Sunday, May 10, 2009

Something Something Chicken Dinner!

Finally! I'm off the schneid. And in the most entertaining way possible, too. But more about that later...

I've had an interesting couple of days, and since I'm wide awake at 2:30 in the morning, I might as well share them with you.

Yeah, you know how I said that I wasn't going to go play poker again until I got back from Phoenix next week? Well, that was a good plan until Friday night rolled around and I was sick of sitting around the house watching TV. There ain't shiat on TV on Friday nights. Oh yeah, I've got books to read, but I was tired of sitting in my room--it felt like I'd been there for days.

So, I grabbed the last solitary hundie out of my stash can and headed over to the M to play some cards. Just as I was getting there, my very most favorite dealer in the whole joint, the little blondie gal with the kookie hair and the pierced tongue, was opening up a new 4-8 game. So I took a seat.

First hand of the night--pocket Aces! Even better, somebody else got pocket Queens and we flopped set-over-set. Bam--Mikey up $80 on the first hand!

That, my friends, is a helluva slumpbuster!

My opponent, a little pissed at me at first, warmed up to me eventually, and we had a lot of laughs there at the table over the course of the evening. It was kind of a grind, however, and I noticed that I was paying to see a lot of flops, but not hitting too many of them. And getting Aces cracked by 10-8 offsuit was a major bummer later in the evening. After about six hours, I was only up $20 for the session, and thought about leaving, just so that I could bank a win, but there was a kid at the table raising and calling with nothing, but hitting everything, so I figured I could get him to call-off most of his chips.

I decided to stay. That didn't work out so well, as he hit me on the river a couple of times and it ended up costing me about $80 altogether. Grrr!

On the other hand, the whole night, my little blondie friend (the dealer) would come over and chat whenever she was on brush or break, so that was a nice diversion. She knows I've kind of got a thing for her, so she throws me a bone every now and then. And I'm always following the line-up so I know when she's gonna be coming back to the table. And man, do I get pissy whenever it changes and she ends up skipping to another game...

It happened again on Friday night--some games broke, some dealers went home, and instead of coming back and doing another round at my table, she had to push ahead to another game. So while I was taking a breather and going to the mens room, I stopped back by her game and whispered to her Hey, I think it's a conspiracy--the floorman is keeping us apart...

But she said she'd get back over there eventually--she was scheduled till 4:00 am.

Around 2:30 in the morning, about the time I kept getting rivered by the Asian kid with the backwards hat, she came back over and tapped me on the shoulder.

I was in the hand, and had pocket Sevens at the time, so I was a little distracted...

"Hey Mikey, I just wanted to come by and tell you that I was leaving--I got an early out."

I raise--make it $9 to go! (pause) What? You're leaving? What are you gonna do?

"Well, I guess I'm gonna go home and open a bottle of wine..."

The flop comes out 3-7-9 rainbow. I flopped a set! Woot!!!

Wine huh? So are you gonna take a bubble bath, light some candles, maybe watch a little Lifetime TV? My opponent bets into me. I finally have him. I raise--make it twelve! He calls.

"No, nothing like that--just gonna chill after a long day." (Long pause) "So, are you gonna be here tomorrow night, then?"

Here comes the turn. It's a nine--I've got a full boat! My opponent checks, I bet $12, he calls. Nice--I'm finally gonna rake a huge pot off of this mope!

I will be, unless this guy rivers me again. But then, I won't see you for a week--I'm going to Phoenix next week.

"Oh, ok then... Well, I guess I'll see ya later..." And she walks off.

Here comes the river card--it's another nine. Shit. There are now three of them on the board. I know I'm dead now. My opponent, I'm sure, has the case nine.

He bets out. Resigned to my fate, I call, and say Well, if you've got the nine, I'm dead in the water.

Nah, he says, I thought you might've had the nine--I've got a full boat. I can't believe my shiatty luck as he turns over pocket eights, giving him nines full of eights, which beat my now-sabatoged nines full of sevens.


My opponent rakes in another huge pot, courtesy of the turn and river, and I sit there staring straight ahead like I'd just been hit in the nuts. By a nine-iron.

I look up and see the gal across the table from me shaking her head at me.

What? How the hell else could I have played that? I had a pair pre-flop, flopped a set, turned a boat? What did I do wrong???

"I'm not talking about the hand, you idiot, I'm talking about the girl!", she said.

What about her?

"Are you that clueless?!?!?!? She was inviting you to go home with her and you just blew it! She's been over here talking to you all night--got out of work early, and just gave you the biggest 'Open for business' signal ever, and you spaced it!

Oh f*ck.

The realization hit me like a ton of frustrated bricks.

I jumped up and ran over to the desk, but she was long gone. And I don't have her number, either. So not only did I lose a huge pot, but at the same time, I may have lost a pretty good opportunity to spend some quality time with a gal I've got the hots for. Clearly, it was just not my night. And I am just a huge clueless dork.

So, everyone at the table is laughing at me by that point, and instead of being up eighty bucks and halfway to gettin' some good lovin', I'm now stuck again for like $60 and nothing but YouPorn to keep me company when I get home.

Just as laughter fades, I felt a familiar buzzing in my pocket, and I heard the muted strains of the opening guitar riff to Rush's Working Man. That's the poker room calling. The other poker room--the one I work in.

I answer, and my buddy James is asking me what I'm doing.

Getting my ass kicked at the M, thanks for asking...

"Well, why don't you come over here and make some real money--I've got a crazy 2-5 game going and I need another dealer" he tells me.

I'll be there by three, I say, and hang up. I've got 27 minutes to cash out and drive my ass across town. I leave with $89. I bought in for $150, so y'all can do the math.


Anyhow, I sat around chatting with the cocktail waitress and floorman until seven in the morning, then we took off. I hadn't eaten anything except yogurt and granola bars in the previous two days, so I was starving. Off to Sierra Gold...

I slipped a twenty into the triple-play machine and got four queens on my third spin, so I cashed out and breakfast was paid for. But it wasn't actually breakfast per se--I had popcorn shrimp with spicy Thai peanut sauce and a Bud Light draft--it beats bagels and lox any day. We hung out for a bit, but by 8:30 in the morning, I was toast--I'd been up for about 20 hours by that point.

So I came straight on home, took a shower, and spent the majority of my Saturday sleeping. I only woke up when my phone started going off--James was texting me our Nascar bets. (We did not win..)

Anyhow, I got up and got showered around 7 o'clock in the evening, and headed back down to the M, thinking that the last half-hour of the previous night was an abberation. I was winning, then just got crushed on four hands at the tail end of the evening.

My favorite dealer had an open seat at her table, but it was a 2-4 game. 3-6 is as low as I'll go, so I opted to sit in the sports book and wait for a 4-8 seat to open up.

I didn't have to wait long, and again, I won my very first hand. It seemed like the bad luck streak was finally over. The night before, I was a little irritated at one point because I was sitting by one guy who was a complete asshole, and the guy on the other side of me was a loud annoying drunk. I desperately wished I'd brought my iPod with me.

Normally, I don't bring it--I think you miss too much information if you can't hear your opponents, and I certainly don't have a backwards hat, nor do I complete the poker douchebag trifecta by wearing sunglasses at a 4-8 table, either.

But last night--I brought my iPod, just in case. I'm glad I had it--not because people were being annoying, but because I was bored off of my ass. I was completely card-dead for almost three hours, just bleeding off my blinds, waiting for a hand.

My girl 'Sam' finally got to the table, and I was happy. (I call her that because she looks like a Samantha. But that's not her real name, and it's easier to write about her when I can just assign a name to her instead of saying 'the little blondie gal with the kookie hair and pierced tongue' every time). I didn't get any cards until the last hand she dealt before getting pushed out--Once again she gave me pocket Aces, and once again I dragged a nice pot. And she got a nice tip, too.

But it was a troublesome table. There were some truly bad players there, but I just couldn't beat them. There was a Russian couple--the lady had no eyebrows, and the husband, man, he had the creepiest/dumbest look on his face, like a movie mobster, but one that had spent far too many years drinking the water at Chernobyl. Anyhow, they would bet/raise/call with anything or nothing at all on every hand, yet they kept catching cards and raking huge pots. I mean, how many times is 8-2 or J-3 the nuts? But they seemed to be holding them every time.

There was another guy at the table who seemed to be kind of a dickhead, and for some reason, he had it in for me. Too many piercings, and oh yeah, lots of prospects with all of the neck tattoos. He seemed to think he was hot shiat--he did a lot of raising and talked a lot of crap, but he kept getting hammered over and over again.

Anyhow, at one point, I was down almost $80, but went on a nice heater and got AA-AK-AQ-AK four out of five hands, winning three nice pots and just annihilated the Red Menace. I made almost $150 off of the two of them in four hands, so they got pissed and left. A few minutes later I got Mr. Neck Tattoos on two hands with 8-9 suited and K-Q suited. So I was doing pretty well.

It was getting kind of late, and I certainly didn't want to give any of my winnings back--it had been far too long since I'd done so well. Sam came over and told me that she probably wouldn't get back to my table before 4:00 am, so I thought about wrapping it up.

I decided to play until my big blind, which was one more hand away.

I looked down to see 6-3 of clubs, which I'd normally fold, but since 1) they play half-blinds at the M, so it was only two bucks to limp in, and 2) they also pay nicely for straight flushes, so I like to play suited cards if they stretch.

Of course, the white trash table captain with the neck tattoos saw me limp in and decided to raise. There were two other callers, and at that point I was getting 5-1 on my money ($20 in the pot, $4 to call), so I made the call.

The flop was 10-9-4, with two clubs. Not great, but not bad for me, either. I checked, one guy bet, and Tats raised, of course. He *always* raised. I thought for a second, wanting to fold and hit the door, but at the last second, I got that twinge that told me to call. A third player called, so the pot was getting too big to get away from...

The turn brought the five of diamonds. It was kind of a rag, but then it gave me more outs--15 in all (any club would give me a flush, 9 of which were left in the deck, and any seven or deuce gave me a straight, that's eight more outs, minus the 7 and 2 of clubs which are already counted, leaving me 15 cards that would likely give me the winning hand). I liked my chances.

I checked, the other player checked, Tats bet out. I snap called while the other player folded.

The river brought the Queen of Clubs, giving me the flush. I bet out, my opponent just called and I showed the flush. (I would've loved to have check-raised him, but that would've been a little too obvious--either way, same size pot) He was livid--cursing up a blue storm and calling me a donkey and all kinds of other names. All he had was 10-Jack offsuit. Dumbass.

I dragged a nice healthy pot and told the dealer that I was done. While I was racking up, I had to listen to the guy tell me stuff like "Can't wait to see you again--next time I'll mentor you". I responded with Man, you sure don't take a beating very well...

"A beating? You got LUCKY!"

Yep, 15 outer on the river. I got lucky. And you paid me off. But I'm glad to see that I'm leaving you on tilt!

I motioned to everyone else at the table and said Have fun taking the rest of his money, boys...

With that, I headed for the desk, up almost $250 for the night. I stopped by Sam's Omaha game and dropped her a redbird, telling her I'd see her again in a week, then left a couple of bucks for the cashier, too, pocketing a nice hefty profit. It felt good to be back on the winning track, and even better to do it at the expense of a total prick.

A few other things of note from my latest visit to the M:

I finally hit the 32 Degrees bar this time. I had an 'M Cider' which was amazingly good, so I kept them coming all night long at the poker table--so smooth and sweet, it was almost like apple-flavored soda pop. The only downside is that I must've drank six or seven of them, but didn't catch the slightest buzz. Also, the Vig Deli is damn good. Last week I ordered a 10-inch pizza, but it's handmade, so the finished product was closer to 14"--and they don't charge you extra for toppings, so it's quite a bargain at $9.99. And it's not bad pizza at all. It ain't Grimaldi's or NYP&P, but it'll do in a pinch. And last night I ordered a baked ham and cheese sandwich for dinner while I was playing. Also very good.

Anyhow, that's how my weekend has fared so far. Today I'm gonna sleep under the ceiling fan and enjoy the air conditioning (gonna be almost a hundred outside today), but then I've got to work again tonight. At some point, I might get around to answering all the email that's been piling up this last week, but don't count on it. Of all the Seven Deadlies, Sloth seems to have a special appeal to me.


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