Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reclickers --1, Mikey-- 0

Ok, y'all win. I'll make another post before Monday--if only because I can't sleep, all of my housework is done, and I don't care for ESPN's programming for another hour or so.

I had a pretty good Thursday, though. Once I got my nap in after work, I woke up in time for the UPS man to drop off a batch of those cask-aged Partagas Black Labels, which are now resting comfortably in my humidor as I write this. I've realized that I really need to get smokin'--I can't squeeze another single stick in the thing and get the lid to close, so I'm thinking that this weekend I'm gonna be spending some quality time out on the patio in my camp chair, fondly remembering what it was like to not have furniture.

Later in the afternoon, I took off and headed to the bank to make a deposit, then dropped off the utility bills in the mail. I'm so glad that autumn has finally made it to this corner of the Mojave desert--my September electric bill was $107, but October's was just over fifty. I then made my way over to the casino to submit my direct deposit paperwork, then found my way over to the poker room and took a seat at a 4-8 game.

It wasn't a great start, and I took a significant beating early on. Whenever I play 4-8 limit, I almost always buy in for $100, and in that session, I started off so badly that I ended up rebuying, twice, for a total of $215--basically all the cash I had in my wallet. But it's not like I was playing badly--actually, I was playing very well--but I took a couple of ridiculous beats where all I could do was shake my head and think Wow, you don't see that every day...

But I screwed it down and knew that the law of averages was bound to catch up sooner or later, and if I kept getting my money in with the best of it, I was bound to get paid off. And that's exactly what happened. I caught a few nice hands and was more than happy to take the chips of folks who stayed in on draws that never made it, or somehow never quite grasped the concept of having a kicker.

Eventually, after about four hours or so, I had exactly $300 in chips stacked in front of me, so I figured it was a good time to rack up, take advantage of the furious comeback I'd made, and walk with an $85 profit. Besides, I wanted to go over to the 'a.t. M' and play at their juicy tables. So as I cashed out, I called the poker room over at the M and had them put my name on the waiting list, telling them I'd be there in about a half hour or so.

It was raining on that side of town, making it feel even cooler outside than it already was, but once I scurried in from the roof of the parking garage, there was an open seat at one of the 4-8 tables. I grabbed a 'rack of white' (a hundred bucks worth of chips), and took my seat.

On my second hand, not a minute after I sat down, I got involved in a sick sick sick hand. I was on the big blind, and about five or six players limped in. I looked down to see an 8-3 of diamonds, so I just checked.

The flop came out 8-8-4. Bingo--I'd just flopped trips!

Since I was first to act, I checked, hoping to check-raise somebody in late position. The action checked around to the button, and he bet. I raised, everyone else folded, and he re-raised me!

Thinking that he probably also had an 8 and most likely had me outkicked, I just called, pissed off at myself for succumbing to a case of 'fancy play syndrome'. I was probably beaten, but it was only four more dollars to see the turn, and trips is still a monster. I could lay it down after one more card with minimal damage.

The turn card was a three, pairing my kicker and giving me a full house! Oh hell yeah, it was on!

So I bet out, and my opponent raised me again! I couldn't believe how lucky I was, so I popped him back. And he re-raised me again.


Now, I'd played against this guy on several occasions in the past, and he's truly a horrible player--I beat him like a drum all the time, so I figured I had him beat. Thinking for a second, I put him on something like King-Eight or Queen-Eight (if he'd had Ace-Eight, we would've raised preflop on the button--some things you just know. And I couldn't put him on 8-4--What kind of donkey would play that?).

So I re-raised.

He immediately came back at me. So I re-raised again, figuring that the second-nuts were a lock. It went back and forth like that until there were eight bets and raises each, before I put the brakes on and said to myself You know what, this jackass may just have 8-4...

The river was a harmless Nine, but I still checked, just in case. He bet, I called, and yep, he turned over 8-4. Not suited, no reason whatsoever to play that crap, but he did and got extremely lucky. At least I was on the blind and saw the flop for free, so I had a reason to be in the hand.

Talk about a kick in the gut--I hadn't been at the table five minutes and I was already stuck $84. Yep, that's how much I lost on that one single hand. Ouch.

On the other hand, at least I lost it to a complete donkey, so I knew it wouldn't take long before I got my money back. So I called for another rack of chips, and pulled another Benjamin from my wallet.

I also put on my iPod and went into the tank, determined not to say anything or give away any kind of tells, hoping to just play my A-game and grind my way back.

Luckily for me, I got paid off on a couple of other big hands--I turned another full boat a few hands later, and my nemesis had three pair and bet them all the way, thinking they were good, so I got a nice chunk of my chips back less than 15 minutes later. I also bet on-the-come on a flush draw that got there, so nobody had me on it at the river. And that same guy made a nine-high junk flush with his crappy cards, so he built the pot for me on the end, and again, I dragged a nice fat pot.

I was within five bucks of being even when I had pocket Sevens on a six-way pot pre-flop. The flop came out King-Ten-Seven, and Mr. 8-4 flopped top two pair and did all the work for me. Everyone else at the table knew he was kind of a crummy player, so he always got lots of action. Of course I raised him on the river when there was no possible straight or flush lurking in the weeds, and he couldn't wait to re-raise me. I hit him back, hoping he'd go to war again, but he just called, but before I could get my cards turned over he stood up and slapped his cards down face up and yelled TOP TWO PAIR, BABY!, like he was on TV and fully expecting to take another huge pot off of me.

I calmly sat there, slowly turned over my set of Sevens, and said Three of a kind, BABY!

Heh. I wish I could've captured the look on his face--I would hang the picture over my desk for days when I'm feeling a little down.

He sat back down, stunned, and I decided to twist the knife a little. Heh--I knew I'd get all my money back from you, and then some, but damn, I thought it would take a lot longer...

He didn't play much longer, and as usual, didn't need a rack when he left.

However, I went on a huge rush after that. I caught a couple of other nice hands, and I was reading other players cards like they were face-up. Seriously, I was really playing my A+++ game at that point, and I just kept stacking chips. Not only that, but every time the smokin' hot Cuban waitress would come over and talk to me, I won a pot--like four times in a row! It got to be so obvious that one of the guys down at my end of the table said something along the lines of Damn dude, you've got the best good luck charm EVAR!

The problem with running over the table like I was, is that it tends to break the other players, and if nobody else comes in and sits down, the game breaks. And by the time I had over $400 stacked in front of me, we were down to just five players. I didn't want to play short-handed, so I decided to call it a night. The game broke at that point, and even though there were seats available at other games, I called it a night, happy to book another big win, especially after getting bent over and reamed on my second hand of the night.

A buddy of mine was working the floor on the graveyard shift last night, so instead of going straight home, I decided to stop back by his casino and say hello. Of course there were a couple of games going, and there was a seat open, and well, I can't pass up an opportunity like that.

The problem was, the game was kinda lame--not a lot of action, I was kind of card dead--and I kept yawning. I felt like I was going to fall asleep at any second. Also, there was on uber-creepy guy in the game, and I remember thinking to myself Man, that dude looks like he's got a freezer full of body parts...

To make things worse, after about a half hour, he decided to change seats and come sit right next to me. No problem, he was probably the most aggressive player in the game, and he was moving into a seat directly on my right, exactly where you'd want him to be. But oh dear god--he stunk so bad. Truly eye-watering. I lasted exactly one hand and asked the dealer if I could move to the 8-seat--the spot he'd just come from. I just couldn't handle the stench.

About two hands later, it was a kill-pot, and since four other players had limped in, I did the same with my 10-7 of hearts.

The action got around to Buffalo Bill and he raised it--$9 to go. Since there were seven other players in the pot, I was getting the right price to call.

It was a crappy flop, King-Ten-Four, all spades. Yuck. It got checked around, but Mr. lotion-in-the-basket bet $6 from the button. Again, everyone called, and since the pot was so big and I had a pair of tens, I joined the call-party.

The turn was the Seven of Diamonds, giving me two pair. Now I knew beyond any reasonable doubt that NOBODY had a flush--the pot was too huge with too many callers--anyone with spades would've bet out on the turn, or raised on the flop. Since nobody did, I felt like my two pair might be good. So when it was checked to me again, I put out a feeler bet of $12, ready to run away like a scared little girl at the first sign of a raise. But nobody raised, everyone just called--all six players!

The river was a rag, no pair, no straight, not another spade. Again it was checked to me, and I gambled with another $12 bet, feeling a little more confident in the strength of my hand. This time I only got three callers, one of them being the initial raiser. He immediately turned over pocket Aces, but the other players were reluctant to show, so even before turning my cards over, I knew that my two pair were the winner.

It was a HUGE pot. Well over a hundred bucks.

And since I was tired as hell anyways, plus not really feeling the vibe at the table, I immediately racked up my winnings, not feeling guilty in the least for doing a hit-and-run. I wasn't even there for an hour, getting home just a few minutes after midnight.

When I first sat down to play eight hours earlier, I had $218 in my wallet, and when emptied the wallet once I got home, I had just short of six hundy in it! A very nice night all around.

I went straight to bed, but couldn't sleep right away. And sometime around 4:30 this morning, I woke up in the worst way possible--multiple charlie-horses in both legs--bottom of my foot, my quads, my calves. It was awful. I couldn't even stand up! Seriously, I laid there going WTF is going on??!?!? Eventually, I made it to the kitchen and drank about a quart of water and downed four aspirin, then followed it up a little later with a big glass of grape juice.

I was fine after that, but damn, I must've been some kind of dehydrated to get leg cramps like that.

I finally got back to sleep for a few hours, but then spent my Friday doing housework.

AC came over early in the evening, and we watched The Warriors and ordered a pizza--still a good flick, and it holds up surprisingly well. After the movie, we sat out on the patio, shooting the shiat and smoking a couple of fine cigars and sipping on snifters of Grand Marnier, enjoying the good life.

We decided to go play some poker after that, and we called down to Sunset Station and got on the list. There were two seats available at the same table, so we took 'em. It was a good game, and after just an hour or so, I was up over a hundred bucks. Gotta love that. AC'c gal got off work early and was coming down to pick him up, so we decided to call it a night before the blinds hit us again.

I racked up a $125 win for the session, and I think he made five bucks (not bad considering he took a pretty bad beat a half-hour earlier). He took off to meet his gal, and headed over to the M.

Unfortunately, my streak is over--I just couldn't get a hand to hold up at all. I played for about three hours, had Aces cracked twice, and couldn't even begin to count how many other hands turned to shiat on the river. I had another full-house cracked by a bigger one again, but that second time it didn't hurt nearly as badly.

And then I went card dead--I think Queen-Nine was about the best hand I had in over an hour, and ended up calling it a night after another pair of Aces was cracked on the turn. As bad as it was, I only lost twenty bucks total for the night, but I just couldn't get the cards to cooperate at all. On a more positive note, my gal Sammi was there and I got to flirt with her over the course of the evening, so that was nice. However, she's been sick all week, and when she had the chance to take an early out, she grabbed it. She was gone, and the combination of exhaustion and being card dead were working against me, so I saw no reason to stick around.

That pretty much covers the past two days. Today I've got no agenda except watching college football all afternoon, and of course, I'll probably go play some cards later at night, maybe get my mojo back. We'll see.


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