Bowling for Flush Draws
Wanted to thank everyone right off the top for your kind words and thoughts about Donny's mom. She really was something else and I passed along the condolensces to the family. They had a wonderful service, the type of service that highlights all the joy she gave over the years, rather than the loss we all feel.
I am, by and large, a "silver lining" type guy and this weekend was no different. It came in the form of spending time with friends whom I've not seen in a while, reminiscing about what she meant to us, filling each other in on our lives. Despite the sad occassion, I got to spend time with my three best friends from high school, the four of us not having been all together in nearly five years. The fact we had so much catching up to do is the only thing that kept me out of the poker room.
Not really, but a funny thing happened. One of the above mentioned friends, Shot, and I had an entire Friday night to get ourselves into trouble. We tried. We drove around looking at old landmarks (our childhood homes, parks where we smuggled our 12-packs, houses where we'd had...um...intimate relations with high school girls). One place that still remains is Granada Bowl, the iconic bowling alley and, in our parents' warnings, a "hang-out for hoods." As we drove past, a new sign burned itself into my retinas. "Poker Room" it said.
I wanted so badly to go in there. Not so much to play, but to see the clientele amassed there on a Friday night in the sticks. My interest was purely anthropological. Alas, Shot was driving.
What you need to understand about the four of us is that collectively, we are screwballs. No bones about it. You get us together for 30 seconds and we instantly fall back into our familiar rythym. Sadly for nearly everyone else, that means we're 14 years old again. I make no apologies for this. We even asked Donny if it would be okay to come back to his house after the service. We know we're idiots. And we didn't want to offend the family, something we can accomplish merely by our presence. We were assured it was okay. Or rather:
Me: Are you sure we're not going to make any waves by showing up?
Donny: It's 50-50.
So we showed up, stayed mostly out of the way, kept the silliness to a minimum, paid our proper respects, drank beer for nine hours and got kicked out of the house around midnight. Mission accomplished.
I'm sure I've mentioned how lucky I am to be married to my dear and patient wife. Here's another reason why: She is happy to ignore Valentine's Day. For one, our wedding anniversary is 12 days away (please, no gifts) and we focus on that as a more adequate barometer of our feelings for one another. A card is permissable (and, I haven't tried out the theory yet, but I'm guessing NO card might be a problem) and/or a little token of appreciation. But nothing ostentatious. And certainly no flowers or chocolate.
Which makes the phone call I got this morning all the more curious. "I'm on a mission of love," she said to me. So I've got a V-Day surprise coming my way later.
My heart is full of love today. Love for the two guys who quintupled me up last night on the $25 PL tables with their absolutely horrid play.
First hand: I've chipped up to $33 or so by taking some small pots. I see a free flop in the BB with A3o. Flop comes A63 rainbow. Lovely. I bet the pot and get one caler (UTG+1). Turn is another rag (a duece, I believe) and I bet the pot. Am raised for his entire stack (another $7 to me). I call. Nothing of import on the river and I take it down. UTG+1 was playing KK. No pre-flop raise. And then a raise on the turn when I've bet out twice already. Does he think I do that without an ace? Well, whatever. Thanks.
Second hand: I'm sitting about $65 and I get 44 in MP. I limp and call a minimum raise, along with 7 others (a lot of family pots at this table, I'll tell you). Flop is 10 8 4, all of diamonds. Checked to me and I bet $5 to see what's what. I get two callers (one behind, one in front), no raises. Nice, no made flushes just yet is my read. The turn, sadly, is 6d. Caller in front opens for $5. Five bucks. Into a $21 pot. With, what I assume, is a made flush. Perhaps even the nut flush. Well sport, you've just given me sufficient odds to call and hope for one of my 10 outs. Other player folds. River? SIX OF SPADES. Fill me up, baby.
My new favorite player bets the pot (NOW he bets the pot). I raise all-in. He calls with, yep, the nut flush. I am giddy. I am astonished. I am in triple digits. I am also going to spend ALL my Party Poker time at the $25 NL/PL tables for the foreseeable future. My results there lately have been fantastic. So many ways to kill the goose. If I hadn't flushed most of those wins down the SnG toilet, there'd be a lot less whining in this space.
One other poker highlight to mention. Has anyone ever played one of those $10/1 MTTs on Poker Stars with the unlimited re-buys in the first hour? Ohmylord. There were 27 re-buys at my table, one guy responsible for 8 of them. One player had nearly 40K in chips at the first break thanks to calling nearly every all-in and making like 6 straights and 3 flushes. He was leading out for T2000 every other hand. And getting callers. Who did a lot of re-buying. It was insane.
Is that behavior usual in these types of tourneys? I planned all along not to re-buy (though I figured I'd take the T2000 add-on for $10 at the first break if I could get near an average stack). I think there were about 500 entrants and 800 re-buys. Which meant I was getting quite an overlay on my $11. But I could never compete. I got no premium hands and was pushed off my marginal ones by the huge pre-flop raises. Naturally, the hand I went out on, Mr. Big Stack caught a 3-outer on the river.
An outside shot at some live play this Saturday night. I've offered to freeroll the Mrs. and a friend at the blackjack tables--and at the bar--to get in some action. Need confirmation from her friend and to decide were to play. This place is closest, but the new poker room here is supposed to be excellent. I don't suppose anyone out there can provide a review? It would be much appreciated. I imagine I'll be sampling both--and others--anyway.