I'm runnin' on 'em.
Alright, asshole. It's two o'clock in the goddamn morning. We ain't settling for 25th place.
--Me, to me
It was quite a confluence of events that led me to play poker last night. For one, I woke up wanting to play. The deal was sealed when I saw the announcement of a 20% reload bonus on Stars as my dwindling bankroll would be foolish to look a gift $120 in the mouth. So I re-deposited a chunk of what I'd withdrawn two weeks back and set out to work on my limit game. I two-tabled 2/4 for a couple hours and came out slightly on top, after some rough moments (and cleared about a quarter of the bonus). It was getting late, but I was feeling it. Any tourneys?
Ugh. 10:30, eh? That might be a little late for a school night. But for the first and only time all night, I said "Aw, fuck it." The field was of manageable size and I could always turn my 3-day weekend into a 4-spot.
My first table was a relatively tight group compared to the usual re-buy madness. I managed to work my stack (+1 re-buy) up to 5800 by the break and took the add-on. I chipped up a bit in the second hour, turning on the aggression in response to my tight table. Was slightly below average at the second break and playing well.
At Level 10, I made my move. Twice I got AA within a dozen hands and re-raised an early raiser each time. Got calls, but both let go on the flop. Then I hit a BB Special. Saw a free flop with 98o and found myself holding the nuts when it came down. I smooth-called the Big Stack in the SB. I still held the nuts when a Jack fell on the turn and min. raised his larger bet with no better draws out there. He called and fired again on the inconsequential river and I pushed. He called the extra 8K and I was peering over a top-15 stack of about 45K.
I got moved shortly thereafter, setting up the fateful TT hand, but I regrouped quickly. I pretty much stayed with this group for the next 90 minutes and showed down some big hands, allowing me to do some stealng as the blinds escalated. I won another big pot with 54o in the BB when I again flopped the nut straight.
I didn't get in any tough spots once we were down to three tables. I was right in the middle of the remaining players chip-wise and tightened things up (folding AQo and 88 pre-flop to moderate action, good decisions both). I busted a short stack with KK and then took a nice number of chips from a bigger stack with ATs.
Down to two tables, I busted a player, nearly doubling up with QQ. Shocking, eh, considering my history with those filty sluts. He had 88 and despite the late (early?) hour, I fairly screamed at the computer to HOLD!
After that, I was third in chips and easily folded/stole to the Final Table, where I continued to fold my way up the money ladder. There was one MASSIVE stack, with over 1.5 mil, more than the rest of the table combined. He was taking a lot of heat from the rail, mainly from the guy who he knocked out in 10th, Big Stack's 65s knocking of his Hiltons. Big Stack continued to call a lot of all-ins and won all but one. The two times he got Aces didn't hurt, either. We went from 9 to 4 in less than 20 minutes.
Big Stack had about 2 mil, second place had 320K, I had 200K and 4th had 190K. At this point, Big Stack was pushing on every hand. He took the blinds and antes for two orbits, me unable to defend with my 52o parade and everybody looking for a money jump. I felt like any ace or king would be good enough to defend so I made my stand in the BB with K4o. Big Stack flipped J4s and my domination held only as far as the River when a jack fell.
No sour grapes here, though. I missed that feling of late tournament poker. I'm gratefully filled with it today. Gonna need that adrenaline to make it through the workday. If this was Vegas, three hours sleep (including one on the train) might be enough. In a cubicle...not so much.
Jeez, all that griping these past months, all the self-flaggelation and doubt...and I get back nearly all my lost bankroll in 5 hours. I have so many more thoughts: peace of mind, reduced tournament play, self-confidence, all of which played a hand in last night's effort. I'll try to get it down at some point. Let's just say my attitude and focus last night was a marked improvement.
Last thing, since the tourney was on the first of the month, I'm listed pretty high on the TLB. I'm coming for you McEvoy.
Your favorite online poker rooms have organized a handful of charity tournaments for the victims of the disaster in the South. I hope to see all of you there. Here's a list and you can find out more information on the sites.
Sept. 12 at 9:30 ET ($5)
Sept. 14 at 9:30 ET ($20)
Sept. 15 at 9:30 ET ($50)
Sept. 16 at 9:30 ET ($100)
All but a penny per entry goes to the relief efort and Stars is matching all contributions. Prizes for the Final Table and Good Karma for all.
Full Tilt Poker
Today 9:15pm ET ($20 + $10)
$10 entry fee goes to the relief effort and will be matched by Full Tilt. Some pros will likely be in the field.
Thanks to all for your comments and e-mails on my "Shooting Blanks" post from a couple days ago. As I said, I'm still quite optimistic about the whole deal and am well aware that our "hardships" don't compare to others with more drastic fertility issues. We are blessed to have AJ and could live happy lives with him as an only child (his thoughts may differ, though I'm certain he prefers the wholesale attention he gets currently).
It's just the whole biological clock thing and my hope to not be the oldest Dad at Little League. I guess that won't be the case as long as Tony Randall is alive.
I pulled out a bunch of old notebooks last week after Pauly issued an urgent call for Truckin' submissions. I ended up sending him that decidedly less-romantic vignette instead of the more heavy-handed stuff I found--"and there was much longing and aching and general pain of loss"--but I did find some items that bear further attention.
That bit about meeting my wife (in the flesh) was written pretty much in real time. There is, in fact, an entire notebook devoted to my musings on that adventure and I've had fun re-living some of it lately (especially the pornographic entires). The dear and patient wife has read only snippets (which I transcribed to her via e-mail after that initial meeting), so she was really seeing that piece for the first time. I'm happy to report it acheived its desired effect and she was delighted at some of the comments.
One little sidelight to the tale. We sat in that cafe for a while, disbelieving, our conversation constant, if a little awkward. We were consumed with the moment, as evidenced by the fact were were 3 blocks away before we realized we hadn't paid the bill.
During our courtship was the last time I wrote as regularly as I do now (even more regularly without the whole online poker thing getting in the way). Funny that she thought she was marrying a budding writer, but all she got was a stupid WSOP t-shirt.
ANYWAY, I hope to have some more of those stories in this space in the coming months and I promise not all of them are so lugubrious and lovey-dovey (and that none of them will use the term "lovey-dovey"). There are some that are funny (one hopes), others that are simply poor imitations of Ernest Hemingway (My "Moveable Feast" period). Without the daily poker to sustain the daily blog, I was moving more toward that prose-ish direction anyway.
In addition, there's a bunch of other stuff in those notebooks that was written before she came along, in those wild days of oat-sowing. One of the things I used to do was take a pad and pen to bars and jot down random thoughts (I could also dash off a bit of shitty poetry; you'd be surprised how much drunk girls love shitty poetry), though most of them concerned observations of others and scenarios I'd make up in my head. Like...
The group barreled into the bar intent on domination. Four of 'em all out of place in their crisp suits and starched collars, arms dangling and back-slapping each other in Forever Brotherhood as they stormed to the bar, causing the Rummy in the tattered shorts and flip-flops to look up and ask, "Hey kids. How was the prom?"
I'll be here all week.