Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"If you call me, it's all over, Baby!"
Stevie to me. Today.

Anyone who plays even somewhat sporadically at the Belterra poker room knows who Stevie is.

A stylish, young, always impeccably dressed Asian man who loves to gamble, fire non-stop chat at his tablemates and flirt with the ladies. In that order.

Stevie has a goodly amount of money. He owns a very popular restaurant in the mall. And thusly, he freaking LOVES to gamble it up in the NL game. As an extreme action player, he typically either wins huge or loses huge. He is, by definition, the opposite of the word lukewarm. A big personality and a big poker player. It's his world and we're all just living in it.

I have always truly enjoyed playing with Stevie. He's a non-stop chatterbox, mostly joking and hollywooding, sometimes needling, and periodically downright surly when he's stuck. Yes, he's prone to major tilt. And when he tilts, which is fairly often and which he can joke about, look out.

But he also appreciates tilting others. And so, he loves playing trash cards and hitting monster hands to get an old guy's nose open and consequently break his balls.

Me, the tight player, has been fortunate to take a decent chunk of Stevie's money over the past year. After snapping off one of his bluffs a few months ago, he threatened to have an entire truck load of cow guts dumped in my front yard by those tatooed guys from Yakuza.

I'm pretty sure he was joking. But I tend to avoid big pots with Stevie because it's nearly impossible to know what kind of fucking hand he is playing. And not only that, but I have a grudging admiration for his willingness to get the money all in with the worst of it.

So fast forward to today. I get to the boat around noonish. Yikes, it's dead, even by Tuesday standards. The Belterra poker room is truly struggling. The 10.20 and 15.30 game has now died except on the weekends. BOOOOOOOO. Most of those regular players have moved on to the Grand Vic and Caesers.

I sit in a four handed must-move game for over an hour, losing half my stack before winning a few hundred, and finally got called for my seat in the regular NL game.

I'm pretty bummed because except for two guys - it's ALL regulars. Geepers.

Tony, to my left, tells me he's been here for 26 straight hours. He's up 3 grand in the game and looks like shit. "Are you getting a room here, man?" I ask, concerned about him driving home, but he just shrugs and says he'll be fine. It's not even close to his session record, apparently.

My very second hand I get pocket Kings. Stevie and I get all our money in pre-flop and he turns over aces. Rebuy!!

Two orbits later, I get KK again. I make a stiff raise pre, and who else but Stevie comes over the top for an allin. Good gravy. I can fold queens but I'm not good enough to fold Kings yet. Much less to this madman who is cackling in his seat, daring me to call.

Which, of course, I do. And he has bullets yet again.
What's da odds?

And yeah, people say online poker is the only thing that's rigged.

At this point, I'm more irked by all the sympathetic comments and shaking of heads and "Man, anyone but him," meaning Stevie because now he's rampaging all over the fucking table and even Tony is staying out of his way.

And one of the things that's funny transparent about Stevie (and most players, I suppose) is how chirpy and talky and loud he gets when he's winning. When he's losing, boy, he is either muttering to himself or shut down altogether.

But now he's in table captain mode in a table full of table captains. And the conversation is pretty damn humorous and I'm actually laughing along with their rude jokes about the Chinese New Year of a few days ago, alimony witticisms, and start enjoying myself despite the ugly start to my session.

Tony to my left orders another black coffee (extra hot) and confirms the rumours that the Argosy (biggest casino in these here parts) is getting their poker room in order and should open with 20 tables in April/May. Yikes, as much as I like this cozy little poker room, the Argosy will be the death-knell of this place. The Argosy is packed 24/7 and the poker room will rock, I'm sure. The dealer chimes in with a few rumours of his own and I ponder having a poker room even closer than I do now. The Argosy is only 20 minutes, max, from my home.

All of this swirls in my head as I think about a possible job situation that has popped up unexpectedly. I was seriously contemplating a return to corporate America, believe it or not. And now I'm hearing about a poker room 20 minutes from my house. Damnit, focus on the game.

Pocket jacks.

It's raised nicely in front of me, by my nemesis, and I and two others call. Nice pot here.

Flop comes KJ-blank. Weee.

Stevie-boy leads out with a 3/4 pot-sized bet. I move in. Others fold. Stevie insta calls with KK, jumping to his feet in a flash and yelling happily for low cards, cmon low cards.


You'd think I'd be pissed but I wasn't, I swear. It was, and is right now writing this up, simply pure amazement and shock at my bad timing. It wasn't bad beats, it wasn't poor play (per se) but simply bad timing of running into monster hands. It happens in NL and when it does, you go to the poker hospital.

But mostly I was stunned that it was Stevie who had broke me all three times. That just doesn't happen. At least that's what I tell myself.

And now he was needling me some more, even though, what the fuck, am I supposed to lay down my set there? And he starts in with the, "I own you. Don't mess with me - this is MY night. I own you."

I couldn't possibly disagree with him.

Yes, Stevie, you fucking own me. Now gimme some of those chips back.

For the next six hours I bobbed and weaved. The table substantially tightened up after all of those crazy monster hands. Some of the older guys were still cracking about my unfortunate timing hours later. Oh, to be The Fish is a character building exercise.

Tony finally raps the table, wishes us luck and starts racking up after 30+ hours at the table. He slowly leans over and whispers to me, "I don't think it's your night. If I were you I'd cash out and come back tommorrow."

I laugh and tell him I'm due. How long can this continue?
I win a few small and middling pots, rarely having to show down cards. Build my stack up a bit and regained some confidence. Hell yes, I'm gonna get unstuck if it takes ME 32 hours.

An hour later I'm on the button with A6 suited. Small raise in front and I call along with 5 other players.

Flop AA6.
Finally, the freaking nuts. But how to get the money in?
No worries, Stevie fires out $100. Fold Fold Fold to me.

I min raise him.

He thinks, takes off his sunglasses and then laughs and says, "If you call me, it's all over, Baby!" And says he's allin.

I'm all WTF now and actually double check my cards, something I rarely ever do.

I stand up and say, "I call - I got the nuts" and flip my cards over, watching for his reaction as I do so.

He's surprised, actually. I'm surprised that he's surprised. But he looks right at me and says, "I own you!" - flips over AJ - and starts pounding his fist on the table yelling for a jack.

Turn = blank.

River = jack.

And I swear to fucking God that just like TJ Cloutier in the WSOP hand versus Chris Ferguson, that I could FEEL that jack peeling off the deck for the last card. Down in my DNA, I felt it.

Now, this was just some dumpy NL game and I'm not comparing myself to TJ in any way, shape or form, k. I'm just saying that time kinda slowed down as DJ the dealer turned and burned and laid down the river.

I just bowed my head down as the noise level ramped up all around me.

Stevie, good guy that he is, comes over and shakes my hand and apologizes. I shrug it off telling him that it's just poker and besides, he fucking owns me. He laughs and says there was nothing different I could have done and heads back to his seat to stack up my chips.




I was chatting briefly with Fast Eddie about the latest rumours per local poker rooms. Mentioned that I got crushed by Stevie today.

Here's all he had to say:

fasteddie: how much???
iggy: 4 rebuys
fasteddie: chump


No sympathy from your poker peers.

Good gravy, I'm glad I ripped that out upon getting home. And since I don't often write about my own play, much less when I'm loaded like this - I just had to write this insanity out while it's still fresh in my mind. I wasn't gonna publish it but now I'm Guinness-fueled thanks to the WWDN tourney. And also, it's not a woe is me thing, cause hell, there were plenty of hands that I misplayed today - on top of the big hands I mentioned, overall, my poker game today was dreadful. Every read I made was wrong. It happens and if you don't think it does, you haven't played long enough.

I don't know what I'm writing about anymore. I'm clearly still stunned a bit. It's too early for me to glean any lessons from today outside of the fact that I'm a chump.

I'm gonna throw a few random poker goodies out there to balance my horrific tales at the felt.

Obligatory Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker shill.
Sign up now or forever lose at online poker.

This next chat snippet is very damn cool if it's true. Please Lord, let it be true. And let someone have access to publicize the results.

Thanks a ton to reader Jon for sending me this chat he witnesed on Full Tilt over this past weekend.

Subject: Jennifer Harman talking about a new game with Andy Beal

shanekeating (Observer): awesome
wharnew: t
Jennifer Harman: first time for about 1 1/2 years
JDjos: andy beal?
Jennifer Harman: yes andy beal
shanekeating (Observer): good luck with that
Jennifer Harman: thanks hope we do good
JDjos: how big a game?
Jennifer Harman: 50-100
shanekeating (Observer): yikes
JDjos: nl?
Jennifer Harman: nl limit
JDjos: or 50k/100k
Jennifer Harman: yes k is on the end of that limit
Jennifer Harman: it's limit not no limit
shanekeating (Observer): only heads up again?
Jennifer Harman: yes only heads up
shanekeating (Observer): pretty much the same
group of pros?
Jennifer Harman: yes and a few more
JDjos: 5 million dollar swings like nothing
wharnew: dd
Jennifer Harman: yeah it's a big game
PGA200X (Observer): Hey jen your avartar looks
like you. Almsot all the others arent close!
JDjos: im gonna jump out of my window..brb
shanekeating (Observer): if i may ask, who are the
new ones?
Jennifer Harman: I dont think you would know
them. They play 2K and higher at the Bellagio but
they don't play many tournaments
Bearski1919 (Observer): Jennifer, can you show
us your emotions, please?
Jennifer Harman: theres always a chance it might
not go though
shanekeating (Observer): yeah i suppose there is
that chance
GoBucksIndy (Observer): hahaha... the frown is
Bearski1919 (Observer): thanks, lol
Jennifer Harman: were playing for sure though
shanekeating (Observer): cool, that has to be
nerve wracking
Rileysdad (Observer): sup jen
Jennifer Harman: hi riley
Rileysdad (Observer): u'r my favorite player
Jennifer Harman: it's kind of tense cause it's out of
the norm
Jennifer Harman: thanks riley
shanekeating (Observer): which is what andy
wants, right?
Jennifer Harman: yes it's what Andy wants
Jennifer Harman: be right back

I know I'm not alone in hoping for another chapter of the Big Game with Andy Beal.

Sad to say, I'm extremely guilty of blocking avatars unless clever or bland. I block any and all eyeball avatars on PokerStars immediately.

Subject: Avatar Images On Poker Stars That Elvis Blocks By Right Clicking Image & Clicking Block Image

1) Baby pictures
2) Eyes -- either a single eye or two eyes
3) Beautiful women
4) Ugly women
5) Donkey pictures
6) South Park Characters
7) The Simpson's Characters
8) Pictures of Two Chicks Kissing Each Other or Otherwise Getting It On
9) Guys Making Funny Faces
10) Howard Lederer Pictures

I'm still working on the list. I find that I block quite a few avatar images. Now you may be thinking Elvis is a homo for blocking beautiful women and two chicks getting it on. Let me explain.

1) Probably not their real picture. Probably some fat guy.
2) They distract me when I play.
3) I lost a heads up SNG once because I couldn't keep my eyes off of the picture of the beautiful girl. After I got beat, I asked the player in chat if that was her real picture. The player typed "LOL" and was gone. I knew right then it was a fat guy that beat me.

Others on the list I just find disturbing. I cannot understand the fascination with putting a baby picture in an avatar. And the thousands of Cartman images also fall into the annoying category. I get it: you all love South Park.

Clearly some of these avatars are used to gain a strategic advantage. But old Elvis is on to you people. Sure, I could block all of the images, but I like the ones with logos or just pictures of ordinary people.

As for my own avatar, well, it's just me. Look old Elvis up on Poker Stars from time to time and you can see the real me.

That is all.



One of the stranger things I have ever seen on RGP.

Subject: Can gentiles join this PokerStars tourney?

Looking for the RGP tourney I have come across a tourney called "JEW TOURNEY #3" with a description: CHARLI BUKET is a JEW, take him out for his JEW bounty! Password is jewjew.

Anyway, would it be OK for me to join and continuously hurl anti-Semetic sentiments?

Geezus, I gotta get random after that.

My favorite Lost podcast is Transmission. Far better than the official one. Go back into the archives and listen up to all the theories that are being bandied about - the hosts and listeners are superb at catching all the subtle nuances of the show. {edit - these Nerdlets quit the show - am seriously bummed).

Go read this post by Shane Nickerson for some laughs. Hilarious.
Grade 1-7

I gotta shout out to the James Brown of poker bloggers, Dr. Pauly, and his live blogging of the WPT Borgata Winter Open.

Matt Matros is smarter than me so I'm not gonna comment on this next one.

Subject: Cardplayer Article on Going All-in with AK Preflop Everytime

Matt Matros wrote an article in Cardplayer (http://tinyurl.com/b3f77) where he suggest going all-in preflop in cash games, every time. His numbers seem right, but something is smacking me as off.

Is there a flaw here that I am missing?
Fold Equity — Why Aggressiveness Makes Mathematical Sense - A mathematical look at playing A-K in no-limit hold’em

My old poker coach once told me this per starting poker hands in like 1996.

"Big Slick don't grow on trees."

Nuff said.

I'm pretty trashed now. My humble apologies for the crappy post.

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