I have been informed by Maudie that I am expected to have some sort of post up by Monday, so here it is. Sorry it's the following Monday.
I had been looking forward to the poker game for two weeks. The workaday (and night) drudgery that has become my life was growing a bit stale and I needed to do something enjoyable for a change. Pauly
and Duggle Bogey
all made the trek to Northern Kentucky for the second annual "Play Poker in a Hotel Suite Instead of Somebody's Kitchen" game and I was really looking forward to seeing and meeting everyone.
I had the distinct pleasure of hanging with Pauly and Daddy at last year's event and was geeked about meeting Maudie and BG. I didn't subscribe to Duggle's blog until the little feud started between him and "Poker Champ" and I didn't even know he was coming until I walked into the game.
I made my way through the damp, overcast streets of Covington, KY, anxiously seeking the giant circular tower that is the Radisson. It's pretty hard to miss, considering it's right next to the highway and looks like a giant grain elevator
with windows. Iggy
rented a suite (actually, the exact same suite as last year) and, after running into GMoney in the parking lot, I was handed a large bag of ice and told to take it up to the room.
Carrying the 40lb bag of ice on my shoulder, I walked past the suspicious security guard. I smiled politely and continued to the elevator. I felt like some stupid teenager who was on his way to an illicit hotel party.
I entered the suite. I was warmly welcomed by Daddy and Pauly, who actually remembered me from last year. I was introduced to Duggle and BG, and of course, Maudie.
Maudie was everything Iggy and others had built her up to be. I could tell from the sincere hug that she was every bit the good soul that everyone said she was.
I bought into the game: NL50, .25/.50 blinds. OK, I can play that. My NL ring game is a little rusty since I went back to playing limit again, but I hadn't forgotten everything I knew. We were 10-handed for the early portion of the night, but when Iggy's friend Fast Eddie showed up, the fireworks started.
Fast Eddie is the king of online poker. This kid (and I do mean kid - couldn't have been more than 23) routinely 10-tables sit and gos (the $200+15 ones) and makes a nice little living doing it. He's a tall, skinny guy with spiky black hair, translucent skin and a shirt that was 2 sizes too small. He looked too pale and thin to be AUSTINKEARNS, king of tilting poor unsuspecting suckers on Party.
This guy was pulling down six figures playing poker? Well, he certainly looked like he spent a lot of time sitting in front of 5 giant LCD monitors, that's for sure.
Eddie made us 11, so we split into two tables. I was seated with Daddy, Pauly, Duggle and GMoney and the other table was Iggy, Eddie, BG, Jimbo, Maudie and Mr. Fabulous. Once Dann the Man showed up, we were 12.
As soon as Eddie sat down, the chips started flying. He was being extremely aggressive, which is his style. Hell, it's a winning style except when you're betting into the nuts. Which he was. Eddie got cracked very early, knocking him down to $8. The chips kept flying after that - Eddie was tilted and wanted to bust and rebuy or just piss everyone off.
One hour later, Eddie left the suite with $150, tripling his buy in and winning it all in the last 45 minutes. He cracked Iggy at least twice and Maudie once. I’m not sure if he put a hurting on anyone else at the grownups table, but Daddy, GMoney, Pauly, Duggle and I were laughing it up over an average pot size of about $4 in the kiddie pool.
Hell, we even had kiddie drinks: Duggle brought some Smirnoff Grape or some-such -other-brand-flavored-malt beverage. It tasted just like Grape Nehi. Not sure I could drink six of them, but they were tasty.
Here's my question: Where was this shit when when we were in high school and I was trying to get some 15-year-old hottie to let me feel her up? All I could offer was a 2-liter of Sun Country Wine Coolers or Keystone Light. No wonder I stayed a virgin so long...
The Real Sheriff showed up after that, taking Eddie's seat and calming things down a bit. Honestly, I was just glad I didn't have sit with Eddie.
After a few hours of playing uber-tight and getting a better feel for how the guys (and gal) played, I started to loosen up a little bit, but Daddy wanted to play sheriff. "No limping" was the refrain as $2.50 became the price to play poker. My typical "weak/tight limp in and hope the flop hits me" method was not going clearly not going to work.
So, I picked up on the aggression a bit and it paid off. I had a couple of decent hands pay me off and got my stack back up to around $30-35 from the original $50.
I was feeling ok about my play, but then I get the ultimate blogger hand (don't look at me like that, you know what it is).
Now, I want to preface this by saying that I rarely, if ever
, play the Hammer online. I only play it in person and only then if the situation is right. I had cultivated a very tight table image up to this point.
I popped it preflop to about $4, only Daddy called. Flop was no help to me, but I continued to play it like Aces. Another large bet from me. Another call. Turn - still no help. I make another strong bet and Daddy calls again. He is clearly not going to back down. SO, I push with my remaining $28. Daddy went into the tank - he couldn't figure out what I had.
He (thank GOD) laid it down and said, "I don't know what the hell you could have. Aces? Cowboys?"
I show the hammer and collect my winnings, in a much more dignified manner than previously noted
Yes, I bluffed the Poker Champ. Felt real good LOL!
I felt like I earned some respect playing the Hammer like a pro. Not only that, I won a hand early on with The Tourist after flopping two sevens. Take that, Champ! ;)
My only other hand of note was KK in the BB. Pauly bumps the bet to about $2.50 preflop and I reraise all in. He thinks for a second and calls. He flips AK and gets no help. I double through and fold for the next couple of hours until I can't stay awake any more.
I had a ton of freelance to finish up on Sunday and somehow had to manage to carve out a few hours to go see my Mom on Mother's Day, so I trudged home around 3:00am, blissfully unaware that I missed the highly-eventful followup trip to Waffle House.
I finished up about $20 for the evening, one of my better live game performances to date. I know that's not saying much, but the only live action I've ever seen is at home games and once at the boat. And against these sharks (ok, poker aficionados), treading water and having a spectacular time is a +EV situation in my book.
Needless to say, I left with a smile on my face. And a mildly incriminating picture
of me posted to the Tao of Pauly
(yes, that's me next to the tequila bottle at the bottom of the photo dump. My 15 milliseconds of Intarweb fame).
It was great to meet everyone and see Pauly and Daddy again. My main regret was not getting to talk to BG more than the couple of sentences we spoke in passing. He's one of the bloggers I was truly hoping to get to know better. I felt like I had found a semi-kindred spirit after reading his blog for the past year.O
h well, there's always next time. BG, I'm sorry about futzing with your iPod and fucking up the whole music rotation. I felt like a tool because I don't have an iPod (I have a lame Creative knockoff) and didn't know what the fuck I was doing. That'll learn me. Fuck it. I'm buying a real iPod.
I mistakenly let it slip to Maudie and Iggy that I had started this blog, which in turn led to them badgering me for the URL. After much Chinese water torture, I gave it out, which led to an ultimatum from Maudie that I start posting again or she wouldn't be my friend. And after the great conversation I had with her, I wasn't going to let that happen.
So, here is my semi-uber recap of the blogger get together. Even though the most I could ever hope for is to become a B-List blogger (by proxy, even), I've begun posting again. I'm sure my
3 readers (Iggy and Maudie - ed. Welcome and thanks for the comment, Pauly! How you found me, I'll never know...
) will be excited about the news.
It's not often that you meet new folks and feel an immediate connection. I felt that way Saturday. The poker bloggers are a very cool, fun group of people and I want to get to them know better.
I'm even thinking about trying to make it out to Vegas this summer and railbird at the Summer Classic. If I can scratch out some time between now and July, I might even try to win a WSOP seat so I can have my expenses covered. We'll see how things go.
Hell, I might even start posting semi-regularly, just to purge the spiderwebs and creepy-crawly thoughts that routinely fill my head.
At very least, you'll see me appearing in comments a little more frequently. I'm a notorious lurker and never leave comments on anyone's site. That will change, now that I actually know who these folks are.
Thanks to Iggy for organizing the whole thing and BIG
thanks to Maudie, Pauly, Daddy, BG and Duggle for making the trip! Hope to see all of you soon.