up that night after the show. I sweet-talked the porter (with a fiver) to allow me to check the luggage since it’s only supposed to be used by guests and I was on my way. I sat for some more NLHE at Caesars and walked away a few hours later another $200 up. I needed these wins to eat into my loss in California (damned O/8!). The rest of the poker crew (Abbie, W, Darko and PP) were on their way down to the Showboat and I wanted to say hello before I had to go back to the hall to see the mighty Van Halen perform. I said my hellos as they all registered for the 7PM tourney and I took a rolling cart thingy to the Boardwalk. I needn’t have rushed since some local guy (great voice but doing mostly covers) was opening up for them. I went upstairs to use the bathroom and I turned the corner and bumped into one of my college fraternity brothers! He lives in Philly and came into town for the show. Freaky.

At 9PM, the mighty Van Halen stormed the stage. The crowd, which was populated by much older people than I’d expect (I mean some 60-70 year olds in the groups!) was a bit slow to get into it but they eventually warmed up and the band responded in kind. The guys look fantastic. Everyone was in great form, even little Wolfgang Van Halen, on bass replacing Mike Anthony. Wolfie was more competent that I would’ve expected from a 15 year old and the show went off professionally without a hitch.

The set list, if anyone cares, was: (in order)
You Really Got Me
I’m the One
Running with the Devil
Romeo Delight
Somebody Get Me A Doctor/CrossRoad Blues Medley
Beautiful Girls
Dance The Night Away
Atomic Punk
Everybody Wants Some!
So This Is Love
Mean Streets
Pretty Woman
Alex Van Halen drum solo
I’ll Wait
And The Crade Will Rock
Hot For Teacher
Little Dreamer
Jamie’s Crying
Dave’s Acoustic Guitar solo and rap
Ice Cream Man
Eruption/Cathedral medley
Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love

Awesome show. As you can see, they stuck strictly to Dave material pre-5150 and it was incredible stuff. Everytime they did a closeup on Eddie’s hands, I was in awe. Just a great experience for me all around.

When I got back to the Showboat at 11:30, Darko and Abbie were still in the tourney. Darko busted out just out of the final table but Abbie cashed, though it was a bit far away to make any real money. I think she made back part of her buyin.

After that, we decided to stay and play at the Showboat that night and tackle Borgata the night after. I played at a 1-2NL table with Wendy and got utterly destroyed for nearly 4 buyins. It was 7AM and everyone was cashing out when I FINALLY went on a run of four hands where I won back a good portion of my losses. So I booked a 350 loss rather than the 700 loss I was looking at.

We slept really late at PP’s place in AC and got up in time to have a late lunch at White House. Note to self: there is a LOT of meat on those sandwiches! We made it to the Borgata, which was a little light for a Saturday night, in time to play more 1-2NL. This time, I booked a nice session, doubling my buyin of 250, which put me in the black for the AC weekend, even with my 1-2 meltdown the night before. I was starting to come down with a cold and I had decided I was going to go back on the bus that evening, so I cashed out and waited until midnight to have dinner with the crew downstairs at the Hibachi place. When I got back topside, though, the siren song of the 10-20 mixed game (O/8, Stud/8) was just too strong. I sat in for a few hours, picking up at 4:00 AM to make a 4:30 bus at Claridge. I lost most of my buyin in the first three hours because I kept getting rolled up suits for the first four cards in Stud and then not connecting. Three of those hands cost me nearly $100 each time. Finally, I hit a big hand. In O/8, I got AAK9 double suited, in a kill pot of 15/30. I elected not to raise, given the luck I’d been having. The flop was A94, all hearts, of which I had none. I only had about 150 left and I kept check-calling a huge multi-way hand (7 players!). I knew I was probably drawing to the nuts but I needed to hit so bad. Finally, the board came with running Two’s to boat me up and I check raised the last bet all in! W00t! Some guy made a 63 low and I took the high to chop an 825 pot! Woot! I was nearly back to even and I scooped my first pot of the night with a King flush a few hands later to pull with 30 of being even. That’s when I got up, gratefully.

I cabbed it over to the Claridge and found out that the bus was never going to arrive since it had stopped at Caesars 20 minutes earlier and filled up! The next bus wasn’t until 6:10 at the Hilton! Grrr…. I took another cab to the Hilton and had 90 minutes to kill, so I sat in a 1-2 game with 200. I doubled up on the third hand with an absolute beauty. I had AJo UTG+1. I’m new to the table so I don’t know what the standard PF betting is yet. I elect to raise to 10 and I get 5 callers. Flop is JJ2 with 2 spades. I have a new thing now where if I flop a monster with a flush draw, I take one card on the turn to see if the flush appears and then start betting big. My thought is that it’s easier to bet someone off the draw if there’s only one card to come than two. The turn is a 3d. An old Chinese woman bets 10, an older black gentlemen (dressed really nicely in a natty suit) calls. At this point, I should be raising big to take down the pot but I’m tired and I just call from some stupid reason. Everyone else folds and my idiocy gets rewarded with the one perfect card in the deck I could have hoped for on the river, the Ace of Spades (~Ace of spaaaades~). It makes my boat and completes the flush draw. I’ve been checking or check calling every street since the flop so a flush draw is going to think they’re good. The old Chinese woman goes all in for 28. The old black man min-raises to 58. Bingo. He’s got 125 behind and I do some Hollywood (“58 to me? Hmmmm…”), before pushing all in. He insta-calls with the King flush and I stack them both with the second nuts. Weeeeee!

I manage to hold on to my profit for another 45 minutes before I have to leave, just making the 6:10 bus which got us into the Port Authority at 8:10 on the dot. My cold was starting to progress so I had to cancel the date that night I was looking forward to all week, but I’ll make that up to her.

All in all, a nice return to form for the Wall Street Crew in our first weekend in AC in quite some time. Can’t wait for the next one!


Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Nice catch.

Booby Stealz said...

Can I go to AC the next time you guys go? sounds like a lot of fun.