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Future Post: Aussie Millions 2008

The following is my fictional trip report for the Aussie Millions, my submission to the write-in portion of the Battle of the Blogger Tournaments: Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions freeroll. For more details, check out FullTilt's official BBT page:

The trip really kicked off after the flight. Fortunately, I got an isle seat by the emergency exit, so I was sprawled out for most of the trip. Roose, on the other hand, was stuck between two large women in a middle seat. Sucker. When I invited him on the trip, I only had one rule: I rule! After all, writing my way into the BBTwo Tournament of Champions and then luckboxing into the Aussie Millions prize package meant that I was the one calling the shots on this, our first international poker trip. Wifey Kim was, naturally, my first pick to join me in the land down under, but her work obligations and my need for wife-free degeneracy were insurmountable obstacles.

Once we arrived in the Aussie airport, we made our way to the baggage claim. Roose and I had our first prop bet of the trip, a simple $1 bet to see whose luggage would come out first. I won, for once in my life. Roose is a freaking prop bet machine. Of course, I was helped by fate. Roose's bag never actually showed up. I shrugged it off. It was MY bag, after all. Roose, on the other hand, spent the next 45 minutes arguing with some random airport employee. Lucky for me, I had my iPod handy to keep me entertained. Nothing is funnier than watching your comic-relief friend argue with a foreign, disinterested airport employee to the tune of Huey Lewis' "If This is It."

Once Roose gave up on his fool's errand, we made our way to the beautiful Crown Casino, where the Aussie Millions was to take place. I had never been to a large buy-in tournament like this before. I had played a few WSOP Circuit events, but the idea of traveling and playing in a $10,000 (that's Aussie money, which I think is equal to about $100,000 American dollars; Go Weak Dollar!) buy-in event was a whole new level.

We got booked in our FullTilt comped room. I was greatly surprised. Usually, Roose and I like to chat up the clerks at hotels to upgrade. Our success rate isn't too shabby either. But since my hotel was a freeroll, I opted to skip the upgrade chatter. Roose, on the other hand, was signaling to the women repeatedly, and popping in with useful tidbits like, "You know, we could use a bit extra space," and the ever useful "you've got beautiful eyes." Smooth, Roose. Fortunately, she just about ignored Roose, and gave us the room provided by Full Tilt.

The room was perfect for our purposes. Two beds, a shower that would likely be rarely used (that's how we roll!) and a TV. The rest of the room was standard hotel fair, slightly nicer than your typical hotel. It was fairly late by this time, so Roose and I hit the Automatic Cafe for some late food and then were off to the Atrium Bar. The Aussies around us were generally friendly, and you could spot the other poker players a mile away; they were the only patrons wearing sunglasses indoors in the middle of the night.

After more than a few drinks, I headed upstairs to catch some Zzzzs. Roose insisted on playing some Pai Gow Poker, but I was too tired and excited for the big event scheduled for the next day. In bed, I flipped through the channels on the TV for a bit before giving up and throwing on my iPod. I eventually fell asleep with visions of check-raising dancing in my head.

The next morning, I woke up extra early for the tournament. Roose remained asleep, having strolled in sometime around 7 in the morning. He clearly had passed out the night before. He was still fully clothed, and he was lying like a starfish in the middle of his bed, over the covers. Even before I removed my headphones, I knew he was snoring from the rumbling of the beds. That man's snoring is like the sound of a prop jet repeatedly making a rough landing every 20 seconds in perpetuity.

The morning was like a blur, or maybe more like a coma, since I was mindlessly going through the motions. I grabbed some eggs to fill my stomach and prepare me for the day. Once I found my seat, though, I knew all would be well: Table 27, seat 7...the way of the hammer.

My first table started off well. There were a couple of very solid players, but no one I immediately recognized. I pretty much stayed tight, since I was card dead. The players around me were tight as well for the first 30 minutes, but after that, it seemed like someone turned on the donkey switch. Suddenly, I began to realize that at least half of the table were not playing an A-game (or more accurately didn't have an A-game...or B- or C- game for that matter), and only two guys concerned me, an Asian kid and an older Aussie gent.

I had established my tight image and began stealing pots once antes came into play. From there, I was playing perfectly. I made two sweet bluffs against one guy, showing both times, only to then value bet him all-in when I held the stone cold nuts on the very next hand. He left pissed, but I was happy to have practically doubled up by taking him out. From there, it was just a lot of stabs at orphaned pots, but I managed to chip up to the top 10 in chip counts by the end of Day 1.

While all of this was happening, Roose was strolling around the casino in his one outfit. A lesser man would've purchased some new clothes, but Roose doesn't bend to the will of logic. Instead, he held steadfast to his proclamation, "I don't wear any clothing in Australia but MY clothing!" When he met me during the lunch break, his clothing was still wrinkled from his restless, snore-filled sleep. By dinner break, the clothes had started emitting a peculiar funk, basically the mixed smells of perspiration, recycled airplane air, cigarettes, and deoderant. "MY CLOTHES OR NO CLOTHES!" At least he has principles.

After that marathon of a day, I pretty much just went straight to bed. Or tried, at least. I couldn't believe that I was in such great position after the first day. But I was still terribly nervous.

Early in day 2, I was moved to a new table. Finally, I saw some people I knew, but it wasn't the crowd I hoped for. Gus Hansen, Mike Matusow and Clonie Gowen. My aggressive play doesn't mix to well with other aggressive players. I lost more than a few pots to Hansen and Matusow when I tried to limp and was met with a raise, or when I raised, and faced a re-raise, or when I called and faced a continuation bet. I wasn't hitting cards, but that didn't stop me from donking off more than a few chips. It didn't help that Gowen was looking fantastic. This is when I thank the poker gods for mirrored sunglasses. My head may've been pointing to the flop, but my eyes were constantly on Clonie.

Eventually, I was moved to another table. I had to adjust myself before standing up. My time with those FullTilt pros was actually pretty enlightening. Even though I had to pay for my early lessons, I eventually just avoided them in pots, and watched them run over the other players at the table.

My new table was filled with more unknowns, but I knew immediately who my mark was going to be. The Aussie in the 3 seat had a stack of chips unrivaled at the table, and an empty glass of some sort of hard liquor, based on his breath. He was three sheets to the wind, and playing like he didn't have a care in the world. "Allsh-in!" he'd slur hand after hand. I had chipped up a bit and looked like the second big stack at the table, but Crockadile Drunkie had me way outchipped. With AKh, I decided to make a play after Drunkie made his usual 10x BB raise. I flat called and we saw a QJX flop with two hearts. It was a pretty good pot, so when Drunkie checked, I decided to try to take down the pot. "Allsh-in!" This time it was me, trying to mock my opponent. He looked at me cock-eyed as the waitress handed him a new drink. He shifted in his seat and took a sip. Everything told me he was weak, but I didn't want a call. He asked the dealer for a chip count, and the dealer obliged. This slowed Drunkie down, and he decided to count out his chips to see where he would be at if he called. Unfortunately, Crocodile Drunkie was so wasted that he began counting his chips IN FRONT of his cards. I kept my mouth shut, hoping that he'd fold, but a player in the 10 seat chimed in. "Run the cards, mate! That's a call!" The dealer looked at the chips and declared the call. Drunkie looked like he was going to argue, but then shrugged. "Alright I guesh! I'll call." He pushed the rest of his chips foward, and they cascaded over his cards. The dealer looked annoyed but kept his composure. He leaned forward and flipped over Drunkie's cards: T9 of spades. He had the low end of the straight draw. I felt elated as I triumphantly flipped my hand face-up. And then the turn came, 8. And I lost. To an open ended straight draw.

Felted, I sat there for a moment, catatonic. The truth was, he had 11 outs and he was the massive chipleader at the table. Also, I wanted the call. I couldn't complain too much if I got unlucky. At least I played well.

I slowly got up and walked out of the room, passing by other seasoned pros on the way. I eventually called Roose, who was playing some Roulette. I met up with him, had a few drinks, and then played some NLHE in the Crown's poker room. After a 6 hours session, I was too tired and called it a night. My winnings from the cash game paid for my expenses on the trip.

Before I returned to the room, I stopped by the Crown giftshop and picked up a few gifts for wifey Kim. One of the items was a pink Crown t-shirt, clearly made for a petite lady. Up at the room, Roose was passed out, likely sleeping off an afternoon killing his liver with scotch. He had finally removed his t-shirt, which hung over a chair; I swear, I could see cartoon stink-lines emanating from the disheveled shirt. Opportunity knocks only so long. I took his shirt, tossed it deep under my bed, hidden conveniently by the bed skirt, and put wifey Kim's would-be gift, the pink Crown shirt on the chair where his old shirt would be. I took out some Crown letterhead from the nightstand and wrote a message. "Compliments of the Airline!" I then went for a walk around the casino.

On my way back to the elevator, I heard a bunch of 20-something Aussie girls giggle. I turned my head to see what they were looking at. There was Roose, at the craps table, wearing the cutest pink Crown shirt ever.

I want to thank FullTilt for the opportunity to play, and the folks who ran the BBTwo for giving me the opportunity to win the opportunity to play.

Even thought I lost the Aussie Millions, I still feel like I won. I got a great vacation, some great table experience against a variety of skilled players, and was freerolling the whole way. When I lost, all I could think was, "Hey, that's poker!" After all, I can't even win in my dreams!

Until next time, make mine fictional poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:10 PM,


At 3:08 PM, Blogger Julius_Goat said...


At 6:12 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Bringing a guy on your fantasy Australian trip === GHEY!

At 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this story interesting. Thanks for sharing your fictional story. I hope that you make it to the Aussie Millions.

Clonie Gowen

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Come on, guys, really? Clonie Gowen at High on Poker? Cute, guys. Real cute.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Fuel55 said...

Good stuff, but I cant beleive you lost!

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you still lost?

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a hand I played there last year.

I hope to see you at the (real) Aussie Millions.



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