Bar Poker

Still evacuated. With my two dogs and all the hassle of getting everything together to head north, I'm waiting on Ike before I head back. Of course that storm has taken forever to get into the gulf and nobody knows what it's doing. Yesterday half the computer models had it going to Texas the other half had it going to Florida. I just checked and almost all of them having it go to Texas or well west of New Orleans. Looks like I might be headed back tomorrow. The latest models: http://www.nola.com/hurricane-ike/wide.ssf?http://my.sfwmd.gov/sfwmd/common/images/weather/plots/storm_09.gif. I found that on NOLA dot.com. There also have a pretty good interactive graphic of Gustave's storm surge on there, and some news such as the first post-Gustave muder (what a milestone).

So, bored I drive down to the ATL to visit two college buddies on Saturday and watch Richmond upend UVA (or so we planned). I felt we outplayed UVA for much of the game just couldn't score. UVA did enough to win and had a few huge defensive plays such as an int from the goal line late in the fourth returned deep into our half to put the game away. Would have been sweet for the little spiders to pull off the upset. Course they might just win an FCS national championship and probably only Appy State was better than them last year. Also, Tim Hightower our stud running back and rookie fantasy sleeper on the Arizona Cardinals got his first td yesterday.

So we were about to leave and head on to other things when we notice the bar we are in, a smoker's paradise and a lung cancer patient's hell, started to set up some poker tables. I ask the guy the deal and it's a league of sorts. Okay, what's the buy-in. It's free of course. What do you win. If you finish in the top three you can come back in two weeks and play for a couple of grand. I ask if that was real money. Yeah. I ask again. Yeah. Well, that's not terrible. If I'm still stuck in TN because Ike turns into a monster then I might like some more live action. Or I'll just let one of my friends play for the pot. Alright, we'll scratch my poker jones and play.

Small problem, my friends don't want to commit to the four hours of play to win nothing that night. Oh. Plus, we have to meet a guy named Michael Scott (I wondered if he was going to bring Dwight Shrute and Pam and Jim) who was from the same office as one of my friends. Hmmm. I really want to play.

We are going to play elite pro in a donkament style. Where the 1500 buy-in is less than a big hand they'd play so they just try to build a huge early stack or go home. And based on the pre tournament chatter I felt like I was about that much better than the lunchboxes who were going to play. My friends weren't really grasping the concept. Okay, just go all in every hand until you get called down. You either win a big pot or we leave. It's a freeroll right. Either you got a legtimate chance to play in the finals, or we get knocked out in 5 minutes--win, win.

So we sit down, and it's a typical bar room game, at least at my table. Limp, Limp, raise, call, call, call, call, all the way to me in the blind. 94 o/s Ship it. Passive table folds. Second hand the exact same thing happens, I think I might have a Jack. Ship it. Table folds. Looks like I won't get my double up but I am accumalating chips. Third hand more of the same. Ship it. Table folds. Fourth hand I look down at AJ. Okay, I don't mind being called with this. The idiots try to limp their way to another pot. At this point, if I were one of them I'd limp with a monster to induce my shipping it, and call. Nobody has a monster. Fold. yes, four hands and I'm chip laden with all the small chips and nobody's called me a maniac yet. Fifth hand I look at 72 o/s and there is a raise, a reraise (substantial) and a call. I laid down. The board was all faces and the reraiser connected pretty good and the other two fold to his bet.

I actually have enough of a chip lead that I going to play a little bit of poker. My friends on their tables have been doing the same and have some chips. Pure maniac agression might just be the optimal strategy. I get two fours and don't shove. I want to hit a set and felt somebody. I hit my set and there is two spades on the board. I tell the table they know what's coming. They are going to have to play for all their chips. I shove. Folded around to one guy who insta-calls. Set over set maybe. No, meager little flush draw. Alright, I've probably doubled or tripled my stack, I don't care if he hits. This is just the situation I wanted anyway.

Turn is a spade. Table celebrates because the maniac has lost a pot. Blissfully, unaware that the board could pair. I contemplate interupting their celebrations a bit but the dealer fires off a river brick. Okay, what do I owe.

I'm told he has me covered. What? I've won just about every pot we've played. He hasn't won a hand. What do you mean he has me covered. The guy shows me a stack of huge chips he's got at the bottom of his stack. Where the f did those come from? The "floor" comes over and says you get extra chips for drinking. Like for every drink you get 20% of your starting stack. He says I'm gone. Wait a second, Scooter, I've been drinking in that bar for four hours. Me and my friends just cleared a $100 tab to walk over here. Where the f are my extra chips. I needed to ask for them before the hand. Just then I notice a waitress come to the table and give a guy a drink and drop two of the big chips in front of him. WTF. Alright.

I'm steaming a bit. And railbirding my two friends, in a bar freeroll. Yeah. Fun.

One of my friends had a big stack, and apparently had been honoring the all in or nothing strategy no matter what. I tell him to buy a drink and he can get more chips. You can just drink your way to the victory here. That's got to be some huge liability for the bar and the poker league. So I get over and he's got some big hands and people call him down with crap (I guess you do that when the guy goes all-in every time). And he wins enough to stay ahead or at least wins vs. all the little stacks.

F this, people are still getting seated. I go to the car take off my hat and my top shirt and decide I'm going to SuperBill my way back into this little fiasco. I ask the floor guy if I can still play. He tilts his head like a confused dog. "Yes... But..." another head tilt as he's staring at me"Not..." the head goes back and forth from side to side "If... You already played?" The jig is up. "Yeah, I've played poker before." He sizes me up and down and despite my clever disguise of taking off my hat and shirt recognizes me as the guy who five minutes okay bitch about the secret stash of chips. I WAS SO CLOSE! "No." He says. Like the time me and my friends got kicked out a bar in DC, we walked down the steps and turned our hats around and walked back up. The Bouncer goes, "Is that literally the best you come up with?" "Ah, it was worth a try right?" "No."

Hmmm. Still railbirding... a bar game.... A freeroll bar game. People are bragging about the one time they got a full house. "Does that beat a flush." "You know my son plays a lot of online poker." "Does he play on one of those online sites?" (he plays online... online? You don't say). "He plays on Yahoo." I want to shoot myself listening to these snippets of dumbness, such as this debate "But two pair is more than three of a kind. I got to hit four cards to make my hand you have to hit three (can't argue with that). Well, two pair should be worth more." Karma I guess for talking my friends into playing.

I tell my other friend about the drink trick to get free chips and he's like "Oh, yeah." He's got a mountain of chips. Oh, he's the one that got the credit for our four hour tab. He's at a table with 8 women. He's flirting with a 50 year old with a garish Poker t-shirt. She works for the league and is playing.

My first friend gets eliminated after never stopping going all in. He won a hand with 7-2. No wonder he was getting called with anything. The guy with the chips and the chicks isn't going anywhere.

More table banter assaults my brain. "I tell you something about that World Series of Poker on the TV, on the ESP...N I heard that Chris Moneymaker was a plant by ESPN and the casino and the entire final table was scripted. If not for them the game would have never taken off. And I know that Moneymaker gets a million every year from Harrahs just to keep his mouth shut. " "I heard the same thing." "All those TV tables are like that. The ESPN puts so much money into the prize pool they get to decide whose going to win (which is wrong on so many levels)."

Argh. I'm really bored. Well, why not try my ruse again. Back to the car I put back on my hat and shirt.

I walk up to the same floor guy. Fully aware of the transparency of my plan but more for a reaction than to actually get in. I have the hat pulled down really low and I tap him on the arm. I change my voice a little bit to a ridiculous comic rasp, "Can I buy in?"
He's more than dumbfounded. "Did you just change shirts... Did you think that would work?"
I don't look up, "Is that a no?"
"No, no, no." He doesn't grasp any of the humor that I'm getting out of this.

Railbird again.

That's it for now. Oh yeah, the surviving friend at the urging of the other friend at one point started an all-in convoy and got knocked out.

Can't wait for some real action. I might just head west to Tunica.

www.gulfcoastpoker.net







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