Monday, May 08, 2006

Poker, Prose, Ponies

In the wee hours on Saturday night, I received an invitation from Daddy to Ram and Jam on some unsuspecting tourists in a $50 SnG on Full tilt. Iggy was along, as well. I was, at the time, folding my way to immortality (aka "the bubble") in the $9K but...Daddy? The Blogfather? It was an offer I couldn't refuse.

It took me a while to shift from ultra-tight MTT mode into Let's Gamble a Little SnG mode. At the $50 buy-in level, I tend to assume folks know what they're doing. The exception was the one guy on whom I had notes, which he perfectly defined with his play and mis-guided comments. Yes, I busted him. Calling my raise with A9 and jamming unimproved on the flop? Tourist.

The table chat was hysterical. Daddy mentioned how he was down to his last $60 so he had to win. He responded to a comment about playing above his bankroll by saying his brother, he of the "sweet...tricked-out Eclipse," would give him more money if he went broke. We had plenty of smart-alecky railbirds, too.

All three of us were alive on the bubble, but an interloper busted Ignatious in fourth.

From there, only one result was possible. It was pre-determined long ago, the prophecy contained in the Book of Isaiah. The Daddy and I would be heads-up. He claimed to be a little more in the bag than I and I'm inclined to believe him, but lucidity was not a problem for either of us. At least after the first hand of heads-up where we went to Donkey War. I made a horrible call, banking on one of my seven outs to hit. It did. Except, I only had five outs, the ace giving Daddy the frush. That gave him about a 10-3 chip advantage and I had to pull my head out.

The next 20 minutes were artistry. Sure, some of the railbirds thought the play was "like watching paint dry." They just didn't get it. Like trying to explain the nuances of baseball, the always-changing strategery, to a Luddite. And Daddy and I were painting. Sliders on the black. Uncle Charlie in the back door. High fucking heat. He and I have had enough conversations on the Art of the SnG that it was like playing a mirror. So some trickery was in order. Level 12 all the way. I had some good hands, but couldn't get him to pay me off, though I steadily chipped up and, after a time, took a lead. Finally, we got it all in with my flopped pair of aces holding off his flush draw.

It was the most fun I've had playing poker in a while. The company, for sure. The commentary...gorgeous. Being able to do something different than playing ABC poker to grind out a small Thanks, gentlemen and ladies.


Full of hubris and my first heads-up triumph in Idontknowhowlong, I waded, puffy-chested, into my postponed mana a mano duel with Veneno. I was crushed. Fast. Premature stackedulation. Maybe my plan to counter her aggressiveness with more aggression wasn't such a good idea, especially considering I had only 8 river outs when all the money went in. At Level 1. AJ...not particularly gold this time. I bow to The Poison.


I had Point Determined in The Derby. It has not been determined whether he has finished yet.


$330 NLHE tourney tonight at Commerce, part of their Heavenly Hold 'Em series of events. Ryan, with an ITM finish in last evening's contest, and I will be playing. Send good mojo.


I've been reading poker books lately. And some self-help stuff ("How to Be a Great Divorced Dad"). This is due to my mind's propensity to wander these days, so following a fictional narrative is a bit difficult. Heck, I can't even watch TV with any noticeable level of concentration. However, after reading Mean Gene's post about books, I went over to Amazon to read the first few pages of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. I figure a good writer who loves a book that much can't be wrong. He wasn't. I bought it on Saturday and tore through half of it yesterday. And I can't wait to pick it up again. It's not just a great story. Not just impeccably written. It makes me wanna write.


At 11:49 AM, Blogger Bloody P said...

Micheal Chabon is awesome. I discovered him in college right when Mysteries of Pittsburgh came out.

Wonderboys is a bit fluffy, but a hell of a fun time.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay not only blew my mind, it also won the Pulitzer.

And if you're into reading to AJ, he has a (long-ass) kids book called Summerland that's excellent as well.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

Good luck to you and Ryan tonight!!

At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Maudie said...

Would it make a difference if I ammended my, er, rail-bird squawk to "It was like watching paint dry on a Picasso??"

At 1:15 PM, Blogger peacecorn said...

Funny, I'm nearly done with The Things They Carried.

Good luck tonight!

At 2:06 PM, Blogger CarmenSinCity said...

I put my money on Point Determined too. Congrats on beating Iggy heads up. I would be walking around full of myself for at least a week after that!

At 7:22 PM, Blogger JvilleWhip said...

Nice post!


At 9:02 PM, Blogger Gene said...

I've gotten one more person to read Mysteries of Pittsburgh. My good deed for the month is done.

Odd that you're reading about Pittsburgh and I'm reading about Los Angeles, as seen through the eyes of Raymond Chandler. Actually, this is one of the reasons I loved M of P so much--Pittsburgh isn't the sort of place you associate with Romance, Adventure, Glamour. And yet Chabon imbued my hometown with just that--it turned Pittsburgh into a place where, yes, mystery lurks behind every corner. I love the fact that I've sat in the same classrooms and drank at the same bars as Art Bechstein. And I love the fact that Pittsburgh inspired an artist like Chabon the way it inspires me.

The last point you made--that the book inspired you to WRITE--had me laughing out loud. That's exactly how I feel every time I read and re-read it. The writing is so goddam GOOD. There's a new edition of the book out, and in it Chabon talks about the genesis of the story. Everyone focuses on the salacious facts--yes, in college he fell in love with another man. But what I found fascinating what that he wrote it in the dark, dank basement of his parents' house (I think it was his parents) on this antiquated cathode-ray tube gizmo sitting on sawhorses. And under those circumstances he wrote this gorgeous prose.

Enjoy the rest of it.

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Daddy said...

Twas quite the fun, yo.

Pardon me while I go trick out my Eclipse.

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Veneno said...

"I bow to The Poison."


Let's do it again....


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