Monday, September 11, 2006

I Bleed Viking Purple...

… and some green.

It felt good to get some meaningful time at the tables this weekend. Granted Sunday blew due to my biggest leak of overplaying TPTK against a tricky opponent who used the same betting pattern while calling someone down with fourth pair. But at least I was aware enough to realize that pattern before shoving my chips towards his stack when he slowplayed aces over my big slick. In the past, the slide bar would have been yanked off the screen without such minimal analysis, especially with Trent Green on my television set taking a hit worthy of the WWF, WCW, or whatever the kids are calling professional wrestling these days.

Now its time to take the funds sitting front of me a little more seriously no matter what the stakes are, instead of mindlessly pissing away a bet here and there when I know I’m beat (I’m talking to my LO8 game). What did he/she call the all-in with? Is he a superstar, world-class player who always min-raises his/her aces? Will they call an overbet with less then the nuts? Could the media stop over glamorizing every DUI a celebrity gets after downing too many Michelob Ultras? Did daddy not give you your allowance to pay your chauffeur? Maybe its time to call up Rick and make another video (no I'm not linking that, find it yourself).

Despite my little set back on Sunday evening, I came out ahead this weekend due to Friday’s blissful run and an IM from my friend Jay to play some bar poker on Saturday evening.

To backpedal a little bit, I spend most of Saturday at Diamond’s Sports Bar with a fun gang of softball players of yesteryears out for a little exercise and maybe take down a game or two. My wife ended up bringing cranky spawn #1, and hungry spawn #2, she also brought the words told by a slight tint of crimson red in her eyes “I’m at my limit, don’t mess with me”. And I thought I had one more week till PMS time. Instead of having a relaxing day outside in the murky 60-ish temps with stiff crosswind and a cocktail, I had to be reminded that we were playing softball and it was my turn to bat when I was busying feeding Kyra, or telling Wyatt for the 1,456,324th time to please listen to his mom.

When you play softball tourneys (at any level) there is ALWAYS one team who is playing a class lower then they should. Since this was a fun tourney with no medals, no qualifications, and just a small cash prize to the winner you’d think these teams would find something better to do, like go watch the Gophers get pummeled by Cal. Instead during the final game of pool play we get a group of 21-25 year olds that looked a minor league baseball team with matching jerseys, bats, bat bags, hell they probably had matching jock straps but I didn’t feel it was my place to check. They clamored loudly after every out and throwing around the horn despite winning by double digits; thus ruining the most of the fun we had in the other two previous games of the day. Since we couldn’t win by running the bases, I thought I’d win a small battle by running my mouth louder then the vocal catcher. He probably looked me and thought “here’s the easy out, what a skinny-assed chump”, so each time I approached the plate (despite me batting clean up) he decided to try to have fun at my expense by telling his teammates where I was going to hit it.

Just to mess with him, I did the opposite. Every. Time. “HE’S GONNA POP OUT TO LEFT” (I slapped it over the right fielders head) “HEEEEEEERE’S COMES A STRIKEOUT” (I replied after the ball left the pitcher’s hand “HEEEEEEEEEERE I GO ON A WALK”). Of course his profane retorts matched his IQ, since he didn’t understand that I, nor the team really cared about the final score, thus his f-bombs were left flaccidly at home plate. Or (if you know me well enough) the irony of the insults falling on deaf ears.

After the mostly silent car ride home that included piercing scowls from the restless toddler in the back seat, Jay picked me up to head to Kelly’s 19th Hole for a little bar poker. Chippy Poker sponsored this evening filled with everything from the “just-having fun” type to the “five different card cappers-two minute stare down with A7o” types. 56 runners started the day with 5,000 in chips and blinds at 100-200 (which would escalate just slightly).

Since I don’t get to play live poker that often, I tried to take it seriously, without taking it seriously, or playing seriously stupid around people who took these tourneys seriously. Like Shawn “The Chef” Gilvin or Curt “Dirty Stack” Gatlin, and the not-to-be-taken lightly Jim “Ice Man” Linton. My name appears just between tourney legends "The Bishop" and "BFT" with 30 points after my only tourney played (take a guess at how many points you get after winning).

As in previous tourneys with Jay, I assumed I’d get tapped on the shoulder faster then the waitress could bring me my first beer… sure enough he got cold decked with QQ vs AA within the first five minutes. Since I didn’t want to make my friend wait around too long I decided to play a little more aggressive. The table was mostly passive as limping was the norm unless you had a premium pocket pair or big slick (which would come in for a min-raise causing Jesus to weep). I lost half of my stack early due to catching a straight with 57sOOOted and with the end board four-flushed I quickly laid it down as someone actually bet a higher denomination chip.

On the short stack I began to make the most of it by pushing several times with any Ace, suited connectors, or any two cards to steal the blinds of the two extremely tight players to my left (that wouldn’t even raise with TT, AK, and QQ). Since Jay encouraged me to stay despite me feeling bad that he had to wait around, I managed to carve myself enough chips to make it to the final two tables where I may have made string bet while raising all-in (live players please let me know).

A very loose, big-stacked player pushed a 10,000 chip raise into the pot from UTG six handed, I was holding 88 and had 23,000 with the blinds at 2,000-4,000. After some stupid thinking that I could win a race I decided to raise all-in (knowing he’d call, so there’s no fold equity). I stated “all-in” and rolled out all of my chips, but then said I call with the 10,000 and raise with 13,000 after counting my chips. Did I string bet here or does my verbalization of “all-in” count? Nobody raised a stink (nor do I think 75% of the room knew what a string bet was anyway) and he sighed loudly as he turned over 33. An 8 on the door and no 989:1 shot came thru on the turn and river and Drizz had some chips!

Well, not really since the blinds were more oppressive then Joseph Stalin’s turn at the helm of the Soviet Union.

By the time we got trimmed to the final table of eight, my “big stack” was in 2nd despite only having seven big blinds when the blinds doubled every round. Now, I don’t blame the structure based on a 2nd tourney having to start right after this one was done (as seen with the railbirds getting two and three deep in this small, enclosed banquet type area of the restaurant/bar). After two orbits we were down to four I was in the big blind with blinds at 16,000-32,000 and only left with 17,000 behind after paying my dues. The button who stated he didn’t want to come in 3rd, raised since he was the only one left who actually had enough chips to make a valid raise, the SB was all-in for 4,000 more and I just shoved my crapshoot chips in blind.

Button held 99 (!!!!)
SB held 5d4d
Drizz gets…. 8c4h

Since no one is allowed to win with my hand besides me, I felt confident a suck out was coming. After the turn card came out the SB started cheering wildly as his two pair just hit on a board of 4s 6h 7h 5c. Um, sir, I have a straight. Remember how I mentioned the nicknames (or you can check the website for these), he was one of those guys. Needless to say when the blank Jack fell on the river he and button were not happy and I tried to shrink into my t-shirt (no "dot net" stickers were handed out).

With three left we were “in the money” as 3rd got a Visor, 2nd a $10 gift certificate, and 1st got $50 cash (no buy-ins allowed in Minnesota, so this was a freeroll as all bar tourneys are). Take a guess what I wanted. The portly gentleman on my left named “Stormy” with his “Chippy Poker is big in Japan” t-shirt took out the dejected no-longer-big-stacked player with King high versus Queen high and he was awarded the visor that he didn’t want. And with the blinds at 64,000-128,000 (remember the entire room only started with 280,000) we decided on an even chop with me getting 1st due to chip count.

As with the last time I played (and won) a bar tourney, it doesn’t “count” as winning a tourney. One of these days I’ll make a decent run at a tourney online as playing in a forced crapshoot made me realize that if you press those odds enough times, and stop playing to get blinded off, the odds just might come out in your favor.

Thanks for dropping by, now if you must ask yes I am wearing Vikings apparel to the office today just not my jersey due to wonderful new dress codes.


$10 side wager for a certain Skins’ fan? Daddy are you game?

No comments: