And for me, getting on with things means that I need to tell you guys about my trip to Foxywoody and meeting up with Josie and Cranky, the latter of whom I would be meeting face to face for the first time.
Now before I get into that, let me just say that I'd never met any of you face to face before. Jos I knew for years and years before she was a blogger, so she doesn't count (well, only to ten), but Cranky was the first blog-type person whom I'd meet.
Let me also say that the only reference I had to what she looked like was a small picture that was tight to her face so I had only the barest idea what she looked like. Remember that for later in the story.
So I get to Foxwoods, find Auntie Jo with a decent set...of chips in front of her, and go register for a 1/2NL game with the desk. They seat me in about eight seconds, which was awesome. They put me in table 11, which was located, if you're familiar with the layout of Foxwoods, roughly in upstate New York. Jesus Tap Dancing Christ! I've never been tucked away in such a remote corner of the room before, but it was Saturday and the joint was jumping.
Anyway I get chips and sit down in seat 8 with two hundy in front of me. Now usually I have a rule about sitting down at a cash game: I like for the very first hand I play to be a monster. It's a little trick I use to force myself to observe the table for a while, to pigeonhole players into tight/loose - aggressive/passive - smart/stupid categories. However I didn't get that chance, as the first two cards I saw were AKs, and of course I was in the BB. Folds to seat 1, who pops in to $12 (6xBB? Really, sir?). Two callers. I re-pop to about 30. Seat 1 re-re-pops to $75. I've seen all of three hands waiting to enter, so I don't really know anything about this guy, but I think, if he's the kind of idiot that raises to 6xBB, he's probably not the best player in the world, and even if I don't catch the flop I could outplay him post, so I call the 75.
Same sad story: whiff the flop, check, shove, fold. My seat isn't even warm and my stack is already almost cut in half.
Thankfully though, I went completely card-dead for about an hour and was able to get a pretty good handle on the table. Two good players, me, and seven fishcake calling station straight chasers who were begging to give away their chips. Alas I couldn't take advantage of them, because my hands were so bad. I went a stretch of perhaps a dozen hands none of which could beat ten high.
However my luck changed shortly thereafter. I texted Yosie that there was an open seat and in about two minutes I saw her and her short little legs locomoting my way. She and her Jackie O sunglasses sat down at seat 5. About ten minutes after that I started getting hands that, if not great, at least I could work with. And before too much longer I'd climbed back to even. Yay me!
Then some weird shit started happening. I got a call from Crankypants (I had texted her asking her where she was) saying she'd be there shortly. Now somewhere in the proceedings I'd mentioned that I was Jewish - not like you couldn't tell just my looking at me - so right about the time I was expecting to see Cranky, this old woman toddles up to me with a Chai (not tea, the Hebrew symbol for life) in her hand, and croaked "I wanted to show you this - it's my good luck charm."
Now I know how old Cranky is - she told me when we were discussing the Beatles - and I knew that the woman that stood before me looked like she was maybe 75, which would put her at decades older than Cranky - but remember, I had a one inch square picture to go by, and there are plenty of people in the world that look WAY older than they really are. But I wasn't sure, so I said something sort of halfway between stranger and friend. I said something like "Oh, you're Jewish?" She looked at me like I handed her a fresh turd for her inspection, spat "no, I'm not Jewish," and stalked away. I thought to myself, "was...was that Cranky? And why would anyone carry a Jewish symbol of good luck with them and be offended at the suggestion that they were Jewish?" I looked over to Jo with a "did that really happen?" look on my face but she was in a hand and didn't see any of it.
But - about 30 seconds later, I see someone walk up to me and faith and begorrah, it looked like Cranky! Whew! She's not a freakishly old-looking anti-Semite! And as there was no wait for a 1/2 table they let her sit right down in the 3 seat. A few minutes after that the 2 seat opened up and I moved over, so I was able to chitchat with Cranky (who has a real name, and uses it in person btw) and Josie. And now the fun started.
Maybe it was because I started winning. Maybe it was because I'd had more coffee in the previous two hours than in the last two years. Maybe it was because I had a new person to show off in front of. Either way, I went into the mode that I like to call "exhaustingly funny." The three of us started bantering back and forth, we were tooling on the other players (shout out to my boy Dan!) and the dealer, one of whom was brave enough to admit to being a Yankee fan. Buddha bless her, Cranky laughed at everything I said. Now, I've known Josie for about 12 years; she's WAY more familiar with my schtick than Cranky. So she gave off a little more like an eye-rolling, "if you laugh you only encourage him more" kind of vibe. More exhausting than funny for her, I guess you'd say.
We risked life and limb to get a picture taken at the table. Wally, our dealer, said "no pictures," but Josie begged, and she got herself some decent begging skills (insert joke here). So when the coast was clear I handed my shitty ancient phone to the dude in seat 6 and Josie slipped between Cranky and me and we managed to get the picture taken, even as the brush was bearing down on us, threatening to call security - for a picture! nevermind that they have 62 cameras trained on me at all times, we couldn't take a shitty cell phone picture. But fuck them - the dude took the picture anyway:
|L-R: Me, Jo, Cranky.|
As regards the actual poker. I won a few pots, lost a few, made some really good decisions, and one really really bad one. And that's this one here: I looked down to find pocket 8's. Position escapes me for the moment; my apologies. The pot had been raised, I re-raise to I think $25. Folded around to seat 1, the dude on my right, who four-bets it to $75. I start thinking for a while and start counting out chips to see how much I have left - at that time it wasn't much, I was close to busting out. I think I had maybe $130 or so altogether.
So I'm cutting stacks of chips, looking at the impact of a call or a shove, and the dude says to me, "You have a white chip in that stack of redbirds." Now at that moment I thought to myself, "the dude has aces." You just don't make a comment like that unless you're so comfortable with things that you can be chip custodian to your opponent. That, plus the way he said it, just made me think that he had aces.
But perhaps my biggest weakness in this horrible, frustrating, glorious game of poker is that I don't have any faith in my reads. I don't trust them. I know it's a hole in my game. I know that if I could just bring myself to trust that first flash of insight that goes through my head I could be a much better poker player, but I never give myself enough credit for my own reads. And this was a textbook example of it. Instead of tabling my 8's (face up - I'll explain that in another post maybe) and congratulating him on his aces, what I did instead was...shove. Brilliant, right? He insta-calls and turns over - you guessed it - aces. Well actually I guessed it; YOU didn't guess shit.
It so happened that I caught my miracle eight and picked up an extra $150, but that doesn't make the move any less stupid. I have to learn to trust myself, and until I do I'm going to be felted way more than not.
But really, I can honestly say that besides a couple of minor hiccups, that was the only really bad hand I played. Overall I was pretty pleased with my play. In fact, by the time the picture above was taken I had madd staxx yo, and I earned (and ended up keeping) most of that. Total profit $400, pretty much to the nickel.
This post is already getting way too long but I did want to tell one more funny story, right at the end of the night, some dude from Chicopee, MA sat down in seat 1. Josie, with her ebullient friendliness, more or less flashed him her tits. Not enough to spend the night in the clink for exposure, but let's just say you could hide a paperback book in the cleavage she exposed to him. And so naturally he got really friendly, really fast.
Long story short, before we left he mentioned that he was with his 84 year old mother. So fast-forward to about an hour later: we're in that little bistro off the poker room having some dinner, when who should sit down next to us but Chicopee, and his 84 year old mother. She was a doddering old woman right out of central casting: wrinkled, white-haired, you could break her by throwing a Kleenex at her. She starts telling some incoherent old-lady story to us and we're nodding politely - the whole bit. And what does she have for dinner? A gigantic meatball sub with onions and peppers! I couldn't believe it. I thought "careful granny...that sandwich might fade your battleship tattoo!"
Anyways, it was a great evening, whatever else could be said about what awaited me when I got home, but I meant what I said about my sides and cheeks hurting from laughing. It's always good to see Josie; we're like peas and carrots. And Cranky was amazingly good company. I don't say this lightly: I think I made a friend, a real friend, and that makes me happy. We promised that we'd do this again soon, hopefully in a month or so, and I really hope we do.
I'm sure I missed so much good stuff, but I think Cranky might post about it, and I know that Josie will. Expect pictures of a stranger's back.
|The afore-mentioned madd staxx|