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The Flash Returns

I played poker yesterday, and played it well, no less. A couple of weeks ago, the Boss Man told me that I would be driving to Albany yesterday to attend a Court conference for my ex-Team Leader (who is still with the firm, but now Of Counsel, aka part time with the firm and part time working for himself). I love a good drive, especially since I don't have a car, so I was game for the 3 hour drive (each way). I left my apartment at 7am, got the rental car, an upgraded Jeep because my Chevy Aveo wasn't available, and then hit the road by 7:15. I finally made it to Albany at 10:10 or so, and then stumbled my way around the city until I found the correct building and made my appearance.

Everything went well and I was back on my way to NYC within an hour or so. So, three hours there, an hour with the judge, and then three hours back, plus a little more for NYC traffic in the late afternoon. I contemplated returning to the office since it wasn't 4pm yet, but I had already worked enough for this guy, and instead retreated home. On the way back, I realized that I had the car overnight, and contemplated whether I should go to one of the more remote homegames I used to frequent on Wednesdays. The options were Rooses' or Dawn's, but I wasn't sure if Dawn was running her Crackhouse game, and it had been a while for me at Roose's, so I called up Robbie Hole, coordinated our plans, and after 1 1/2 hours at home, set course to Roose's apartment in Queens with Hole in tow.

To change things up, I intentionally did not bring my card caps and changed my baseball cap from the usual to a NBC HU Poker Championship promo hat I got free thanks to the resemblence that HoP has to a legitimate poker media outlet. I also donned the Flash shirt that I wore at my last trip to Salami where I lost three tournament buy-ins in under 30 minutes. I felt like tempting the fates, while also trying to break my mental attachment material things as a source of luck.

When I arrived at Roose's, we started the waiting game. Roose isn't exactly the best at hosting. Don't get me wrong, he has a great poker table, and can get a good amount of players to show up. It's the details that are difficult, like coordinating when players arrive. I was there at 6:30, along with 4 other people (5 total), but the first tournament didn't start until 8:15 or so, and even that took some strong-arming. We were waiting on 3 people with no clue as to when they planned to show up, and I was definitely jonesing for some poker when I force Roose to relent and get the party started. I don't knock Roose for this, really. It's just one of the inevitabilities of homegames. Why be the first one there and wait for people if you can be last and have everyone wait for you. The problem occurs when this becomes a pandemic amongst several of the players, and suddenly the 7:30 game doesn't start until 9.

That said, I love Roose, and I really don't blame him entirely. He even mentioned that he was looking forward to moving and ending his homegame. It ain't easy being the house when there is no rake.

The first game finally got started with 5 players, with 3 players joining before the 2nd orbit was done. In the first three hands I was dealt pocket pairs, 66, 33 and QQ, and raised preflop each time. I took down the last two pots (I had to fold the 66 when the JKx flop was bet by another player post-flop), and quickly got a reputation as being aggressive and loose. So be it.

I actually kept the selective aggression up, really pushing it when I found that the blinds were getting prohibitively high. I actually love high blinds, mostly because I am good at choosing my times to push. Most of the times, I had something as innocuous as K5d, but when the time is right, that'll do, as long as you have enough chips to scare away the blinds. By the time we were down to 5 players, I was probably one of the two short stacks, but I kept pushing and picking up blinds. 5th place fell and I ramped up my aggression even more. 4th went and I was suddenly in the top three with Randy Hole and Two Diamond Phillips. I kept the pressure on when I could, especially since we were all relatively short considering the blinds. I found myself in an ideal situation. Randy was on my left. If I was the SB, I could usually just push with any two, since he was not going to call with anything less than Ace-high. If I was in the BB and 2d Phillips didn't raise, I could push all-in and take his blind, which was a decent amount of chips by then. I continued to steal chips until 2d Phillips called my all-in preflop with his AT to my KQ and I hit two pair by the river. When it was just Randy and I, a couple of other latecomers showed up and were antsy to start game 2. I suggested a deal that would see me with 80 and him with 60, a weighted chop of 1st ($100) and 2nd ($40), but someone suggested that we play three hands first and decide. I said fine and within three hands, I saw that I could win it. No offense to Randy, but I was a bigger stack and ready to gamble. Eventually, by hand 6 or so, I got my opportunity, raising all-in with Q6o in the SB in an attempt to steal the 1k big blind (there were only 16k in play). He called with Kx, I hit my Q and the rest was history.

In game 2, two of the players (2d Phillips and his friend Scott) were replaced by J.R. and Scotty. The game was going fine, but I felt antsy, as though I was ready to go. I didn't mind if I busted earlier. I eventually made my stand when blinds were 100/200 and I had about 1200. I was in the BB with 94d and there were 4 or so players in the hand. The flop was K9x with one diamond, and I decided to push 1000 or so. Only Roose called with A9, and he took me out of the tournament. It was a fine call by Roose, and I hope he won it all. I don't know though, because I was out the door and heading home in my rental Jeep.

Once home, wifey Kim had just finished watching Lost. We watched Top Design (we are fools for reality TV competitions) and then she headed to bed. I sat down for Lost and was rewarded for staying up late. That show really has refound its stride and the episode has been one of the best, if not the best, of the last two seasons. I then joined wifey Kim in slumberland, where visions of check raises and submarines danced in my head.

Another day, another dollar.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:10 AM,

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