Sunday, March 13, 2005

Yo Adrian! We Did It!

"Mr. Speaker?"
"I believe this rear-end belongs to you."
"It does. Thank you."
"You know, you're the fourth person who's handed me my ass in the last 12 hours."

Yes, it was a brutal Friday night/Saturday morning on the NL cash game tables. My crowning achievement was playing my flopped set of nines like a drooling noob, allowing an opponent to turn a set of tens. I proceeded to give him my entire stack, some $130 worth. Very slick of me.

So, what's a man to do? Personally, I threw the laptop through the bay window, kicked the dog and wept quietly. (Note to PETA: I don't have a dog, or a bay window for that matter. It's a metaphor, ferchrissakes.)

What I actually did was take AJ to the park, spend the rest of the glorious day outside and try to put it all out of my mind. When I'm on a bad run, I get conflicting feelings. I don't want to play because I get the sense I won't be at my best, play defensively. But I also want to get back to erase the negative vibes from the last beating. And I also just like to play, dammit.

I pondered the pros and cons of the choices and came to the conclusion that a small buy-in MTT would be just the tonic. Not risking much of the bankroll and potential for hours of play. I wasn't yet fully prepared, however. I needed something to boost my confidence, something to hold onto in the coming storm, a talisman.

What better than a bottle of Southern Comfort?

Okay, now I'm ready and What. A. Ride.

The tourney didn't start out too auspiciously. I spent the entire first hour as a virtual spectator, winning only a couple small pots and dropping one of consequence. By the time we got to Level 6, I was down to 5x the big blind and waiting for a hand with which to push. I laid it on the line with 66 one from the button. The button called and we were heads up. He had AA. Well, that was fun.

But you need some good fortune in these things to get results and I caught the Anti-Christ on the flop.

"I know who you are Damien.
"Why don't you say it, Mark."

Okay, so lucky-ass me doubles up. Still a pretty weak stack into Level 8 where I start the rush. I double up twice before the second break with big pockets and I've got some chips to toss around. And toss them around I did. In the third hour, I went from T12000 to T90000. Won two races (my 44 vs. Big Slick was the most exciting/nerve-wracking of the bunch) and again got lucky when I put a smaller stack all-in. I had twice his chips and found A9s on the button. He called from the BB with AKs. Hearts and 9s were what I needed. I flopped the latter and it held up.

So now I'm in big business. Only one problem. It's coming up on dinner time. I'm supposed to make dinner. The dear and patient wife will be home in a half-hour. I'm going to go out on a limb and say I was the only participant remaining who was grilling swordfish while playing. I also had the foresight to call the dear and patient wife (who, if I haven't mentioned it before, is also lovely and talented) and warn her of the poker decadence she might find upon her arrival. She had the good nature to summon Adrian from Rocky II:

"Okay, but I want you to do one thing for me."

Dah. Dah-Dah. Dah. Dah-Dah. Dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-DAH! Daaaaah-dah-dah-dah-dah.

Yeah, I love that song. Gets me every time. Bill Conti is the shit.

So there we are at the dinner table, deep into the 4th hour, a spread of swordfish, roasted potatoes (with garlic and olive oil), corn on the cob, salad and, uh, the laptop. I was the big stack at my table and picked up some pots by coming over the top in late position. Never got a call. Then, the hand which basically got me to the final table.

We were down to about 60 and a huge stack appeared at my table. He had T240K, twice my holdings. With blinds at 3K/6K, he open-raised for 24K. In the BB, I found Big Slick. Now, it must be mentioned, that AKo treats me like a ditch digger at a Debutante Ball. A smaller stack and I would have pushed him in, but fearful of risking my entire tourney on the hand, I just called.

The flop came KJx. I bet the pot, more than half my stack. He used up half his time bank before raising me all-in. During the wait, I got the distinct impression I was ahead. Easy call for me. No damn choice. He flipped QJo for second pair. No change on the turn or river and I'm in 3rd overall chip position. I'm also hyperventilating and bouncing around the kitchen like I'm hopped up on goofballs. The dear and patient wife is howling gleefully and knocking back another shot of SoCo. The Boy only looks at us queerly.

From that point on, I didn't get involved in any big pots. Made enough pre-flop raises/steals to stay at roughly the same chip count. Didn't fluctuate much as people kept getting knocked out and I climbed the money ladder. Literally no stressful decisions to be made and suddenly I'm at the final table.

Where I got severly cold-decked. I'm not complaining, believe me. There were four realtively short-stacks and they went out in short order. I pushed a couple times, but got no callers. With four of us left, there were two huge stacks and two small ones. The other small stack ended up winning the thing. He was very agressive and pushed often. I got the Hiltons in one hand, but no callers. Finally, down to just 5x the BB, I pushed with 77. Ran into QQ. And that, my friends, was that.

I was just totally, spent. A shell, mentally and physically. But I was also buzzin'. My highest finish, my biggest payday. Got lucky, for sure, but I played damn well, too. Despite my exhaustion, I couldn't sleep for the longest time. Re-playing hands in my head, re-living the rush, listing the CDs I was gonna buy with the haul.

Just an awesome feeling. Thanks to all for the comments.


Now I'm off to my niece's birthday party, depriving me of tonight's HORSE tourney. Good luck to all.


At 2:42 AM, Blogger High Plains Drifter said...

Great writeup.

"Despite my exhaustion, I couldn't sleep for the longest time."

I know exactly what you mean. It doesn't matter how tired I should be, I always need some time to wind down after the mental combat is that the wonderful game of poker. And oddly, it usually takes at least 45 minutes.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger April said...

Awesome write-up as usual!

Congratulations on the win!

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Maudie said...

"But you need some good fortune in these things to get results and I caught the Anti-Christ on the flop. "

I love the write-up - congrats! 8^)

At 4:34 PM, Blogger CanYouSmellWhatTheHawkIsCooking said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you'll eventually end up using your winnings to buy cd's that suck.

Ok, I'll stop ruining your blog now.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger laceratedsky said...

Buy the new Bloodbath CD right now! Good write up!

At 10:47 AM, Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

Good job with the finish and the write-up.

Q: Why Joe Speaker?


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