Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and whoa, what a crazy Black History Month, amirite?
I know, I know I’m a neglectful blog owner, plus I couldn’t really remember the last time I played any poker. Oh wait! Yes, I can! I beat VinNay heads up like 98 out of 100 times when he came down to NYC to visit his best friend Petitedov. My favorite hand, aside from the traditional one where he bluffs all-in on the flop and I call with pocket aces, was the one where I raise preflop, he calls. The flop is K 7 8, we both check, the river is a 3, he bets, I raise, he shoves and I insta call with my pocket threes and he has K7.
“YOU SET THE DECK!”
“Dude. You shuffled and dealt.”
Good times, good times. I only include that story so I can make use of my “Beating VinNay” tag on this post. I LOVE that tag.
But no, this story is about my return to cash games and Atlantic City. I guess I should update you all on a number of things.
First, last April I bought a Henrik Lundqvist jersey. He’s the netminder for the first place New York Rangers. I bought it because the Rangers had made the playoffs in my first year of following them and I totally wanted to wear the jersey ALL the way through the playoffs. Sadly, “all the way” turned out to be one win. One sad sad win for dudes that were suddenly sporting 70s pornstaches. No bueno.
However, I had this jersey, I was gonna wear it. So I started wearing it in the summer to play poker. I WAS UNSTOPPABLE! I pretty much cashed out $500 or more in ALL my sessions with the jersey. AND THEN when I went to play in the WPBT I decided to wear my Lundy jersey and AGAIN managed a top five cash. Naturally, even though Brian Boyle is now my favorite Ranger (I wore his jersey for the first time at Friday’s game AND HE SCORED FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR!!! Um… and that is all I have to say about that otherwise stupid, racist game.) when I decided to go back to AC, I left the Boyle jersey on the recliner and grabbed my Henrik gear.
Second, Harrah’s has changed the rewards program to make it virtually impossible for a poker player to get diamond without, basically, quitting her job and playing all day everyday. Plus, they’ve made a lot of the diamond perks “pay as you go,” so, naturally, I lost interest in it. I made it to platinum last year by one rewards tier point and my heart wasn’t even really into it. Even the Vegas perks are not what they used to be. Bah Humbug. However, I realized that I might be able to parlay my Harrah’s Diamond status into a Borgata black card — if I could get to the Borgata before April 2012.
So, with Alceste and Mary in tow, I drove down on March 25th!
“I’m sooo worried that I’m going to suck. I can totally see myself overvaluing poket pairs just because I haven’t played in three months and I’ll be all “oooh, KINGS! I’m all in!”
Mary laughed at me.
We got to Harrah’s around 11 and all three of us were seated at the same table. MY THIRD HAND I WAS DEALT QUEENS.
The weirdo old army dude in the 10 seat raises to $7. Four people call, I reraise to $25 (I’ve bought in for $100, per usual.) army dude calls, so does black guy to my right.
Flop is J T 4.
Army dude bets out $35, black guy calls. I go allin. Army dude practically insta-calls. Black guy folds.
I don’t show, the dealer runs the other two streets, 9 and 2. I’m sad about the straight hitting and get ready to show when army guy quickly turns over Ace Ten. He’s all tapping his hand so fervently that I think he’s won, but the dealer says “pair of tens.” I’m all
“heeeeeyyyy, I CAN BEAT THAT!”
I still want to vomit.
Right after that, Mary reverse Hoys some guy with the nut flush where she stacks him for $300 but leaves him with $3 in whites. L.O.L.
Alceste left to go play 2/5.
I had one interesting hand: I have 45o in the big blind. I check my option. The flop is 3c6s9c. It checks to baseball jersey guy and he bets $7, four in front of me call, so I call too. Turn is 2s. I check, so does EVERYBODY ELSE! Grrr.
River is the 9s.
Sighing, I check again. Baseball cap bets $11, it folds to me and I minraise to $22. It folds back to baseball cap and now he tanks for like three minutes and then BOOM he goes all-in for $92.
I spend about a minute kicking myself for not betting the turn. Another minute kicking myself for raising the river and then another two minutes trying to figure out what on earth he could have. I dismissed the spade flush and settled on the busted club draw and called.
Baseball cap triumphantly slams down 98off.
“What is that? Trip nines?” I ask
Dealer repeats “trip nines.”
I may have audibly snorted as I turned over my straight. Then I got accused of slowrolling as baseball guy stormed off in a huff. I didn’t respond at all, but mostly couldn’t believe that dude would shove in that spot with trip nines and not even think for a moment he might be beat. Weird.
I had a couple of more big pairs (Kings, which held up and Aces, which did not) but by the time AROD dealer sat in the box at 2, I had about $350 in front. AROD is my second most unlucky dealer at Harrah’s. His first hand he deals me pocket jacks. I lose $21 playing them to the King high flop. Then he gives me sevens, burning another $13. Then Alceste texts to see if we could switch over to the Borgata, since that was my main plan anyway.
I was UTG, so I wrote back saying “one more hand.” Yes, yes. I know. It’s like being two days away from retirement for a movie cop. I get AK and bet $7, I fold to the reraise and curse AROD dealer with my mind.
Next stop Borgata.
The list for 1/2 was ridick. I was 22. Mary was 21. So, I took that opportunity to go see about getting a black card. IT TOTALLY WORKED! I did a little dance! And about six minutes later, our 1/2 seats were ready.
Alceste and I were seated at the same table. To say I was card dead does not even begin to describe it. I posted blinds and folded for 3 hours. I was mid whiny text to Alceste at the start of hour four when I got AK in the big blind. You KNOW Dawn is having a baaad session when she’s excited to see AK. Our table was aggressive and RAN-DOM. Some dude with 2s6s would scoop a pot against KK after rivering a spade draw, despite huge bets from the kings all the way. Weirdo kid to my left would raise to $20 preflop just for the no reason. Ka-ray-zee.
Anyway, with my AK, I call the $20 raise, along with six other people, of course. The flop is uncoordinated King high. I check. Middle aged man bets $25. The guy to my right is thinking, but I don’t see his cards and move to ship my whole stack to the middle. The dealer practically tackles me.
“Not you yet!”
“Oh. My bad.”
“I guess you have it,” right guy says, shrugging as he folds.
I put my stack in, it folds back to middle aged guy — it’s not much more to him, maybe $40, but he also folds and I win my first damn hand of the Borgata session!
Shortly after that I won another hand off the cokehead Eagles fan (I called the pre flop raise with pocket tens. Seven people saw the flop of 6 2 9. EVERYONE CHECKED! Then I made the weakassiest $11 bet you ever saw when another 9 came on the turn. Only cokehead called. I checked the river 4 and he suddenly bets out $60. Meh. In King Henry we trust… call. He had ace high.)
I thought I was “on a roll!” So I called the $5 PF raise out of the BB with my pocket sevens.
The flop was 679. Not the best flop in the world, but I’ll take it. I bet $22, the swarthy man to my left pushes all-in. The dealer says “$84.” I’m like “total”? And he says “no, I didn’t pull in the $22,” and he just stares at me. I’m all “negro, I’m not here to do maths. How much more?”
Anyway, I call and swarthy man says “are you on a flush draw?”
As I’m shaking my head, another 9 hits on the turn and I breathe a sigh of relief…er… right up until swarthy man turns over 97.
Cokehead is all “ouch. That was like a three percenter!”
I go for a walk.
When I return, Alceste has a billion dollars in chips which makes no sense cause he’s not wearing any hockey jersey at all!
A couple of hands later I get pocket fours and limp in. The flop is Qh 9h 4s.
I check, swarthy man bets $30, one call and then tilting Asian dude shoves for like $120. I sit up in my chair and I’m like, what in ALL TARNATION?!!!
Swarthy man hems and haws, and then puts his remaining $70 in the middle. The caller folds. So three of us allin see the other streets. I have no idea what they were cause my eyes were shut and I was holding my breath and trying not to vomit. My set held up!
HEN-RIK! HEN-RIK! HEN-RIK!
Now, I have a monster stack, I proceed to start doing dumb things like calling raises out of position AQ off. Then having to fold to $75 bets on the ace high board to a douchbag who was probably bullying me because I had no idea where I was in the hand. I went into lockdown mode at that point. We called it early because the Borgata floor claimed they didn’t get the Rangers/Leaves game (even though the dealer assured me they were lying bags of excrement.)
So, Alceste drove us home while I sweated out the hockey game in the backseat. And even though the Leaves tried their hardest to ruin my whole life, Captain Cally bailed the Rangers the hell out and no one had to jump out of a moving car on the Garden State Parkway.