11.06.06 in retrospect, the last good night of poker i've had

NP: I can't remember
NR: still the same stuff listed in last post.





A relatively uneventful trip to SSSS to play 1/2 NL, except I flop three sets in 45 minutes, 44, 55, 44 and all win, once against top two and I could have made much more money (or lost a lot of money had my set turned into a boat).

But then I'm sitting there with 750 (I'm in for 600 of that), and I get JJ. There's a straddle to 5 and a re-straddle to 10 in front of me, so I'm first to act at the 8 handed table. I call the 10, then sit there in horror as the 6 of the 7 players call. It comes back to the re-straddle, and he raises it $30 on top, thank god. I bump it another $80 to $120. Everybody folds except him.

The flop comes:

He checks to me. I bet $175. He starts asking me questions. "Do you want action?" "Are you trying to buy the pot?" I tell him that I'm pretty sure I have him beat. I'm kicking myself for talking to him, as I feel I do give something away in those situations. I've felt that Tommy Foley and others at BBBB have made reads on me based on what I say, and I've vowed to not speak in these situations, but of course I can't do it. He thinks for a little while longer and says "I'm going to raise. $200 on top." And he throws $375 in green chips into the middle.

I think about it. Now I'm really worried that HE has QQ, and is maybe actually worried that I have AA or KK. But I have those four gutshot outs... ugh. I really don't know what to do, so I start counting the pot. There's $290 in there from pre-flop. There's my $175 plus the call in there for another $350, and there's his $200 raise. It's $200 to win $840. I decide that even if I'm up against an overpair, I'm not a 4:1 dog. Or, I'm right on the line. I say fuck it and call. The turn comes:

A blank if I've ever seen one. And then the strangest thing happens. He checks to me. I don't understand it. He's only got about $150, but... I don't understand why it doesn't immediately go in unless I'm beating him. I know it's going to go in anyway, probably... There's $1040 in the pot. I go all-in, and he really disgustedly calls. "You have an overpair?" he asks, and I say yes. He starts beating himself up already. "fuck, what a stupid play. I don't know why I didn't believe you" etc. The river comes:

I turn over the JJ, and he mucks. I never saw his cards. Later he tells me that he just had the 10, and didn't think I had anything (obviously).

I play another 45 minutes, somehow lose another $200 in the process, and walk out of there at 3:30 up $640. I catch a taxi and make it to Veselka just in time to order a 22 ounce Slavutich, and egg sandwich, and potato pancakes. I'm liking my time off in NYC.



11.03.06 an entire post that doesn't even mention poker

NP: "Maggie Mae" Rod Stewart.
NP: "Jailbreak" Thin Lizzy.
NP: "Mr. Soul" Love Battery.
NP: "Suicide On The Installment Plan" Swearing At Motorists.
NP: "I'll Be Yr Bird" M. Ward.
NR: still the same stuff listed in last post.



Overheard at Lit: "If you don't see me for an hour, you know where I am."

Amazing.

I've discovered that the weird new pizza shop, that replaced the old weird new pizza shop at the corner of St. Mark's and 2nd Avenue, has the best slice of margherita pizza that I've ever had. It's almost like an Alsacian tart. The dough is salty and baked crisp, and has just a little bit of sweetness to it. They bake the mozzarella right onto the dough, until it's dry and firm and almost burnt. It's collapsed tightly to the surface of the dough. And then there's just a little bit of sauce and basil. It's a truly fantastic slice of pizza. I've eaten it three days in a row.

I've also had some amazing steamed hot apple cider. I was way early to work, so instead of going straight to BBBB, I walked to Frankie's 457 on Court Street. The very cute bartender was playing M. Ward and thought they were out of apple cider, but then she double checked and found out they just got some more. I sat there for an hour (making myself late for work), drank two cups of the stuff, and finished the last 40 pages of "Waterfalls Of Slunj". It was like watching a favorite movie... I was waiting for the one final line with such anticipation I actually think I was smiling while reading and finding myself tugging at the leash to skip ahead. I can't wait to read it again someday.


I finally finished getting all the photos from The Clientele tour scanned and uploaded. Here's a collection of my favorite photos of the ones I took:
The Clientele Tour, August 2006.



11.01.06 going to queens with a guy named Mookie

NP: "The Price I Pay" Billy Bragg.
NP: "A Very Cellular Song" Incredible String Band.
NP: "Do You Know How It Feels To Be Lonesome" The International Submarine Band.
NP: "Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight" Emmylou Harris.
NP: "Unchained Melody" The Righteous Brothers.
NP: "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine" The Ronettes.
NR: still the same stuff listed in last post.



I go to SSSS to play the tournament with Pete and Johnny. I show up, and there's no tournament. Pete and Johnny and Phil are sitting at a 1-2 NL table, and i get a seat at the same table. It's fairly uneventful. And then I get involved in a stupid hand.

I'm holding:

I limp. There's a small raise I decide to call. The flop:

Pete's in early position. He checks. I bet $35. Other two players fold, then Pete raises me to $105. I decide to call. The turn:

Pete bets $110. I think about it I know I'm behind, but I have to decide if my two pair draw is also good. I decide that it is. I have $182, so I go all-in for $72 over Pete's bet. He reluctantly calls. I tell him he's ahead. The river:

his hand:

He calls me a donkey and tells me that I misplayed my hand on every street. I point out that I only misplayed my hand badly pre-flop and on the flop, that I actually played the turn masterfully.

He laughs. I leave 45 minutes later up exactly $500.

I plan on heading to a concert in Bushwick. I walk to the 6 train at 32nd and Park. I decide to stop in and see if Mario and Mookie are working at Wolfgang's. I go in, and order a beer. Mookie walks up to the bar a minute later, and I tap him on the shoulder and re-introduce myself. We had just met on Friday night.

Mario walks up a minute later. Mookie says he's going to head to this place in Queens where they have a tournament at 11:00 PM. I started the night wanting to play a tournament, and I decide that I'm in for an adventure. I jump in the car with Mookie. 15 minutes later we walk into a club in Queens.

The tournament is already underway. Mookie had called ahead and bought us both seats. It's a 20 person tournament, and it's 20 minutes underway. It's $110 to enter, there are half rebuys for $60, and there's a possible add-on for $50 at the hour mark. I decide to not do the half rebuy at the moment.

I pick up a couple of small pots and I'm in an OK spot at the end of the hour. I do the add-on, like everybody else. It's still 20 players in the tournament.

The second hand after the break I pick up this in late position:

I raise and get called on the button and by one of the blinds. The flop:

I bet about two-thirds of the pot, and get a caller from the little blind. The pot is like three times his chipstack, so I know I need to hit or I'm screwed. The turn:

And the guy goes all-in within seconds of the 2 hitting the table. I immediately call. The guy looks at my cards and throws his hand away before they deal the river:

I never even see his hand:

I'm now the biggest stack at the table, sitting immediately on the left of what was the biggest stack on the table. He works at the club, and was nice enough when I sat down to make the open seat be on his left. Now he has the biggest stack at the table on his left.

The very next hand I look at:

I'm still in late position. There's a small raise in early position, and the guy on my right goes all-in over the top. I really don't know what to do. I'm supposed to fold, but... how can I do that with QQ? I go all-in over the top.

He's holding:

Pretty much the only hand I didn't really want to see. For some reason if I see AA or KK there I shrug my shoulders and chalk it up to making a bad decision. But AKsuited. That's making the right call, and my fate is gonna be in the cards. The board comes:

I survive. And now I have more chips than the rest of the table combined.

The very next hand I pick up:

I limp, along with three other players. The flop:

Open-ended. One of the blinds bets, I call, and one guy calls behind me. The turn:

First guy bets, I call, guy behind calls. The river:

First guy checks, I bet about half the pot, the guy behind me folds, and the guy in early position calls.

He shows me one Queen. Doesn't show the kicker, and throws the hand away:

I've now knocked three people out on three consecutive hands. I have a massive chip stack. Twenty minutes later the tournament goes down to ten players and one table. Somehow one of the guys from the other table has even more chips than I do, and between the two of us we have probably 65% of the chips on the table. Between the two of us we take out every player except one. He still has me outchipped when it's just the two of us, say 165,000 to 140,000. He looks at me and asks if I want to chop down the middle. This tournament is a lot more money than Sunday's BBBB tourney. It's $1950 for first and $900 for second. I take the $1425, give the dealers $100, and I go home at 3:00 AM with about $1700 in more in pocket than I had earlier in the night.

Actually... I lied. I get a taxi and go straight to Lit. It's 3:00 AM when I get there, and it's pretty empty. I order a beer. I actually don't know a single person on the waitstaff, and I don't know anybody there. I sit at the bar for fifteen minutes and order another drink. Two girls walk in and sit down next to me. One of them starts talking to me. She's not unattractive. Actually kinda cute in a nerdy youngish kinda way. We even end up talking about something (I honestly don't remember what) that we had in common. I think just an album or something, but... something that I found a bit surprising. But, anyway... I'm just not feeling it. I'm finding it all tiring, uninteresting. I just don't really want to talk with some girl that I don't have that much interest in. I guess one of her friends comes in, and while the three of them are talking, I get up and slide out the side door of Lit. I even make a right turn after leaving Lit so that I don't have to walk by the front window. Which, of course, means I have to walk by Kendel's apartment, but I don't think I'll be bumping into her at 3:50 AM.

I walk home the long way and go to bed.



10.29.06 tournament time

NP: "Desolation Row [Alternate Take]" Bob Dylan.
NP: "Where Are You Now When I need You" The Waterboys.
NP: "Consolation Prize" Orange Juice.
NP: "Palmcorder Yajna" .
NR: still the same stuff listed in last post.



I go to BBBB to play the Sunday tournament. 27 players with add-ons and rebuys. I play fairly well, pick up a couple of hands early, and am actually big stack at my table for a while. I lose a couple of hands against small stacks, pick up a few more hands. I make it to the final table, and don't pick up any hands for a full half hour. Now I'm one of the shorter stacks.

In late position I pick up:

There's one limper. I go all-in after him, the big blind and little blind fold, and the limper really doesn't want to call, but it's not many more chips, so he calls and says "hopefully my cards are live." He's holding:

He's about as dominated as you get... The flop:

Ouch. The turn:

No help. The river:

Whew. That was lucky.

I pick up a few more hands, and I make it down to the final four. I knock out the fourth place guy. There's 245,000 chips on the table. Neil has 105,000, I have 100,000, and another guy has 40,000. The guy starts asking if we want to make a deal. Neil and I say the only way we would make a deal would be by straight percentage. It would break down to $840, $840, and $420. We make some eye contact. They guy is awful, and we both say we'd rather play. We play on.

Well, of course, the guy knocks out Neil, instead of the other way around. Now he even has more chips than me... Like 135,000 to 110,000. He's crying to chop, and even though I know I can take him out, I decide to make the deal. He takes $1050, I take $900. I was in for $110 with the add-ons and rebuys, I tip the dealers $100... I'm happy with the nice win. I leave without playing cash games.



10.26.06 calling station

NP: "Three Button Hand Me Down" The Faces.
NP: "Most Fair Beauty Bright" Jean Ritchie.
NP: "Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois" Sufjan Stevens.
NP: "Foxheads" Close Lobsters.
NP: "Top Of The World" James.
NP: "Alienation #3" The Secret Stars.
NR: still the same stuff listed in last post.



I go and play some poker last Wednesday. Haven't actually played live in forever, and definitely haven't played in NYC in a while. I go to a place that's opened since I was last in town, call it SSSS. I go to play the $120 tournament. I get knocked out the third or fourth hand of the tournament. Fucking annoying. I set myself down at the 1-2 NL table with $250, the max buy-in.

I play a fairly uneventful hour. I'm up maybe $150 at one point, then back down to even. Actually go down to $160, buy another hundred, and then hit the next hand for $100, so I'm sitting there with $360 in front of me and I'm in for $350. Then I get involved in a stupid hand. I'm one off the button with:

I limp for $2, the button raises to $12. 4 players call and it comes back to me. I throw the $10 and close the action. The flop:

A gutshot to the ass-end of the straight. 4 players check, I check, the raiser bets $30. 3 players call. I kinda figure one of them could be on a gutshot or straight draw to the higher straight, but I decide to see one more card and figure out my reads later. The turn:

Nothing. 3 players check, I check, the button checks. The river:

3 players check, I check, the button bets $45. 3 players fold and it comes to me last to act. I sit there and I try to figure out what hand he could possibly have that he wouldn't bet the turn (with two flush draws out there and tons of gutshots), but would bet the river. I finally decide it has to be a bluff disquised as a value bet, and I call.

his hand:

I take down over $300 with a pair of twos, three kicker. guy next to me is mad that he folded his 6. I'm happy to be right.


A couple of hands later I'm on the button with:

I call a small raise in front of me to $12, as does the big blind and one early limper. 4 players to the flop:

2 checks, the original better bets out $35. I decide that he missed, and I call just to see one more card and to set up a bluff on the turn. Other two players fold. Heads up to the turn:

He checks to me. I called just to set up a bluff, but now I'm quite confident I'm ahead. I bet $55. He calls. The river:

The river worries me a little bit, but he checks to me. I bet out $55 again, a bit afraid of him hitting a set of Qs on the river... maybe he had been slowplaying me all along. Or maybe he just called me down with AQ. I'm not really sure how to play it, but I was pretty confident that I was ahead, and wanted to make a value bet for the 90% of the time (or more) that I am ahead there. Other guy announces "raise" and my heart sinks. He throws in the $55, and raises me $150.

I think about it for a 45 seconds, and I realize what he's done: he called me on the turn to set up a bluff on the river, just like I called him on the flop! I'm suddenly sure of. I actually feel myself starting to smile. I point at his raise, I pick up 6 green chips and throw them in the middle. "I call."

He just shakes his head. "That's a great call, man. How do you call that? I've got nothing." He turns over:

The whole table is shocked. Everybody is telling him "great bet", and "that was a fantastic raise, I don't know how he calls there." and "I woulda folda." Then about a minute later everybody starts saying to me "great call" once they thought about it a little more. One guys is like "we've just seen you make two crazy calls in the last 15 minutes" and I say, "What can I say... I'm a calling station." I laugh. He laughs. He goes, "Yeah... But you were right every time so far. You're batting a hundred!". I tell him I'm actually batting a thousand... I hope to be better than batting a hundred.

I look down to see almost $1000 in front of me.


15 minutes later I look down at:

There's a raise in front of me from the guy from the hand above. He raises to $12, I make it $35. He calls and we're heads-up to the flop:

He bets out $35. I don't hesitate a bit and raise him to $85. He thinks about it a minute and re-raises me to $175. I immediately say I'm all-in. He has about another $150 behind him, and calls. I turn over the JJ. He turns over:

his hand:

He just shakes his head. I have him crushed. The whole tables wonders what the hell he was thinking. The turn and river come:

Everybody just gasps. I actually laugh. It's one of the worst beats I've ever actually taken, but it's so ridiculous that I can't even be mad. I definitely say "wow", shake my head, and move on.


In the next 15 hands, I get KK twice. Twice in a row, on the big blind and the small blind. On the Big Blind I re-raise to $65, get one caller, and fire at the flop, and the guy folds. The next hand the same person as the previous KK hand raises, and this time I smooth call. I check raise him on the flop, and he goes all-in. I lose $150 as he turns over AA. I'm still around the same $650 that I had left after the JJ vs. 10-8 debaucle.


I'm in late position again. There's a raise in front of me from the guy I called the check-raise bluff and lost the JJ vs. 10-8 to. I look down and see:

I re-raise him to $40. Everybody folds, he calls. It's he and I to the flop:

He bets $75. I raise him to $185. He thinks about it for a minute, and calls. The turn:

He checks to me. I don't know what the fuck he has, but I decide that I'm ahead, and that I want him to go away. He has about $400 in front of him, there's $450 in the pot. I go all in. He thinks and thinks and thinks. And then finally calls! Once he took that long I knew I was really far ahead. I immediately turn over my AA, and he just shakes his head again. He asks me if I want to do business. I'm like "you haven't showed me your cards yet!" He laughs and turns over:

I just laugh at him. There's no way I'm doing business against J3. The river comes:

and I take the $650 off of him that should have been mine from the bad beat he had given me a half hour before.

Two hands later a new guy sits down at the table with $200, I call a raise in front to $25 with 68suited, the new guy raises to $75, and the initial raiser calls. I say fuck it, throw in the $50, and see the flop. The flop comes 567. First guy checks, I check, new guy goes all-in for $125. I have middle pair and I'm open ended. First guy folds, and I call but don't turn over my cards. The turn comes a 2 and the river comes an 8. New guy turns over QQ, and I turn over 68 to take it down. The dealer push comes the next hand, I look down and I have $1450 in front of me, and I call it a night.

I walk home VERY happy.







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Copyright 2006 The Self-Starter Foundation

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All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of The Self-Starter Foundation. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

However, you may download material from The Self-Starter Foundation website (one machine readable copy and one print copy per page) for your personal, noncommercial use only.

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