The Longest Day
I got a reasonable amount of sleep prior to the WPBT event, Chad and I cabbing it back to the IP around 2:30. My decision was pretty much made for me when I look a long draw off a nearly full Newcastle pint and the liquid stopped about a quarter of the way down my esophagus. I'd reached my saturation point. As I'm not a "Puke and Rally" guy--I'm more of a puke and pass out and spend the next two days complaining about the feeling in my mouth because the bile stripped off all my teeth's enamel guy--I set the beer aside, apologizing to whomever it was who purchased it for me, and headed for the exit.
Upon waking from fitful sleep, I found drizz and Chad--wow, he really does follow me around; might explain the bell he gave me to wear around my neck--in the lobby and we headed out on a fruitless McGriddle expedition, ultimately ending up at Starbucks for a coffee, a $5 bottle of water and a scone, from which I managed all of three bites. Man, I ate horribly this time out. Violated all my own rules, but I was really only hungry once during the entire trip and satisfied that particular jones with a Quiznos.
Up to the sweet tourney set-up room, complete with free swag and, you may have heard, an OPEN BAR. Giddyup.
My starting table:
1. Reader Dave
2. Trump Josh
3. Poker Prof
4. Dr. Jeff
9. Stuido Glyphic
And yes, that list comprises the whole of the notes I took that weekend.
Marty informed me when I sat down that if I was in a pot and he had a hand, he was pushing all-in pre-flop so I wouldn't out-play him after the flop. He wasn't kidding. Our table could have been called Sahara Desert, as in, no rivers. The only one we saw was on the last hand before the first break (more coming on that). I think we only saw two turns, as well, so I guess we could have been the NASCAR table, too. Pre-flop raises generally took the blinds. We did have a few pre-flop re-raises. Once, I re-raised Reader Dave with AA. He folded his hammer face up. F-Train came over the top of me (not for the first time) with Kings. I, too, folded my hammer face up. Glyph limped UTG and I popped it to 400 with A9s. He moved all-in. Gah.
So, I'd dropped to about T1900 right before the break when I found AQo on the button. I open-raised 4x, the third or fourth time I'd raised on the button. F-Train, presumably tired of such antics, called out of the BB. The flop came QTx and Train led out for 800. I pushed and he reluctantly called the extra 700, having pot committed himself. He flipped J8o for the gutshot, which didn't come.
After the break, I busted Human Head, who'd taken over Reader Dave's seat, with 66 against his ATo, extending his run of losing races and inching into drizz terriroty. Next was The Mark, who was in for Josh. I sent him and his short stack to the rail, my QJs out-flopping his Big Slick. Grubby was there briefly, long enough to see his JJ dominated by Kings. Ed from Openers filled the 10s for a departed Slayre and a short-stacked Shep took over for Whiskeytown. And yes, my memory fucking rules.
Marty came over the top of my MP open-raise with what he later said was tens. Laying down my A6o wasn't that hard, though. My next time in the pot, I raised 3x (blinds at 300/600) with AQs and Train pushed all-in. I immediately read him for a middle pair, as that raise screamed it didn't want to see a flop. Fine. What do I do with the information? I still had T5400 (and a M Factor of 6) if I fold. But with 1800 already in and another 4700 to call, I'm clearly getting good odds (2-1, methinks) if my read is right. Still...
What clinched the call for me, eventually, was the stack I'd have if I won the race. I'm pretty sure I'd have been leading the tourney at that point. Call I did. He flipped 55, I wished him luck and we were off.
The flop brought me an ace, along with a backdoor straight draw for Train. The turn...crush. He hit his set and I was drawing dead. Yes, I simply lost a race, but the manner in which it was dealt...cruel. I lamented it for some time afterwards. I was feeling very solid in my game and despite giving away some chips, I'd managed to build a good stack. I really liked my chances if I take that pot and one of my pre-trip goals was to do well in the tourney, unlike June where I played like a ninny.
I DID have 700 chips left and pushed with AQo on the very next hand. Dr. Jeff had to call from the BB and his Q3o was victorious, earning him the greatest bounty ever. Out in 42nd. Congrats, of course, to Murderers Row's own Glyph, who made it two straight WPBT titles for the world's toughest home game, even if he hates tournaments and had to tilt Kong to build his stack.
I drowned my sorrows in FREE bloody marys and multiple hallway conversations with busted, 2/4 donking and over-sleeping bloggers, occassionally dropping back into the tourney room to sweat the remaining participants. Once they got down to the final table, I had to take my leave. The dear and patient wife was flying in and I promised to be rested and (relatively) sober for a late night. I managed a quick, though ultimately unsatisfying, nap and prepared for her arrival.
The dear and patient wife touched down fresh and a little tipsy, thanks to a rushed glass of wine on the 50 minute flight. We headed downstairs to find out the gameplan and introduce her to the people she's heard me yapping about for over a year now. Who should she meet first?
None other than Iggy, who we literally almost ran into. Strangely, he was coming from the dark corner of the Geisha Bar. Okay, that's not strange. But there was nobody else there. He quickly claimed Chad had just left and I patted him on the shoulder, saying, "Sure, Ig. Whatever you say." Before long, a half-dozen more bloggers (BG, StB and...uh...others) had walked by/stepped up and the wife's head was spinning with the intros. The word was that the Castle was again being Stormed, but first, she and I headed up to the IP Sportsbar to connect with Murderers Row.
Pretty much the whole crew was there, including, much to the wife's glee, the redoubtable MrsHDouble and the delightful facty. While the three of them jabbered over girl/poker widow stuff--often in some incomprehensible foreign language--the boys and I discussed the tourney, specifically the Glyph (A3s) v. fhwrdh (KK) hand, ultimately agreeing that Glyph had pretty close the correct odds to call the all-in. None of this made Kong, still with whiskey in hand, feel any better.
Eventually, we monorailed over to the Castle, HDouble showing off his passable Swedish on the way, earning me scorn from the wife. "Henry speaks Swedish," she charged. "Why don't you?" I responded that comparing my brain capacity to that of Henry's is about the most unfair matchup in the history of time.
At Excalibur, it was a whirlwind of introductions, from the poker room where G-Vegas and Wil had commandeered a table. Many compliments for the wife, wrapped in insults toward me. Yes, I know she's out of my league, but must you use qualifiers like "WAY" and "ANOTHER STRATOSPHERE" and "LIKE A DIFFFERENT SPECIES ENTIRELY?" Fine, if you must. We moved on to a Pai Gow table with Train, Pauly, Heather, ephro, Grubby and Jaxia. Pauly immediately started hitting on my wife. Seriously, she was awed to meet you all and very flattered by your comments.
From there, she wanted to get her gamble on, so we found a $10 blackjack table and bought in for $100 each. I got cold-decked from the start and the dealer had no intention of ever breaking 21. I haven't seen so few busts since 5th grade. I went through my stack pretty quickly, losing every double down, while the wife kept her head just below water. Her blackjack method is to raise her bet one unit after each win, but every time she got to $20, she lost. While broadcasting that fact, I said, "Some people would stop betting $20." Not the wife! Down to the felt, she got dealt an 11 against a dealer 6 and I had to go back into my wallet for the double. She got an ace and the dealer had a 5 underneath. Cute.
We then went for the +EV play at Sherwood Forest Bar where we ran into Mr. and Mrs. Head. While the former and I discussed our writing projects and our similar issues, the latter was cleaning up on Video Poker and chatting with the Mrs. After a few rounds, we went back to the poker room, where I found Spaceman and his better half, who would be the wife's spa date the following afternoon. Finally, I pulled up a seat at a 1/3 NL table, determined to recoup my blackjack (and bar) losses.
G-Rob, who kindly showed off his TV News voice to the wife earlier, immediately pulled up stakes and headed to a cowboy table to make some scratch. Chad sat for a short while, but left, though I didn't notice for another 20 minutes. Those who did stay--in the face of my awesome poker prowess--included April, drizz, Colombo, Falstaff and DonkeyPuncher. Surely you've all read about the suckout/TQB! beatdown DP inflicted on our favorite kilt-wearing blogger. I nearly played that hand--one of my first at the table--with 76s and would have gone broke with my flopped trips.
The wife stopped by to say she was going to a bar "with the girls" and was going to miss the insanity that would soon ensue. Live straddles, wheel spin prop bets, blind hand-playing. It all went down. I played a hand blind in the SB to April's live straddle, betting out on the K54 flop. A surly cowboy to my left was the only caller and from there, we checked it down. I won the pot with...uh...QQ. Let it never be said I don't know how to play my mosters. I won another pot with JJ and assured myself of my first winning session.
I also took a shitload of tip money off G-Rob. He was off check-raising Cowboy douchebags at another table, but would stalk over and slam a bill on the table after every prop loss. He had yellow on the wheel. It came up exactly zero times while I was there. After about 10 consecutive losses, he would stand up in the middle of the room and implore the wheel. Once, it seemed to stop on the last yellow slot. He raises his arms in triumph, screaming. Then it clicked over. He fell to his knees, like Willem Defoe in "Platoon," wailing in some otherworldly voice. It was gorgeous. I'd further give him some stick every time he dropped off another buck. "This small blnd is brought to you by G-Rob," I'd announce. "Looks like AJ's going to an Ivy League school!" I'd predict. The look on his face...well, it's priceless. God Bless G-Rob.
Falstaff and I welcomed a newlywed to the table by betting two bucks on the color of his wife's hair. I won that one, too. I finished up by about $150 on prop bets. Let that be a warning to you all.
After about 90 minutes, the wife called and said the Bar Crew was on the move to Casino Royale for some cheap craps. "I'll be right over."
Henry, ephro, MrsH, facty, Chad, Lori and I headed to the most ghetto casino on the strip, a place where I once rolled dice with two honest-to-goodness dwarves, who sat on high bar stools. So I have good memories of the place. The tables were packed, so I got us a round of drinks ($3.50 total) and waited to pounce. One jackass had like $6 left in his rack, but was only playing $2 on the pass line. A spot finally opened and ephro and I split the action. Hank rolled a bunch of numbers, but no point, to give us some working capital. When the dice got around to me--and I've tried to tell you people this before--I went off on a 25 minute roll. I hit a hard four for the point when Henry and I both had $5 on it, resulting in a leaping/awkward high ten, an arms-raised strut away from the table and a high-pitched scream that partially tore my larynx. I talked like Bette Davis the rest of the weekend. I hit a couple more points, had upwards of $30 on every number and was raking in the chips. If I coulda hit one more, we'd have been rich! Alas, it was not to be. Though I wiped out the blackjack losses from earlier.
It was now past 4 in the ayem and the day finally came to an end. Well, after the wife and I had breakfast. I set my alarm to get in some football bets in the morning and by the time I finished brushing my teeth, she was out. But she was smiling.
Next: Sunday in the Sportsbook, Tourney Cashes and Random summations from an unforgetable weekend. And then I'm done. Finished, I tell you. Kaput.