Crapped on the Head and Kicked in the teeth part 1.
There's an older gentleman I've played with a few times and every time at one point he's said his favorite catchphrase, "Some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue." Yes, quite undeniably true when it comes to poker. I finally had a bad wednesday. I don't have room to complain as I've been running so good there. However, I will complain. In the past on Wednesday I'll make mistakes and still profit, this day was just the opposite, I got punished for my mistakes and even worse for my opponents mistakes too. Yes, I was covered in pasty white bird excrement.
I'm going to jump around my day long sojourn at Harrahs and probably break up this post a little bit. At noon or so, I see Monkey and Keith arrive from Biloxi. They showed up late for the tournament by an hour. I have plenty of time to chat with them as I've not even made the break. Yes, I've busted early from the tournament.
Let's get to the donkley real quick. I donk off a chunk of my stack with a silly river bluff, against a very good player who essentially gave me a courtesy check. Even as I fired it I could visualize Clark Griswold clapping his hands saying "This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy" in the cold pool that was my brain.
In the past me and this guy usually give each other wide berth and play small pots when we do tangle because we both know the other usually has the goods. So with two kings on board, and my busted draw, I bet into his check. "This is crazy..." and cue Beverly D'Angelo's shrill scream that was his call. So, my stack was below starting as I see a steady diet of 9-2 for 30 mintues.
Later, I look at Kings in the big blind, and after the frustration of the day so far, my elation was that (to use another bad movie analogy) of the scene of the kids tearing up their books with the song "School's out for summer..." from Dazed and Confused. It's my first big hand, and I'm looking to double up.
An early position raiser fires out a 3x bet. Here's the thing. He's played exactly one hand... the entire tournament... this one... and we are in the third level. Grrrrrrrrr-eeeaat. Ben Affleck just showed up with the paddle, and I'm Hertzfelder.
Then, a good player having a terrible day, shoves for just under half my stack. What? So much for tip-toeing through the hand. There was an old Atari game, I can't remember the title (maybe half of them), where if you turn the wrong way or made the wrong decision, you are basically more than f'd, and can't win or get out, you are trapped, and have to figure out a way to die so you can restart the level. Like jumping into an alligator's mouth.
I had that feeling at this point.
I ponder and determine I have to reshove, hope the first guy has like AK or AQ or an underpair and not even worry about trying to outplay him after the flop. I've noticed when somebody has aces even if they are a mute they quickly say the words "I call." Weaker hands just count up the chips and put them in. So one assertive "I call" later and I basically start my walk of shame.
Back to talking to Monkey and Keith. I half talk them into staying. I say half-talk because no way there were turning around and driving back to Biloxi. As I'm talking, I notice Harrahs just started a new 1-2 game and I put my phone down saving my spot and give the chip runner some hundreds. A couple minutes later, this dude comes over to us and asks if we are playing. I'm like yeah, I got a spot. "We can't start unless you are over here," he says.
"Oh, the chip runner must be back," I think, "I don't want to hold anybody up," and I walk over. Monkey follows suit. Then we get there and nobody has any chips. One thing I hate in life is the HURRY UP AND WAIT. If you are going to bitch about something, and imply I'm holding things up, when I get there it better be ready to go.
As a kid, I would pack the quickest for any trip our family would take. It took me about 5 minutes to get my shit together, yet my dad would bitch at me all night and all morning about getting ready. Sure enough, when I'd reach the breaking point, I'd pack. And then wait for an hour and half for everybody else. That started my hatred of Hurry Up and Wait, and for the people, those people with some sort of anxiety disorder, that rushes you for no reason.
No wonder I play poker for a living. The Hurry Up and Wait, is one of the only things people in middle management in corporate America can do competently and it actually makes them feel like they have a purpose in their desk jockey lives. To say I don't respond well to those kinds of bosses is putting it lightly.
I get to the table, after cutting short our conversation and do nothing. The chips aren't back and the game isn't ready to kick off. I immediately decide the kid is a target. Then I see he's bought in short. Okay, I forgive him, because I'm not going to double him up all day.
Monkey came over despite him loathing the cash game. Which is so odd to me (the loathing not the playing). I think he'd be a better cash game player, maybe, than he is tournament player with his style. My feeling is most of the time he doesn't treat it with the same seriousness. In a tournament, the guy is focused on the game and his banter is a sporadic tool, in a cash game the poker is just running parallel to the banter. It's hard not to have fun and be social in a cash game, but with his playing style, I think he could kill cash games, especially 1-2 and 2-5 if he approached them with same attitude as does in tournaments. Though, as well as he does in tournaments I guess he doesn't have too not like he needs to relearn how to play poker to play cash.
In short order, we both get aces (on separate hands) and it's folded to our bets preflop. Which I think happened all of two times that day... the two times we held aces. After they fold to mine, he tells me I play too tight. Everybody folded to my bet like rats fleeing a sinking ship. He's right. Although, in these cash game I find usually these same players will make bad, bad calls later despite my appearence of tightness. It's like their eyes can only see the two cards they are playing and they chose to ignore the image of the guy doing the betting. Usually to my benefit--but as I later find out--not today.
We make a side bet on how long this kid who came in late will last til he has to rebuy. Monkey, I owe you. You put the over/under at 4:10, I took the over. I saw him peel off his second buy-in at 4:06. Monkey, wasn't there to see it as he had to take care of some business, pre-existing Monkey business of sorts :). I felt a bit dirty doing that bet but it was fun. Probably even more fun to do in a tournament behind a mountain of chips with short stacks all around you.
The table was odd and I'll let Monkey's next blog provide the commentary for that.
Anyway, there must have been some kharmic justice floating through the air as that kid we betted on, finished me off at the end of the day. After getting up early and then running through a couple of rebuys, I kept running into worse hands that ignored my bets and became better hands.
The kid we bet on was the icing on the cake, or the final boot to the molars, so to speak.
I got QQ on the button. A guy straddles, just about everybody calls. I make it 40. Folded to the kid, who monkey and I bet on, now into his second buy-in and he calls. He's not really played many hands so far, and "seems" to be a solid player.
Flop is J79 two hearts. He checks, and I put the rest of my chips in, I think I got enough to do some protection. He doesn't really think about it and calls. The Ace peels off on the turn and I know I'm beat. I start to get up and I see him shake his head a bit. Alright... maybe not AJ... maybe he had KJ... maybe my day is turning around. Then a 10 on the river. He shows... Q8. Cue....
... more to come. Probably with less multi-media