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Wedding Gifts

The wedding approaches. In less than 24 hours, I will be walking down the aisle, ready to marry fiance Kim, soon to be wifey Kim. I'm excited as hell, "excited" being the title I'm placing on my nervousness. Regardless, I know I am a lucky man.

According to Jewish tradition, you are not supposed to see your wife-to-be for a week prior to the wedding. I believe it is supposed to build anticipation, and it probably has some other religious significance to it. But living with fiance Kim makes that a difficult order, so we settled on not seeing each other for the weekend before the wedding. Seizing the opportunity, I decided to play some live poker at the Genoa Club, a card room in NYC which I visited for the first time on Wednesday. Like a true degenerate, I raced home from work, stuffed some clothes in an overnight bag, and headed out solo to play poker in an illegal card room.

The weekday tournaments at the Genoa Club are $40 freezeouts. But on Friday, the tournament is a $40, with one rebuy. I lost my ATM the day before, but I had $140 or so on me. This was all of the money I had available to me until the wedding. I budgetted. $80 for the tournament and $60 for 1/2 if I'm so inclined. Conveniently, $60 is the minimum buy-in.

When I arrived at Genoa, I saw a couple of the Wednesday players there. A stinky, small-framed dude with long hair who sat next to me on Wednesday had returned (with deoderant, thankfully). He brought a blond friend along. An Asian woman with broken fingers was there again. One of the players in the game on Wednesday was dealing, which helped me realize that a lot of the staff were also active players...a dicey proposition, but one that I overall felt comfortable with.

When I sat down, I didn't expect much. The table was aggressive, and I wanted to play tight until I could get some reads. I won some blinds with an UTG raise pre-flop from 50 to 300 with AKs. I made some plays, bluffing on a JJ5 flop from the SB, and successfully getting several players to fold. But overall, I was tight. Very tight. Unfortunately, I finally got antsy. I played 3d5d in the , hoping to get lucky, and two loose players joined me for a flop. T36. With bottom pair and a shit kicker, I checked. A loose player made a tiny bet. I reraised all-in for a significant, but not mind-blowing, amount of chips. He called. He had 8T, for top pair, and I lost.

The blinds were already 100/200, and if I rebought, I'd only get 2000 chips. The Rule of 10 really meant that I should just call it a night, as I would be going into a rebuy shortstacked. But I'm a gambler, so I yelled rebuy and got back into the swing of things. While chatting, I looked down to see my two best friends, A and A. Both were black, because I'm down with the, let's ignore that one.

I think for a moment, all the while keeping up my banter. I decide that I want to double up, but an all-in here would not be advisable. So, with only 4 500 denomination chips in front of me, I make a baby raise from 200 to 500. Loose Asian to my immediate left called. I felt concern, as I did not want a lot of callers. Senor Smelly raises to 1000, and I'm relieved. It folds to me, and I say, "I was waiting for that. I'm all in." One guy comments that he likes my style. Well thank you sir, I like my style too. Fortunately, Senor Smell called, and showed KK. I doubled up easily, and I was back to square one.

About three hands later, I got QQ. I raised pre-flop from 300 to 900. One person pushed for another 1000 or so. I called and he rebought. He held TT.

The very next hand, I held KK. I raised to 1500 preflop, and broken-fingered Asian lady called, leaving her with 900 or so in chips. The flop is all below K, so I push her all in and she calls. She loses, and I suddenly am stacked.

From here, I went tight again. This was due, in large part, to a couple of players who were very aggressive. I didn't need that crap, so I stayed out of their way. With two huge chipleaders and 7 or so people left, one of the chipleaders pushed all-in. This wasn't the first time he did this. In fact, he had done it about 7 of the last 8 hands, or so it seemed. Everyone folded, as expected, until the other chipleader called! When the math was done, the two had almost even chips. The caller took it down with KK over the betters A7! Suddenly, the blond dude (named Moshe) was heavily the chip leader.

Around here, I don't remember much. Let's fastforward to when it was three players left. Senor Smelly, his pal Moshe, and me were left. Smelly and I were about even in chips, with around eight to ten thousand. Moshe had 20 thousand or so. We talked, between hands, about making a deal. With $840 in prize money, scheduled to be split 70% ($588) and 30% ($252), we agreed to the following structure: $80 for 3rd, $160 for 2nd, and $600 for 1st. At the time, I was very uncertain about the deal. I can see why now that I've done the math. Even so, I didn't want to bubble out and lose $80, so I eventually consented (while I was temporarily shortstacked). Just like last time, the game slowed down here. Well, it actually sped up, but it was all folding. I had AJ and decided to make a move against Smelly. He called when I pushed him all-in. He held KQ. The flop had a Q, the turn was a blank, and the river was an Ace. I shouted, "YES!" And then apologized and shook his hand.

Moshe and I counted out our chips, and he had me covered by 900 or so. He wanted to make a deal with the remaining $760. He'd take $400 and I'd take $360. I don't play that way, so I laid it out for him.

"You've got to be kidding me. We are just about even in chips. If you want to make a deal, we can chop it in half. Anything else, and I'd rather play for it."

His weak response was, "I have more chips than you!" To which I responded, "Right now you do. But if we play heads up, I'll have all of your chips." He couldn't argue with that. I had shown at the table that I had the eye of the tiger. I slowplayed at the right times, and value bet at others. I was on my game. He relented and we collected our money.

I eventually lost $100 in their 1/2 NL game, but left with $200 profit intact. By the time I left, I had been there for almost 5 hours. The table at 1/2 was mostly the same as the tourney, so we were all friendly and bantering. At the poker table, you don't have conversation, you banter. Or, at least, I banter.

On my way out, one guy said, "Good luck on Sunday." He was referring to my pending nuptuals. A newer player asked loudly, "What, do you have a big tournament?" The rest of the table laughted. "No, I'm getting married." "Well, shit. Congratulations! I hope you make the final table."

I left the place with a lighter step and a heavier wallet.

I'll be taking a hiatus from blogging starting tomorrow. I'll be back from my honeymoon in Tahiti on October 14th or so. So, don't miss me too much. Read some of the links on the right, and don't forget about me. I won't be forgetting about you.

Go ahead, poker. Make my day.

posted by Jordan @ 5:06 PM,


At 2:28 AM, Blogger DP said...

good news, jordan... keep it up.

At 3:36 AM, Blogger Veneno said...

Very nice!

Hope you have a wonderful Wedding and a fantastic honeymoon!!!

At 3:29 PM, Blogger GaryC said...

Good job on the tourney and best wishes to you and the little lady.

Enjoy your honeymoon, but hurry back.


At 10:47 AM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

I looked down to see my two best friends, A and A. Both were black, because I'm down with the, let's ignore that one...Too Funny!

Remember in life - women are the rake!


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