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PB & Salami

When I left Peanut Butter & Company, it was only 15 minutes until official game time. I was heading over to Salami Club having changed out of my suit at work and into my poker uniform. The fact that I still wear the Superman shirt (tonight, blue) almost every time I play has actually been bothering me. I wouldn't call it so much as luck, but it is sort of a compulsion, one that I don't even realize I am falling into until I'm already there.

I had my poker bag packed. I really do live like a boyscout nomad. I had all of my standards, ready to go: sunglasses in case with cleaning cloth, two, count em, two identical mini buddha statutes of different colors (red-and-gold and dark gold), some low brow reading material (comic books) and some high brow (Time), a baseball cap, a bandana, an iPod and an mini fm radio. Usually, I'll have a bottle of water, but the club provides them free.

Wow, that's a lot and I haven't even left Peanut Butter & Co. On that note, PB&Co. is a counter restaurant that sells all things peanut butter, including some interesting combination sandwiches and dishes. I go with the standard fare. Its one of the perfect pre-poker meals. It's hearty, but not heavy or oily. I happen to love peanut butter too, so I imagine there is a little psychological effect going on. Whatever the case, I always leave that place feeling primed for poker. I might have to be aware of that, though. I've got enough compulsions already.

It was cold outside, and I didn't even know who would be at the game. 23Skidoo was in town from Hotlanta, but I hadn't spoken to him directly, yet. I either got a voicemail or we'd swap emails. I was thinking that he might not be able to make it, something entirely understandable since he was in NYC for only about 30 hours. Mary said that she was coming, but I hadn't heard from her, either.

My phone starts to vibrate as I walk the three blocks. I fumbled for it in the cold, Mary was on the line. She was already at the club, and I was two blocks away. One block later, my phone is vibrating again. I was at the corner near the place and it was 23Skidoo, across the street. And with that, we made our entrance.

I love Genoa! We started off with a full ten-person table in the $60 tournament. After the game started off, I heard the door open behind me. I looked back and there was Dawn from IHO. I really enjoy seeing Dawn because it makes me feel like that less of a degenerate. In truth, I am in awe of her sheer degeneracy, and, later in the evening, asked her to take me on as her degenerate apprentice. I thank the sensei for taking me on.

The table was full, so Dawn had to wait. Genoa has a weird rebuy rule. Essentially, during the first three levels, any newly arriving players can buy-in with a full stack. To even the playing feel and (probably) get more money, busted players can "reregister", akin to rebuying but inclusive of the $10 fee (i.e., a rebuy in a $50+10 event is $50; a reregister is $60, with only $50 going into the prize pool).

As we played, I folded, folded and folded some more. I don't remember the particular hand, but I got into it with a pink-haired girl who I had met at the club about a year before. She was worse for the wear. When I first met her, she was a blonde, slightly chubby British chick. I remember her semi-calling me out at the table by saying, "You talk a lot, don't you?" At the time, that statement weirded me out, and I replied, "I guess so." She followed, "I wonder if it is nerves or if you just talk a lot."

I guess she remembered me, too, because she was very aggressive against me in particular. When you catch someone doing this, you have to adjust, and I did just that. After folding the hand in our first confrontation, I was left with 975 or so of the 2000 starting stack. Once there were more people on the waitlist with Dawn, the tournament was split up, with six (and eventually more) players at each table. Mary, who had chipped up already, joined me for the new table, as did Dawn (with her fresh stack) and the Brit. Skidoo was left behind at the other table, but he had been playing a quiet, confident game, having already won a few hands, so I knew he would be fine.

My table were the three girls and three other guys, eventually. I nursed my stack as much as possible. I pushed with crap cards like 44 because we were short-handed. I wasn't getting premium cards, so I did what I could. Our table ignored the call for the blinds to raise from 25/50 to 50/100. I said something to the dealer (as shortstack, no less), but he waived me off and said I was wrong. I looked at the other table with their higher blinds, but I said my piece and was happy to bask in the dealer's mistake.

Brit chick was shooting me eye-daggers. She was really annoyed, probably because of my loose image and happy-go-lucky chatting. I joked around with Mary (1s) and Dawn (2s) from across the table (10s), and was probably a bit too loud and semi-offensive. But seeing that look of icy-cold hate from the Brit made it all well worth it. At one point, Dawn caught on to this and mouthed over to me something along the lines of, "She hates you." I mouthed back, "I don't blame her."

The Brit chick raised from EP/MP to 300 (from 100) and when it got to me, I pushed in the rest of my stack, probably 900-1100 in total. She called with AKo against my T9c. I should mention that this was the second-to-last hand before the rebuy period ended, so I was willing to go for a semi-cointoss. The flop and turn were crap to both of us, but the river was a Ten and I doubled up. On the very next hand, I limp with 55 and Mary decides to push. I call and she shows two overcards, but she misses everything and I...well...actually, I don't remember. I don't think she rebought, so I guess she had me covered.

One guy, Al, was a very smart player. I picked up on this, and was trying to get into his head. In one hand, I limped or maybe made a 3x raise with A9o. He was the only caller, out of position. The flop was K98 and when he checked, I bet my middle pair-top kicker. He called the large bet. The turn was a 7 and we both checked. The river was aTen and we both checked. He showed KQ and took down the pot and I saved the information for later.

A little while later, Al bet in MP to 800+ into a 300 pot post-flop. I had limped into the pot with A7o and the AKT board sorta scared me, but I smelled some bullshit and re-raised him all-in for, what was at the time, 1600 or so more, with top pair, shitty kicker. His bet screamed that he was trying to take down the pot then and there, and I was glad that my read was right, because he eventually folded.

In this way, I was really controlling the table with incessant betting and limping, along with my usual table chat. I would really like to hear Dawn's or Mary's view of the situation, but I certainly felt in control. Truthfully, I guess that is all that matters, because when I feel in control, I tend to make better decisions. Whether the table feels I am in control is virtually irrelevant.

We were down to 10 players with 20 runners total to make up the prize pool. $100 to 3rd, $300 to 2nd, $600 to 1st. Me, Skidoo, Dawn (with a micro-stack) and Mary were still in it. We redrew for seats and I ended up in the 5s, to the direct left of Skidoo. Mary was in the 2s and I believe Dawn was in the 1s. She was gone after the first hand, though. Another player was gone the very next hand as well.

I had chipped up to 4k or so, and the blinds were escalating fast. I am forgetting individual hands right now, but I do remember what I think was the hand of the night.

We were maybe 7 handed at most at this point, and I was dealt 33 in late position. There were a few limpers, including Al in the 3s and I called as well. The flop was KQ4, so there was nothing for me. However, there was a 25 ante (at least an additional 300 in the pot), along with the 4 limpers (minimum). That made for a 1500 pot, and my chip stack, now a relatively healthy 6k, could still use that huge boost. It checked around on the flop, and the turn was a J. It checked to me and I bet out 1200. The blinds folded and Al called. The river was another 4, and I wondered what the hell Al was up to. He pushed right away for 2900, a sizeable portion of my now-4800 pot.

I considered folding, but I didn't want to make a rash decision. I replayed the hand in my head. Preflop he limps, so no big pocket-pair, and no AK, AQ, or AJ, probably. He checked the flop, so he didn't have top pair Kings. He check-called the turn. He did this earlier with his KQ on the K-high board, so at first I though perhaps he was just playing a solid hand slow because he was out of position. But then the river bet made no sense. In the KQ hand, he checked the river, but now he was pushing. Meanwhile, when he overbet the pot earlier, he folded to my raise because his overbet was a bluff. I couldn't push him off of his hand now, because he was all-in, so if I made the call, I would HAVE to have him beat. It would be impossible to scare off middle-pair, so I had to have him on a bluff ONLY. I scanned the board again and saw the flop had 2 diamonds. Pushing with a busted flush draw is not that uncommon in semi-tricky players, and that would also explain his call on the turn. I finally decided to make the gutsy call with an underpair to the board. I announced it verbally with a quiet, "I call." My headphones were stil on, but I removed them as Al looked at his cards and said good call. I waited for him to table them, A9o. He didn't even have the flush draw. I tabled my 33 and was relieved. I waited for my testicles to re-descend as I saw Al walk off.

This made me a large stack and I proceeded to call Brit's all-in for about 2k+. I had A9o again and she showed KJ. She hit her K and doubled up. A hand or two later, and I took out the 5th player, sitting to my left. I played with him before and he is just terrible. I had KQo in the SB as a huge stack and limp after it is folded to me. KQo is a strong hand in this situation and I wanted him to do the betting for me. He pushed all-in and I called. He tabled KJ and I won the hand.

Down to 4 players and the Brit asks about a deal. Having almost half of the chips, I immediately kiboshed the plan. Why give away money? Skidoo eventually busted her and it was just me, Skidoo and Mary. On the very first hand, Skidoo and I got into a raising war. He eventually hit the pressure point and I had to fold, losing probably 5k+ of my 19k stack (with only 40k in chips in play). Mary was the short stack and eventually, I got her all-in preflop against my AJ. I flopped an Ace and it was over for her.

I counted out my chips and saw that I had 19,100+. Skidoo and I were extremely close in chips, so we decided to chop 1st and 2nd for $450 each, a $390 profit. I gave $30 to the dealers as a tip and the three of us decided to head our separate ways.

Before the game, as we met outside, I joked that the three of us would be the last ones standing. I waited unitl the Brit was gone before I pointed out how my prophecy came true. I was slightly wary of the appearance of collusion, as I always am. I don't collude, but people get very sensitive about money, and I don't even like the appearance of impropriety. Not even the suggestion.

With my wallet fat, I went home and enjoyed some time with wifey Kim before she went to bed. Live poker is the way for me. It is abundantly clear. For January, I lost less than $200 for the month, but if it weren't for online poker, I would've been up over $600. I have won or chopped the last three (non-Roose homegame) live tournaments I have played, and each time has felt virtually effortless. At least I have live poker going for me. Meeting up with people like Skidoo, Mary and Dawn is also a pleasure, and I look forward to slinging live chips again soon. And with that...

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:25 PM,


At 10:52 AM, Blogger loona said...

I don't think the 55 hand was against me - and no rebuys for me. I had doubled up through the chip leader to a really nice stack when my AKd hit the nut flush on the flop. I then lost a lot of my chips when my AA ran into two pair from that Italian (?) guy who had called my $600 preflop raise with 74o. Ah well, I believe either you or 23Skiddo busted him a bit later.

As for your table presence, it seemed like you were controlling the table. You seemed like the one person displaying a lot of confidence. And yeah, the Brit chick was pretty much oozing dislike towards you.

And the 33 hand was crazy - definitely the hand of the night.


At 11:33 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

On second thought, the 55 hand was probably against Dawn, and I think I busted her on that hand.

I have so much fun at the table, and I tend to have a snarky, insulting sort of shtick that comes naturally. I felt I was heaping it on a bit thick last night, but it was comfortable.

Great game, Mary. All three of us (Dawn excluded..HAHAHA) played very well.

At 1:08 PM, Blogger 23skidoo said...

Thanks again for the hospitality. I was sofa king tired and hungry I could barely stack my chips. Down to about 7 handed my cards pretty much played themselves. I knew 3 of the Guys at the table were overly aggressive, so I just waited for hands. No aces, but the kings and queens sure helped. Your prediction out front couldn't have been more correct!

And yes, that 33 hand was a definite test of testicular fortitude.

Next time I'll have to spend some more time in NY.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

All three of us (Dawn excluded..HAHAHA) played very well.

FYMF! And yes, your DQB moment was against me.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger JL514 said...

Hey, thanks for commenting on the WaFs that were posted. I just posted a new one a week late :(

At 11:59 PM, Blogger TwoDiamondPhillips said...

I love chubby British Chicks. How were her teeth?

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Playing! and couldn't agree more, fine i'm much more successful live than on-line and been trying to get myself off on-line play, which as mostly worked now.


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