Spanked... (2nd last night on the Coast)

You ever get that guy at the table that you just want to spank. Just bend him over your knee and through brute force induce some common sense into him and his game. "Don't cold call, no pair no draw." "Don't say you got a feeling it was going to go spade-spade."

You look at that guy, always with athe sad-sack face contrasted by a I'm- indestructible-on-this-rush-smile and your knuckles start throbbing. It's like your saliva glands start firing in advance of a good meal you can smell heading to your table, but this guy just casues your hands to brace for the beatdown you want to lay on the guy. I'm not a violent guy but I swear I've looked down at my knuckles swelling with blood in anticipation of some sort of subconcious primal urge fullfillment when I sit with these types.

His mere presence is tilting. He stumbles through hands and yet the chips are drawn to him like flies to a decomposing corpse. And yes, that's the image you get when you look at the dude, even though he's across the table you can see the folks near him all look like they are ducking away from him into the frame of some picture being taken of their other neighbor. He repels everything... but the chips.

Even the chip-runners are giving him wide berth, and choosing to squeeze into a milimeter wide space between two hippos back to back between tables, then make the easy trek by the Guy-that-needs-a-spanking. The drink girls despite having all the room, in the room, would rather pass a drink down to the guy then get near him.

I hear Eskimo Clark had a repellent funk like that, but I imagine he wins his chips correctly so as disconcerting as it is to sit next to the guy with Au Natural "I've eaten at Superior Grill" odor you don't feel compelled to go prehistoric on the dude.

Last night, I didn't have that urge, but my buddy who got flown into Biloxi by the Beau to gamble there for a few days did. Two or three times during the tournament as my stack size was wildly growing and shrinking he'd come over to bitch about the moron.

Yes, idiot player induced tilt was in full effect. "I just want a hand to crack the guy" he'd shake his head at me, and then say "Hey, where'd all your chips go?" The next time he'd be back telling me how the guy "chased" a King with his almighty King-6 on a flush and straight heavy board and got there on the river after a competent opponent made all the right size relinquesh the hand bets. Then my friend asked me where my new stack came from.

I knew with the frequency my boy was coming to me to bitch that things didn't bode well. He got it all in when he flopped 654 with a pocket pair of 7s. Pocket Jacks made the call and no help came his way. Still, he constantly bemoaned the poker leper that was stealing from everybody via idiocracy.

Then my boy jumps into the 5-10 game that was shorthanded with no discernable soft spots. Ummm. After I surveyed the table and saw some discernable HARD spots I thought, "You might want to move." During a break with my newly short stack down to 3k of the 10k starting chips, I informed my friend, the whale, just that.

Too late. He was already down 2k in cash. He didn't believe he could win it all back on a 2-5 table so he wanted to stay there despite the odds. I uged him to reconsider.

He was adamant and now, I looked menacingly at the dullard who put him on tilt, as I saw the potential for it being a very pricey evening for my friend. Now, it was my fists that were clenching. Empathetic Tilt--I'm such a wussy. I consciously decided to take our minds off of the lunchbox and talk about something I really enjoy discussing, myself and my "brilliance" (sarcasm) at a poker table.

Why were my chips coming and going like a crackhead to a... crackhouse? Unfettered aggression.

On one I was in the small blind and I limped. The flop came 44K. I had none of it. In fact, my hand was so bad and irrelevant they might as well have been taro cards or Wilt Chamberlain and a Magic Johnson in Topps Legends of VD series. Okay, they might have been like 39. One loose guy bets. (King ball or nothing). He gets a smooth caller. (Flush draw or weak king). Second caller softly puts in his chips(Ummm, captain obvious this guy has the hand as he's shown down nothing but winners but why observe the obvious).

I decide the proper play here, and the line I can sell is the flop hit me in the small blind like a Mac truck running over PeeWee Herman on his bicycle, and I pound a giant raise. I have the four, I'm protecting it from flush draws and dumb kings. I shuffle some chips out there.

Fold, Fold, Acting job. Maybe not acting, maybe a decision of when to pound me back. He calls in position. Turn is brick city (and neither one of the two bricks I got in my hand--not that they would help). After a moment, Boom! 1/4 of my chips fly into the air, get off your hand biatch. Now, the real acting, chip shuffle, fake chip count and the famous "I might as well go all in" with a shrug for effect. I don't even know if the poker corpse on my friends table could make that call with my hand.

I laydown. I suggest I had a four. Most people believe it.

There goes a big chunk.

Let's discuss some more "brilliance" on my part. I get a stack back, by basically being wide open in position and keying on the old tight players at the table (yeah, sorry, I'm not as much the nit as I advertise, oops the secret is out) with three bets and stiff c-bets.

Time to give it away again.

This one guy has gone all in on three out of four hands. I had marginal calls but folded each time. The last time I say f it, I got some chips KQ o/s (yeah, that... powerhouse) is probably racing with a lot of what he might be holding. He shows AK. Suhweet.

Again, the small stack I've given myself is quickly grown and I catch a lot of hands. Yes, I got AA, AK twice that hit the flop vs. QQ, JJ that I made a solid isolation play on a lower pair (shedding some late callers) and the flop just came AKQ, so yeah, somebody did get spanked and it was me with the deck.

Then I had a superdraw with overs and a flush and a straight draw and hit NOTHING and had to lay down on the river, back to a baby stack.

Basically, I focused on the bad hands and my newly small stack. As my friend reminded me, I was still alive.

We get back from the break and I grow my stack... again. We get to two tables and three or four players basically announce they are on shut-down because of the bubble. Yes, that's my cue, and I'm punching it.

Limp, Limp, Limp, me on the cut off. 4-2. That'll work. I drop some of my yellows out on the table. Guy in the small blind, who has sat two to my left for over an hour and been about as noticeable as Casey Affleck in any of scene in the Oceans 11 movies, stews and shoves.

I realize, I know this guy. Where do I know him?

Folded around. I count out the antes limps, my raise and his shove and I'm getting over 3 to 1. Feeling like Brandon Cantu on that WSOP table where he made a brutal call, I just focus on the math. This guy might be desperate... he hasn't had a hand all day. Any ace could be in his range. He really sweated the push.

I stopped accessing the memory banks and focused on my cards maybe being live. I call and show my impressive 4-2 hand.

A good player on the other side of the table audibly critiques my play. Everybody's is guessing at the small blind's hand "Kings? Aces?" He's still trying to figure out mine so he hasn't turned his over. Wait, a second I know that guy from the IP's mega satellite! He's one of the tightest nits I've played with... he can probably only squeeze out a deuce bomb once a week.

He shows pocket 10s. I spike a two on the river beating the hand I wish he had Ak but doing nothing against his 10s. It's funny pocket 10s are probably outside the range I'd put that guy on shoving with once I realized who he was. Minimum Jacks.


Still, we are on the bubble. I keep firing. Chip stack regathered. Oh yeah, one time I overplay AQ (there's that hand again) and it runs into AK. I get a Queen in the door and I'm set again. Told you the deck liked me.

We get to the final table and my buddy's nemisis is sitting directly across from me. The two guys on either side of him are almost sitting at other tables. To top it off, to my right (better than my left) is this guy's evil clone in ineptitude with 40% of the chips. He's sporting a "do" that looks like George Costanza's father's hair, and strangely it looks like a toupee. How do you pick that out at Bosley's?

Maybe it matches the hair he used to have. If that was the case, I'd be praying to go bald and certainly, if I chose to wear a wig I would pick out any one but that one.

I can tell George's dad is probably the lesser of the two clones. As bad as my friends nemisis is the other guy is worse. He's an open book to read. I got another irrelevant hand. Flop comes 987. I fire out into two nits and that guy. Fold. Fold. That guy eyes the board and calls. I look at him, and say "You got a six?"

He smiles. And like so many people do flat out tells me yes. O.K. Jaime Gold. Turn is another 9. I bet my fake trips again. He of course calls.

River is a five. He checks (?!?!?) and I check behind. He shows J6. I muck.

So now, I'm on the short stack. However, 6 eliminations later, I'm second in chips. George's dad doesn't river bet his flush and enables a guy to jump him a spot in the money. Both guys get sent to the rail by the poker corpse and then it's just us two. Me and the guy who might have just got us to heads-up by his mere presence inducing his neighbors to commit chip suicide.

Like a gun-fighter at the O.K. Corrale armed with a broken super-soaker he's got me about 10 to 1. He couldn't resist calling and sucking out on everybody and now I could feel the magnetic tug at my chips.

Still, I liked my chances.

Two hands later, I flop top pair, and insta-shove. He calls and has me outkicked. So much for outplaying him over the long run.

My friend who, meanwhile, has been comped a dinner at the steak house for the both of us, had intermittantly come from the restaurant to peak in at the final table with just one request... ruin that guy. Comes back to see I couldn't close the deal and grumbles.

Then he heads back to the 5-10 table as I eat my porterhouse (boxed it up because the restaurant closed-which was amazing) in the corner and watch him play very solid poker while being card-dead. Situation averted.

Maybe, one day soon I'll finish this tale with the epilogue about the winner of the tournament showing up on my cash table. I also left that table a winner. Of course I wasn't playing too many 4-2 o/s there.

And btw, next time you see me, I'm going back to being a nit. I promise.


CC said…
Wow, wild swings, both in your stack and in your play. Reminds me of your play in Vegas after being up for 30 hours...

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