Monday, August 16, 2004

Lucky Chances, my ass. I had a buddy come into town on Sunday and agreed to meet him at the local card parlor, misnamed Lucky Chances. Jeff had played there before and had some luck, and though I hadn’t been played poker in a casino for, oh, about eighteen years, I agreed to give it a try.

When we got there at 11:30 or so, the list for 3/6 was pretty short, so we passed some time watching one of the 3/6 tables from the rail. I had already pegged a couple of the people as calling stations and a couple as being pretty tight. The calling stations both re-bought multiple times while we were watching, and when two seats opened up a few minutes later, we were called to join. I sat in 7s to the left of a tight player, and to the right of a short stack who kept yelling “Jackpot, come on Jackpot” whenever the board paired. Jeff plopped into the 2s with a talkative oriental woman calling station to his right and a couple of locals to his left. Here, you’re required to post from the button and the money goes to the Jackpot fund, so each round would cost you $7 just to see your cards.

As soon as I sit, I get the button and post my $3 and pick up …. Presto! I check since four people have already called the blind, and have already proven that they’ll call with almost anything. The board hits 974, all clubs. A bet,, a fold, a raise, and I muck the fives disgustedly. Turns out the bet was on overcards (KQ, I think) and the raise was on 87 which ended up winning when a 4 hit the river for bottom two pair. Jeff and I popped our eyes when we saw the hands. The KQ had stayed till the end with a J on the turn, hoping for the gutshot. Man, oh man, this was a different game.

Next hand, I pick up A4o. Yeah, I know, Ace-rag. But I was there to play. I limp in with four others. Flop comes AK4 with two diamonds. UTG bets after the blinds check, next guy calls, a couple of fold and I raise, trying to price out the flush draws early. Blinds fold and we’re three handed to see a brick for the turn (9, I think, but two suits the board). UTG bets, middle guy folds, I raise again, and get called. After another brick for the river, UTG finally checks, I bet, he calls. I show my two pair and he shows KQ again. He bet into an Ace-high board with a pair of kings and called two raises! I gather up my chips, trying not to let my hands tremble as a pull in a decent $50+ pot.

And guess what, that’s about it. After that, it was nothing but 84o, 83o, 94o, T3o, a whole bunch of total garbage. My next playable hand was AQs. I raised from MP, the woman to Jeff’s right called along from BB with the other calling station joining in. Flop is the luscious QT6. Checked to me, so I bet. The woman beat me to the pot with her chips, and the other guy bailed. 8 on the turn, she checked, and I bet $6. Again, she called quickly. River is a 3, and she checked again and called my bet. I turn my AQ, the old guy to my right said “Good hand”, but I looked across the table and she shows 63o for the rivered two pair. Not only did she call a preflop raise, but she called TWO bets with bottom pair and no kicker to speak of. And I watch my chips get pushed in front of her… Jeff was shaking his head, but was laughing at me too. Asshole. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.

It was that way the whole time, I'd raise with QQ preflop, get three callers, and see AKx on the flop. A bet and a raise later, I’m mucking the ladies (rightfully so, it turns out). I get AT head to head with Jeff. Flop is AKJ, he bets, I raise. Turn is A. He checks, I bet, he raises, I call. River is a brick, he checks again, I bet, he raises again, I call again. He turns AQ to outkick me. Asshole. He said he figured me for Ax and knew he had me outkicked. Asshole.

Anyway, every time I had top pair, someone would river bottom two pair… I flop a boat with 33 down and a flop of 883, and everyone folds to my minimum bet after chasing every other hand. For some reason, I was incapable of shifting gears to meet the play of the rest of the table. I was treating this place like I was online, and my usual tight play wasn’t paying off. I tried to open up my play with a bluff and was called down with middle pair. It was simply frickin’ brutal.

I stopped the carnage at -$140 even though I had another $100 in my pocket. I had to admit that I couldn’t adjust to that table. I sweated Jeff a while and saw that he played pretty much the same as me, but raised on more speculative hands, and got more callers when he had the stronger hands. I guess I was easier to read by playing too tight. He ended up winning around $100, around half of that from me. Asshole.

So last night, to wash the taste out of my mouth, I played a $10 O-8 SnG and placed 2nd. I made a remarkable comeback starting at 57 chips and six players left. I went all-in with T322 and doubled up to 114 when I boated on the flop (882). I was praying for high cards, but I ended up splitting the pot after 43 finished off the board. Two hands later, I’m UTG with blinds at 100 and I push all-in with ATT4. Amazingly, I flop QUADs and I quintuple up over 600 chips. After whittling back down to 450 or so, I triple up to 1350+ after flopping a set of kings, pushing all-in, and rivering the nut straight. One more double up with the nut straight, nut low scoop, and I end up in the final two. A nice run, but I’m unable to close the deal, though it definitely helped to clear my mind of the lunacy at Lucky Chances.

Lessons learned:
- I’m an open book in person. Apparently, I was the sucker at the table, at least for three hours. - Apparently, white people and black people don’t play cards in card rooms. Only Asians.
- Reading the table is easier when you’re sweating a player rather than actually playing.
- Jeff is an asshole.
- Representing a good hand is useless. I raised after two checks with an A86 board to represent aces (I had QJ) and got called with bottom pair.
- I’m more comfortable online at my desk, in my chair, in my boxers.
- Oh, did I say Jeff is an asshole?

A rant of Olympian proportions:
- Ummm, Misty May and Kerri Walsh are not attractive. Just because they frolic around on the beach in bikinis and have no discernible fat doesn’t make them attractive. And photographing them after an Extreme Makeover for their NBC publicity shots that appear over Bob Costas’ shoulder is comparable to bait-and-switch. Sure, they’re great players, but why do they have to keep saying how “attractive” they are. NBC sucks.

- The 12-18 hour tape delay for the West Coast is kinda helpful in planning the evening. If my wife wants to watch a swimming race or gymnastics round, if I don’t want to watch it, I can just look up the results, and announce them to her so she won’t want to watch it either.
Wifey: Oooh, I want to watch the swimming tonight. Michael Phelps is in the relay.

Me (at the computer, typing quickly): Why do you want to watch that anyway? The US only gets the bronze.

Wifey: You’re a turd. And you better not tell me what medal the gymnastics team gets…

Me: No problem, it’s just the preliminaries tonight, and they come in second to Romania anyway.

Wifey: You’re a turd. I’m going into the other room to read a magazine.

Me: While you’re up, can you turn it to Celebrity Poker?
- Why does NBC shut down the coverage on peripheral channels (Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC) during primetime? Some of the best stuff is shown on these stations LIVE (table tennis, field hockey, shooting) during the day, but NBC wants to dominate the evening with their Phelps-watch and stupid versions of “Up close and personal” vignettes. Show the frickin’ competitions and keep your human interest stories to a minimum!

- Why isn’t Melissa Stark wearing a bikini when she interviews the swimmers? I believe that it should be mandatory for pool interviewers to be in bathing suits. Unless it’s Jim Gray or something…

- Cynthia Potter is remarkable. I’m astounded at her ability to pick out minute flaws in dives that I can’t see. She’ll say stuff like “Ziang Chow Mein’s second toe was a little bent on the entry, that’s why there was such a big splash.” Sure enough, when they show the replay, the toe is bent about .005 inches.

- NBC sucks. Bob Costas is beginning to sound more and more like Jack Whitaker, a tired voice trying to sound poetic and epic at the same time, trying to mix lyricism with jingoism, and failing at both.

- Oh, NBC sucks.


At 4:39 PM, Blogger Paste This said...

Geez, you take some big risks, messing with the Better Half like that. Kudos.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger JD said...

Hey Commish, I enjoy your blog. Although I live on the east coast, I was at lucky Chances on Aug 14 (just now getting back to catching up on the blogs after the trip) and I had an experience very similar to yours. Those're some crazy loose games.


Post a Comment

<< Home