Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker 

"The thing is, you only got to fuck up once. Be a little slow, be a little late, just once. And how you ain't never gonna be slow, never be late? You can't plan for no shit like this, man. It's life."
Avon Barksdale

It's such a unique proposition, this Big One. An unbelievable structure with deep, deep stacks. But one mistake, one hand, one lapse in judgment can take you out in a blink of an eye.

Random, scattered Guinness-fueled thoughts here on a Wednesday night, 14+ days post-WSOP ME.

I know it's way past being relevant or timely per the WSOP, but I don't care. I am overwhelmed with Real Life and I'm just trying to do what I can here.

First things first:

David Sklansky has a clammy limp weak tight handshake. For whatever that's worth.

I still thanked the man, "Thanks for making me so much money."

And yes, I checked, and there was no blood on his hands.

It's interesting that the Great Dane kid, Peter Eastgate, that I played with ran over my fucking table for 10 hours on Day One made it to the final table.

Just non-stop aggression. Zero talk. Excellent gear shifting abilities. Sick folds.

That's all I saw on Day One. I'm guessing we'll see lots of footage of him post Day One and we'll see what story ESPN crafts about him.

I played with some serious fearless fucks over those four days, especially those Scandi's. Hell, my entire Day Three was spent with online high limit cash game legend, Hollingol. And he had a monster stack.

Thankfully, he was two to my right, but still. Nothing like walking a tightrope for 14 hours straight.

But back to Day One.

Here's a random moment:

At some point, someone started getting VERY gassy at the table. Now, my home poker boat is in southern Indiana so I'm used to this and worse. But someone got a little perturbed and made a nasty remark, calling out the alleged offender in the one seat, an older gentleman, who just laughed it off.

Ten seconds later, our pretty petite Asian dealer was calling loudly for the floor. Wow, I thought. Is someone really going to get a penalty for foul farting at the table? The floor comes over, our dealer gets up and whispers in his ear, and takes off. Floorman plops down in the dealer seat and starts washing the cards.

"When you gotta go, you gotta go," he says.

I wish I could recount all of the trouble hands I was saddled with but there's just too damn many. And mostly, my opponent or I folded so there's not much of a hand history there.

But those are the crucial hands. The nondescript hands someone ends up folding and you scoop up a middling pot.

And even though I doubled my stack each of the first three days, I never had a double up hand. Not once. It was all grinding and chipping up. Resorting to stealing my ass off and folding. One feeds off the other.

Here's my rough daily chip counts:

20k to 38k.
38k to 88k.
88k to 180k.

Shucking and jiving, my friends, shucking and jiving.

Damnit, I was going to do a full Day One writeup but this will have to suffice.

Day One was the most difficult for me by far. I was on very little sleep, was cold and hungry, and deeply irritated by my lack of feel in the game over the first few hours.

Just like every day in the tourney, it was a roller coaster. I got up to 24k, down to 16k, back up to even and then got mixed up with The Dane, Peter Eastgate, in a big pot. He knocked me down to 12k after pushing on the river and I couldn't call. Was I tilty after that?

Maybe a little.

But I hang tough and chip back up to 16k and a much needed dinner break.

At the Chinese place that I ate at ritually, Otis is there to give me the wisdom and perspective that I sorely needed.

"Right now, in a tournament like this, this moment in time is the equivalent of the first 30 minutes of a large online MTT. That's it. It's not even begun yet -- take your time and play your game. There is zero rush."

At the time when I needed it most, Otis was there with what I needed to hear.

I'd also be remiss if I didn't thank FTrain, the 33rd best Razz player in the world, for his help and calming perspective. And Dr. Pauly, for not only encouraging me and keeping my attitude positive, but for updating friends and family on his superb site.

So back to Day One. Armed with sage advice and solid food, I marched back and started playing better poker. My table in Brasilia (a side room) finally broke and I got seated right on the damn rail in the main room.

Lots and lots of railbirds, including Norm Chad for about 10 minutes. I can't say as I'm used to dozens of people watching me play poker, but honestly, it didn't bother me one bit. In fact, as a people watcher, it made the time pass by much quicker. We did have one guy, however, who would head to the rail to whine to his wife every time he was moved off or lost a pot. Very amusing.

Why does everyone start off their poker tales of woe with this donkey, this knucklehead, this assclown, or whatever? We've all played hands poorly. We do it in every session. So why assume the worst of a player because of one or two hands? It's all about the failure to ignore immediacy.

As luck would have it, the monster stack at this table was another blond Dane with perfectly messy hair. He didn't play nearly as many pots as my original table mate, but when he played them, he played em hard.

Tiffany Michelle was a table over and had an enviable stack.

I made two big post-flop moves in the four hours after the dinner break, getting two folds and building my stack up to around 45k before going cold and blinded down yet again.

I gave a thumbs up to my friends railing me and buddies in Media Row who would intermittently stop by to check in on me. I was shocked that I was going to survive to Day Two with an average stack.

The clock was ticking down and players were starting to stall. Everyone wanted to make Day Two.

And here's one anecdote from the very last hand of Day One.

A guy my age, a lawyer from Atlanta, had an uber short stack and either wanted to double up or head back home to his family. We weren't slated to play again until next Wednesday, on Day Two B, and he didn't want to be stuck in Vegas all that time with only a tiny stack to play.

And so he moved in, begging for a call, which he got.

He had a3 to another guys a6.

An ace flopped.

I was silently rooting for a 3 to hit, but alas, the board paired on the river.

Chopped pot for the poor bastard.

Oh the humanity.

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