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9 into 90

After losing the Mook in one hand, my $50 online was considerably weaker. After losing a couple of other SNGs and tournaments, including a PLO tournament when I went out 5 from the bubble out of 350+ competitors (ug!), I was down to a measely $9 and change as of yesterday morning.

Yesterday, wifey Kim and I spent a day with her brother, father and step-mother. We started off in the Bronx, where we ate at a Kosher deli, a cuisine that is apparently dying in this city. I've never been much of a fan, mostly because I am a big fan of mixing meat and dairy (a no-no in Kosher food), but I was merely one player in the game, so I went along for the ride. After lunch, we headed into Queens for a Kosher ice cream parlor that specializes in weird flavors. In hindsight, the irony just dawned on me. For Kosher restaurants, its either meat or dairy, but obviously not both since the two are not to be eaten together and should not even be prepared in the same kitchen (some Kosher families have two kitchens for this very reason). The irony, of course, is that we went to a meat Kosher restaurant followed by a dairy Kosher restaurant, which was so close together in time that under Jewish law, we effectively ate non-Kosher all day even though we only attended Kosher restaurants.

But enough of that nonsense. The point was that by the time I was free to play poker, it was already past 4pm, and therefore too late to return to the Tuna Club for a Fivepeat. What's a man to do when he wants to play poker but no live games are conveniently available? Online (shudder).

Of course, as we now know, I only have $9 and change online. So, I sent some money to my Canadian connection to circumvent the usual UIGEA problems, but she was not home. I then put up my Yahoo Messenger status to basically beg for a PayPal-Poker swap. But in the meanwhile, I decided to put my $9 to work.

My first stop was to a $8.70 Token SNG, where the top 5 players out of 18 get a $26 token to be used in any tournament with a $26 buy-in. I squeaked out a win there and then decided to take my token over to the tournament page, where I found a 6-handed, $26 buy-in, $5000 guaranteed prize pool Pot Limit Hold'em game. This seemed to me to be the perfect combination. Obviously the buy-in was perfect. The timing was good too, as I had about 15 minutes to get into the game before it started and it was early enough that I would be able to play it through without that feeling that its getting a bit late for poker. The game was shorthanded, 6-person tables which works for my style of play, since it allows me to play weaker cards and more hands in position. And finally, the Pot Limit aspect meant that there was extra strategy that would be lost on some of the NLHE-only players, namely how to build a pot to your benefit.

Let's cut to the chase. This was my only buy-in. If I lost this, I'd be tapped out of cash until my Canadian connection came through. So, I knew I had to cash. And I did. 11th out of 250+ people, good for $100. If I could've held on a bit longer, that money jumped nicely. The top spot was just shy of $1,600. But beggars can't be choosers.

Once that was over, I still had some time for poker. I felt great having gone so deep in the tournament, although I was a tad unfulfilled since I didn't final table or make the big money. I decided to fire up a quick 6-person turbo SNG for $12. Part of me, in my gut, felt that I was just going to donk off some of my winnings. Even though I was mildly disappointed that I didn't final table, I was realistic about the fact that I had effectively turned my last $9 into $100. But once the game started, I decided that I would not just waste my cash. I was going to go for the win.

In my first hand, I was dealt 99 on the button. It folded to me and I raised, hoping to get one of the blinds to call. The BB called. The flop was A97 with two clubs. It checked to me and I bet again, hoping to reel my opponent in by looking like a continuation bet. Success! The turn was a Jack. It checked to me and this time I bet big, trying to look like I was going to push my opponent out of the hand. He raised all-in for a small amount more. I called quickly, assuming I caught him with AJ or A9 or some other two pair. He had T8d, turning the straight. The river was a Queen and I go home. So much for playing my best.

$9 into $90. Not too bad for a day. But damnit, it ain't the type of money I could be making with live poker.

Here's a moral conundrum. I received a Facebook invite for a birthday party for my buddy Randy Hole. It's actually an afternoon thingee out on LI at his place to watch a Giants game. In and of itself, it sounds like a great time. Football, beer, food, and my buddies. There is only one problem: it's on the same day as Tuna's $550 Sunday tournament.

For those who have been following along, I won the last three Sunday tournaments at Tuna, when the buy-in was $150. Along with my cash in last week's Thursday $20 rebuy, my profits at Tuna for the last months were over $2000 in just four tourney sessions. Part of me thinks that I have to play that $550 game. Most of the players will hopefully be the same, I have a reputation now that will probably earn me more respect at the tables (resulting in an easier time picking up pots), and I'm on a roll. I'll also be playing with profits. And so, here is the conundrum:

Play the $550 event, or head out to LI for my friend's birthday.

Any thoughts?

If all goes well, I'll be playing poker this Tuesday at Tuna's Sunday $120 buy-in tournament. I've pretty much limited myself to their tourneys, due to my recent success. Wish me luck.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 9:59 AM,


At 2:39 PM, Blogger Astin said...

Go to the party. I have a rule - with rare exceptions (ToC's or other one-time-only big events I've earned my way into), friends and family always come before poker.

There will be another Sunday game. it'll be a year before this guy has another birthday.

Besides, if you give someone else a chance to win, then they'll come back to play their winnings.

At 4:46 AM, Anonymous PokerLaz said...

I have to agree with Astin on this one...

You don't want to be known as the guy who gets his priorities all wrong.

By the way, I loved your "kosher" anecdote... Sometimes you just gotta play the game, however illogical it may be!

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

Um...okay, and now I feel like adick for saying "play the tournament, send your friend a case of beer through the mail." won't say that?

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Schaubs said...

Friends > Poker... depending on the friend...

Old buddy who will understand? Play poker.

Old buddy who has been ditched by you before and is starting to see a patter?
Go to the party.


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