Monday, September 14, 2009

Of men, ladies, pink chips and bubbles (Part Two of Two)

Saturday morning, we all got up at a decent hour for the 11am Ladies tournament start. Not me, though. I had taken two Simply Sleep pills (thanks Tylenol!) and woke up just enough to babble to Wendy before falling back asleep at 11:00 and not waking up again until 3:30p! Keep in mind that I had fallen asleep the night before at 2:00a. I guess my body really needed that.

I was getting text messages from Chris and Wendy about the state of the tournament and they seemed to both be doing pretty well. Good chip stacks, bad players and ~270 runners in a nice field. Wendy asked me to bring her some caffeineited teas, so I got showered and dressed and brought her what she needed. We chatted about the tourney and how she was doing and she broke the big news to me. There were at least two guys playing in the Ladies tournament that day. One was a transvestite, and no one seemed to have a problem with a man who thought of himself as a woman playing in the tournament. The other, however, was a bonafide man. And not only that, but a professional player with $650,000 of tournament winnings in his career.

It's unseemly to me, on it's face, to have a man play in a tournament designated for women. There's been a lot of talk on the 2+2 forums about this with the camps being divided into:

A. This is a Ladies tournament for, you know, ladies.
B. Why should there be any discrimination at all? If a Ladies tournament is valid, what about a Jewish tournament? Or a tournament for people over 6 ft. tall? Let the guy play.

The fact is, the law requires the casino to let men enter, so they did, but with lots of vocal opposition. They tried their best to make the guy feel like shit about it and he didn't care. In the face of all the opposition and a room full of women who wanted to bust him, the guy won.

He fucking won. The Ladies tournament. Oh, best part, the woman he beat heads up for the win was playing to raise money for her breast cancer surgery recovery in a few weeks, when she'll be getting a double masectomy.

So, to recap for the moment, a professional male poker player entered a $300 tourney so he could beat up on women who tilted at the sight of him and tried his best to take money from a woman who's getting her tits chopped off so she can survive cancer.


He says he's going to donate his winning to charity, but I'll believe that when I see it. The truth is there were plenty of other tournaments running that day, with higher buyins and higher payouts, and the only reason he got into this one was because he saw an opportunity. He figured, hey, there's lots of dead money in this tourney. Why not play the edge? And that's what makes him a douche. Women poker players, on the whole (not individually), are not as good as men. And why should they be? There's far fewer of them and the game has historically been played by men, with women not even given the opportunity to play except in the last few years. And the bottom line is, it's good for the game as a whole for women to have their own "thing", so to speak. For a guy to come in and ruin that is demoralizing for women playing poker. Even moreso that he won, giving the "men are mentally superior" crowd some false grist with which to gin their mill (how many idioms did I cram in there?). So the guy's an asshole and that's the end of that rant.

Chris busted out in about 80th place, but Wendy made a strong showing and busted out just short of the money by trying to make a 11xBB shove with a suited Ace and ran into KK. Her play was aggressive, but defensible. Her style is to play to win, not just to make the money, but my feeling is that with 11BB, you're most likely not going to win anyway. Personally, I would have waited for at least another orbit before trying to shove, and then when I was in later position. But that's just two different styles. If she had won that pot, she would have had about 14 or 15 BB's and might have made a much deeper run.

In the meantime while this drama was unfolding, I was downstairs in the poker room playing more Pink Chip Omaha. This time, I was getting slaughetered. I took about 4 hours, but I lost a rack and another hundred dollar buyin for a $350 loss. I wasn't happy about it in the least. I took a break to see how Wendy and Chris were doing in the tourney and then went back to the tables for some 1-2 NLHE. I did a lot better, but it wasn't easy. I was at a pretty sharky table, with maybe two donks that I could identify. The whole room was hopping with Borgata Open tournament players and it made the level of play higher, or at least wilder, than normal. I tried to adjust but it wasn't easy. I went down $80 quickly on a couple of missed flops and then I managed to get a T5 in the BB and it limped around to me. The flop was T82. Top pair and a flush draw? I bet $15. It folds around to an action type player who pops me to $30. I put him on a naked top pair and I shove for $105 more and he insta-calls with T*h8. Ouch. My two pair draw is counterfeited and I can only win with a spade, which naturally doesn't come. I rebuy for $160 and manage to grind it all the way down to $30 when Chris comes over to tell me she busted out. She rails me for a while, urging me to rebuy some more in case I hit a big hand but I decide to see where this short stack will take me.

All the way to the promised land, evidently.

I get 44 on the button and a guy raises to $10, another guy calls and I shove with $30. Both players call. Flop is A85. I figure I'm dead to the Ace and start hoping for another 4. But it goes check-check on the flop! Turn is 3. Now I have a wheel draw too. Check-check again! River is 9. Check-Check one more time. They show down KQ and KJ, respectively and my pocket fours scoop! Yay! Back up to $90, I get JJ and raise to $15. A guy shoves for his last $80 and I call. He shows TT and the flop is J55, locking it up for me. Turn and river are meaningless and now I'm back up to nearly $200. An hour later, feeling better about my situation and with my stack at about $240, I call a pf raise to $10 with QTs. There are four other people in the pot and I flop the joint. 89J, rainbow. It checks around and the turn is 3, putting a heart flush draw on board. I bet out $30, get one caller and then a raise to $100! I re-shove, the middle guy gets out of the way with what he said was J8, and the raiser calls with JJ for top set! I dodge a paired board on the end and just like that I'm at $530 after stacking my opponent. I play for another two hours, peaking at $610 but endind the session at $503. My opponent was on major tilt after that and I managed to take a nice pot off of him by making a good read, sending him on Super-Uber tilt (he was in for at least 5 buyins). The situation was, I had ATo in the BB and it limped around to me. I check and the flop is AJ3. I don't like the board and I check. It checks around. Turn is a 5. It checks to Tilty McTiltster, who bets $15. I call and everyone else folds. River is a 4. No flush on board. I check, he pauses and bets $60. It was such an outsized bet (2X the pot) that my instincts immediately said, bluff! Now, a good player would know I thought he was titlting and made that bet with the nuts or two pair, but he wasn't a good player. He was actually tilting. I called, showing top pair-ten kicker (oohs and ahhs from the gallery) and Tilty mucked. He was a dangerous opponent after that, overbetting quite a bit and you never knew where he was at. I didn't tangle with him after that and he managed to build a $500 stack before blowing it yet again.

It was 4:30a when I picked up and my table was still super action-y and raucous fun, but I was tired. I stopped by to pick up Wendy, who reminded me that the rollover was happening in 15 minutes and I might as well stay for that. The rollover, for the uninitiated, is the time in the early morning when The Borgata automatically clocks out all of their poker players. They do this do you don't build up comp points while not actually playing. Normally, comp points are built up at the poker table for every hour of play, but the room is too chaotic to keep track of every player, so they tend to rely on the players themselves to get clocked in and out from the floor. But if you clock in at a table and the just leave the casino, you're still building up points even though you're not playing. The points get added to your card when you clock out. So the rollover prevents people from clocking in on Monday and clocking out on Friday. BUT, if you're present at the rollover, you get clocked out and then clocked back IN for the next day. So we just stayed to the rollover, left our tables and slept, making beautiful comp points while we slept. Mmmmm...Comp Points....

Though we got into bed at 6:30a, I managed to get up at 11:00a and prepare myself for another day of poker. No Omaha today, just 1-2NL. My table today was even sharkier than last night! I went around the table with my eyes and couldn't identify even a single donater. For two hours, my stack stayed exactly even and I was getting any hands at all. It was brutal. I was about to ask the floor for a table change when the three big stacks at the table got up simultaneously and were filled in by much fishier players. Whew. I stayed at the table, still not getting hands and ground it out for another two hours. Just when I was ready to give up, I called a PF raise to $12 with 34 in middle position with 4 other callers. The flop was a beautiful A25. Yay wheel flop! I checked and the raiser bet out $25. Ok, I know he has an Ace. Probably a high ace like AK, AQ, justifying the PF raise. My goal now is to stack him. I called the bet (everyone else folded) and prayed for him to improve on the turn. Please god, put an Ace, King or Queen on the turn. Just this once. I'll sing your praises forever (or at least in my next blog post).

The turn: A

Hallelujah and praise his name! Back up the Brinks truck, we're gonna need a wheelbarrow here!

I check again and he bets $30. At this point, I'm representing a weak Ace or a flush draw. If I were him, I would have bet for value higher than $30 because a donkey player isn't giving up trip Aces. But he bet $30 and the river was an 8. I was now 100% sure I was good. I needed to figure out how to stack him and decided that if I checked, he was going to fire. I checked, he bet half his stack and I went into the "tank". Not really, but I had to make it look good. I finally put him all in and he looked dejected. I guess he figured I might have made an A8 boat, but he called and was shocked to see me table a straight. Double up! I was at $440, where I stayed for the next few hours. Chris was taking a beating at 2-5 and when she finally gave up the ghost it was 6pm. I was about to leave my table, playing my last UTG hand when I looked down at 89. I was kind of praying that I didn't have a hand to play, but I had to see a flop. I limped and the next player popped it to $12. I would have called if it hadn't folded around to me, but I'm not playing heads up out of position with 89s. Sorry, Homie don't play dat (trip down memory lane anyone?). The thing is, I had all red chips in front of me, ready to rack and go, and I had broken one to limp for the $2, so now I had $3 in whites sitting in front of me. $3 in Whites = a big blind and a small blind and look at this! It was my turn to be big blind! I anted up and got 73o. Boo, poker. It limped around as I prayed audibly for someone to raise me out of this hand. No one did, but I had the woman to my right in hysterics with my antics. She'd been there before, trying to leave and not get stacked on your last hand of the weekend. The flop was A76. Despite my praying, I hit the flop and it checked all the way around! Oh, shoot. The turn (please don't hit me, please don't hit me) was a 3. Oh darn. I bet $12, got one call, and then a raise to $35! I said to the woman, "You see where this is going, right? I'm not leaving here with anything." She smiled and nodded knowingly. I looked at the board, A763 and thought about what kind of hand would limp PF, check on the flop and raise the turn. I came to the conclusion that he either had 45 for the nut straight, A3 for a better two pair or was semi-bluffing with 85 for the up and down draw. I was out of position and didn't feel like playing a big pot with a hand that was behind most of the scenarios I could think of, so I flashed to the woman to my right, said, "I'm playing such scared money right now" and folded. Middle guy folded too and the raiser was about to muck when I flashed my cards to the woman and she said, "Are you retarded, folding that?" I showed the table and the raiser showed 76 for a flopped better two pair! Good read Jamie. Knowing my luck, the case 7 would have hit the river and I would have been felted. So I got away, not even playing the SB and left the table with about $420.

The ride home was unbelievably smooth considering it was Sunday night and we left at 7pm. Not a single lick of traffic and we were home in 2 hrs. flat. Coolio.

A great weekend altogether but it's only got me jonesing for more. I'm going to have to put a lid on it for a while and deal with online poker. Maybe I'll use the time to read some of my Omaha books. December will be my uber-awesome Arizona trip and I'll probably have one ore two more AC weekends in between then.

Gotta find me a good home game...


Anonymous said...

"Gotta find me a good home game..."

you had the best home game right in your own living room, sorry you had to give it up...

Memphis MOJO said...

Nice recap. Sounds like you had a good time.

When I've played in casinos with a tournament going on, I've found the games have been softer for some reason. This includes Tunica, Biloxi and New Orleans.