Saturday morning started with a tradition of sorts for Peb's and I. Breakfast at Bellagio. Now I know it's not the procedure, but damn it's a fine bit of grub to start the day!
We headed over to Caesars to get registered and after the now infamous 'ass-grab,' we met up with everyone around the Poker room. We had about 45 minutes or so to catch up with everyone and hear the stories from the night before. I do know one thing, 45 minutes was nowhere near enough time for those stories! We would have to wait for all the recaps.
As I sat down in seat #2 of table #54, I began to wonder what the hell I'd bought into this game for. I mean I'm no NLHE player and honestly, I felt a bit intimidated by the group sitting around the same table. There was Maudie, The Mark, Dr. Jeff and several others that are pretty high up in the rankings of Blogger NLHE play.
When you don't see the fish at the table....
Second hand into the game, it folds around to my SB. I make a standard 3x raise and get insta-called by Alyssa in the BB. Crap! That's both what I said and what I was holding. But then the flop hits my crap and I have to believe I'm good. I see the opportunity to get a few more chips into the pot and do so without hesitation. Call again. Hmmm.... The turn brought an Ace that could've helped to a low straight draw and also made the four-flush possible. We both checked. Then the river put the third club on the board, that also made a straight a very good possibility. I was totally OK with checking it down and showing my crappy two-pair. Alyssa hesitated and stared at her stack. Then she threw in a bet of 2/3 of the pot. Holding back the urge to grab chips and glub-glub my way out of chips so early, I tossed my cards into the muck. She said that she flopped an open-ender on her defense of her BB and honestly after seeing a few of her plays later, I have to believe her.
Then it came on in full force for me. Although I personally think it's hilarious that the 9-3 off-suit is called The Bammer by so many because of the number of times it gets dealt to me honestly, seeing it three, four and even five times in a row in a game, can get quite disgusting. I had lots of opportunities to show whoever was sitting on my right the hands, making for some rather funny comments during the game. The best of which I think came from someone I didn't recognize at my first table.
"Seriously! Are you letting go of those things when you muck them?"
That's when I heard a large moan and saw Pebbles stand up at her table.
I know that look and if you know anything about Peb's, it's not good. She was a cross between pissed, embarrassed and in shock. The red glow of her cheeks always makes a small hole in my heart. It was only Poker so there wasn't any tear alert needed, but it looked damn close! Peb's had just been coolered by Derek. Her pocket Jack's ran into Derek's pocket Aces and both of them managed to make a pretty good pot pre-flop. Then the flop of all flops came out, giving both of them their sets. Now Derek had just busted DRIZZ with pocket Aces a hand or two earlier, so there's no way she puts him on that hand. I don't know how she gets away from that hand and certainly, I don't see it as a bad play on her part to bust out there. But what do I know?
Shortly after that, there was a table break. I pull a seat between STB and AlCantHang. GREAT! At least the chat will be fun, I thought to myself. There was also Al and I struggling to decide who would tip the server. I'm pretty sure we broke out fairly even, as we'd each fumble for anything below a ten spot to tip with.
Besides Al giving me a courtesy double up on what he decided was a "pretty loose call," I don't think I played that many hands there. I did manage to suck out while holding A-K against J-J all-in pre, but the stacks were both so short, I don't know how the chips don't go in at that point. The blinds had escalated to ginormous by that time, and I knew I needed chips to go any further. "Let's gambool!" was all I could say. That's when I won a bounty that was re-bountied.
~Photo courtesy of Pauly
I won some "beer-goggles" brought to the fun by April.
It seemed like a few hours into the game when we busted down to the final two tables. I was actually in a small state of shock at that prospect. What the hell was I doing in the final 18?
That was about the time that the few Scotch and Dos Equis I did have, managed to make it deeper into my system. In a good way of course! I gained a small amount of confidence. My decision to make final table from that point on, was set.
If you know anything about me and NLHE, you'll know I do not have a Poker face. But I do like to talk it up a bit, so I used that to my advantage. If I kept up the inane banter at this table, who the heck could tell if I was bluffing or nutting? It actually worked out pretty good as a strategy. I dragged a few pots here and there when I played hands and/or otherwise, I shipped my cards into the muck. All the while, maintaining the "happy plays Poker" routine as my Poker face.
I had what I thought was one great opportunity to really get a stack going, after I re-raised a pre-flop raise from Change 100. I certainly thought she was going to jam it into the center for a moment there and I was certainly hoping. When she finally mucked after a pretty long thought process and several icy glares in my direction, I decided that showing my Aces there would be a good thing for my table image with this crowd.
We got down to six-handed at our table and I think the other table had six as well. (it might have been seven?) The blinds were astronomical and I was now sitting on 8x the BB. No one had a monster stack exactly and that could only mean one thing, jam or fold for almost everyone. I had folded down to those 8 BB's due to seeing nothing spectacular or even half descent on the way there. At that point I was honestly hoping for a hand on hand violence situation from the others, or a monster hand for myself. At least it was pretty easy Poker!
There was an early position jam just ahead of me and I looked down at Cowboy's. What do you do? You can make final table most definitely, by folding the next two or three hands. OR! You can go for the win. I took a few seconds to hash out the rational in my head and said "fuck it. I have to be ahead and these chips will give me the chance to do something that no one in our little circle of friends would have ever thought possible!"
I announced "all-in."
I could see that I was covered by a few chips and knew that my tourney life was on the line. Question : Was this a stupid play?
I flipped up my Kings and waited to get confirmation that I was up against a small Ace or even better, a smaller pair.
YAHTZEE! Ace friggin' King!!!!111!!!oneoneone!
Right or wrong, I got incredibly pumped up about my opponent only having a 3 outer. Then I heard the words that I think I'm supposed to love in this situation, "I'm Sorry, I folded A-5 off."
"Luckily I had total crap with a 2-8 off." was the only other hand I heard anything about.
Just a two-outer, that's all you've got to fade!
Uber-Tilt followed naturally, as the two-outer came immediately on the flop.
As DonKaaa would say, "death by unga-bunga."
So I pass my bounty over as I stare at the most painful board I think I've ever seen in my short NLHE experience. No final table for me, as I bust out 12th. I think. (maybe 13th.?)
I Made it to the other side of the table before I let the pressure release with a pretty loud "FUUUUUUUUUCK." in the middle of The Caesars Palace Poker room. I then apologised for being such an asshole to our Tournament Director, who happened to be standing right next to me.
"Sir, THAT was a bad beat. Happens all the time." he said, while putting a hand on my shoulder and smiling a smile of consolation.
So the good was I played some OK Poker.
The Bad was, I played some crap Poker.
The ugly was I folded J-J at my second table, to two raises pre-flop and found out my J-J was Gold.
Analysis = I suck at NLHE.
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....