Thursday, September 15, 2005

I Came, I Saw...

... I walked home a happy man.

There's a freedom I don't get to feel much anymore. The freedom to tip back a couple of beers and shoot the shit about whatever is going on in the sports world or whatever politico mumble-jumble CNN is plastering across the screen at that particular moment.

Although I enjoy my family life and all its ups and downs, there's nothing that replaces a night at the bar alone. The ability to let loose when you're supposed to act a certain husband/daddy/co-worker way is refreshing, much like taking a dump after eating at KFC or Taco Bell. Being with the WPBT crowd in Vegas is another example of this freedom. You can be yourself with no thoughts of social repercussions. Drink as much as you want! Discuss the finer points of an effective porn slapper! Play poker until all the cards look the same! The down side could be your angry spouse wondering why you knocked her off the bed in your flea-riddled hotel room at 4am while pushing your blood alcohol level past the mendoza line (or should we call it the CantHang line?).

I had the freedom to drink to my heart's content and make a few friends around the oval shaped tables that were laid out across Boston's swank bar. Unlike the Lookout, Boston's is a little more upscale with its plasma screens, an oak finished brightly lit bar, internet sport tickers, futbol from Gol TV, and a page which showed a biography of a Minnesota Vikings cheerleader that popped up every three minutes or so. If you must know Brianna is a student at Normandale Community College, she enjoys baking and playing her daughter, and has 14 years dance experience!

Enough about Brianna, well actually they could have shown more but that's besides the point. I was at Boston's to play a little live poker, which is something I don't get to do often. Any chance I get to embarrass myself at the poker table is a gift. Much like my gifting a stack or two at the blogger tables. Those tables are sooooooooooooo rigged by the way.

40 people started the chase for the elusive exclusive three satellite seats to a tourney in Sommerset, WI. Former home of Edgefest outdoor concerts I through V that I attend in body and many many spirits. Maybe a post for when I'm not feeling very poker-like. Winner of the satellite gets a WPT/WSOP package. Not bad for a freeroll.

Instead of ordering a Cap'n Coke I went with the 32oz. Newcastle as I didn't have much money and they weren't exactly serving $1.50 drinks here. Saddled up with my very tall beer it was time to play. I promised myself I'd take it seriously, looking for tells, and not shoving without a reason. First hand 66 UTG. Normally I'd pitch it, but with the double the blinds escalation and with only T1000 chips starting at 25/50 blinds I needed to catch a hand early or risk not being able to make a pressure bet if needed. After 5 limpers on an eight person table, the flop got an older William Macy look-a-like excited as he pushed all-in after being checked around to him, everyone folded to his top set.

Nice play sir.

The table make up was an assortment you might find at your local casino. The overly aggressive Asian player, the WPT wannabe, the old guy with a little gamble in him since his wife kicked him out of the house for drinking too much, and the happy/getting buzzed poker blogger choking his way through his worst game.

With 20 people left I was blinded down to T800 on the BB with the blinds at 100/200 I look down at KQo and after three limpers I push hoping to take the dead money. Chip leader with a Vick jersey and a mohawk growing on his chin called as do the old guy and Asian. Flop of 4 4 2 rainbow gets checked around, and I grab my nearly gone beer and get up since I expected someone to turn over a naked ace. Turn was a 9 completing the rainbow, and Vick decides to bully the table and push all in. Isolation bet, hopes sunk, bye-bye Drizz. I start to thank everyone for the fun while they fold and I turn over my KQo to see his... um... Q3s? No 3 on the river means Drizz is now fourth in chips. I don't know what just happened there but I like it!

I managed a couple of nice wins after that: KK vs. 76s, AKs vs. KJo quadupled me up. The final table didn't last very long as I waited out the three small stacks and attacked the big stacks blinds with any ace or face until only four were left. A pale, nervous kid who moved a little slow but played aggressively when he did. A heavily tattoo'd big guy who spoke with a British accent and played a great tight-aggressive game. And a Vikes fan with a "Packers Suck" t-shirt on showing a Packers cheerleader giving head to a Viking player (yes a very cosmopolition type clientele list at this bar despite the $7.00 price tag on mixed drinks) on my right who refused to complete his small blind after I'd pushed all-in twice on him pre-flop. After two orbits the British guy's 75s was forced all-in vs. the nervous kid's J6o, a 6 on the flop sealed the inked one's fate as we were all handed this for winning...

The Winner's Spoils

I know it was a bar tourney, and the competition wasn't exactly WPBT material, but it felt good to win something. A $10 gift card, Satellite seat for the possible WPT seat, and an awesome image building hat for my next live session. Through my moonlit walk home, I felt free'd from things that have been bringing me down lately, poker or not. With the 9 to 5 grind (or in my case 6 to 4) its these little moments of freedom that recharge you to face another day. My normal day is get up, work, play with Little Drizz, eat, play poker or sleep.

Every day, Monday thru Thursday, same routine.

Breaks in the routine are rare and very welcome, much like the WPBT Aladdin tourney. What may have seemed like a regular weekend out to most folks, was truly a eye-opener and recharger to me and my poker game (but not my bankroll...).

Thanks for dropping by, now check out these awesome trip stories:

Dr. Pauly's latest advertures that are taking him through Europe.

JoeSpeaker and Bobby "don't call me just Bob" Bracelet tear down the NL game at the Aladdin in a recent Vegas trip.

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