11.07.06 is $4400 an hour a good hourly rate?

NP: Nothing.
NR: Starting on "Rene's Flesh" by Virgilio Pinera. Finally time to dive into the last 6 or 7 Eridanos Press titles I haven't read.

Now THIS was an interesting night of poker. I must admit... I'm writing this a couple of days later, and I wish I had written about it right away. But... now I'll just shorten it a bit and stick to the basics and what I remember.

What I remember is that I couldn't catch a freakin' break all night. I'm playing 1/2 NL at SSSS, and I keep having to move tables because my table is breaking, which is annoying enough.

But on top of that I just can't win. I'm both unlucky AND playing poorly. Not a good combination. Still, though, after about 10 hours of playing I'm down $1200, and I suppose in some regards it could have been worse.

I lose with AA vs. KJ but only for a little money... I get rid of the hand on the flop. A little while later I have AA again, and AGAIN the flop comes KKx. Only this time the guy slowplays me and just calls on the flop. And then the turn comes KKxA and I'm stoked. I check, and he checks behind me, and then I get all his chips on the river.

I get moved AGAIN... I'm down about $500 at this point, and I have $400 in front of me (in for $900). I have A6 and I raise in late position. I get a call on the button and from both the blinds. The flop comes AJ3. Two players check to me, I bet, the button calls, and both blinds fold. The turn comes AJ3J... i bet again, and the button calls. Now I know I'm losing, either to a bigger Ace or to trip Jacks. The river comes AJ3JA. I bet. The guy raises me. I somewhat apologetically call, assuming we're chopping and that I rivered the guy with a bigger Ace. And the button turns over a Jack! And I'm fucking kicking myself. I still had another $200 in front of me, and I should have gone all-in at the end, just on the off-chance this guy was an idiot. Well, he was. And I was, too.

Alfonse starts yelling at the guy "Buddy... you couldn't have played that hand any worse. What were you thinking?!?! That was horrible!". And the guy gets pissed off and gets up and leaves, and the entire table is pissed at Alfonse. Apparently he's been a calling station, but hitting lucky hands, and everybody was just waiting to get their money back, and Alfonse scares him off the table. Alfonse is an idiot, too.

But, still... I made like $300 that hand, and now I'm close to even. I pick up another small hand and am within $75 bucks of being even. This is probably around 2:30 AM.

Then I just start playing like shit.

This is the hand that really annoyed the hell out of me and made me feel like I should never play poker again.

I pick up:

I'm in late position and I call a small raise to $12 with it. One of the blinds calls, and an early limper. The flop:

I know I'm really far ahead on this flop. First two guys check, the original raiser bets, I call, and the blind calls. Other guy folds. I thought about raising here, but I figured I have top two, there's no obvious straight draw, and no flush draw, so I decide to wait until the turn. The turn:

The first guy bets out $60. I'm afraid he just hit the higher two pair. The original raiser folds, and it comes to me. I think about it for a second. He's got a pretty big stack, and I know I'm supposed to raise, but I'm just too afraid to do it. I decide to just call. The river:

He bets out $90. Now I know I can't raise, but... can I fold? Of course I don't fold. I call. He shows me:

Which I *had* considered on the turn as one of his very possible holdings. And I kick myself for playing the hand awfully. And handing over $200 away when I could have taken it down on the flop or turn for a nice little win.

Then I hit two pair with hands like J9, J8, and J7 like 4 times in the next hour as the other guy makes the straight. I get away from it twice, but once I still call on the river, and once I make a bet on the river and then have to fold when I get raised. Once again the table breaks and I move tables. I'm in for $1250, and I only have about $375 in front of me.

And then it just gets worse.

I limp for a $5 in early position after a straddle with:

A guy after me makes it $17. He gets two callers, and it comes around to a woman in the little blind. She raises to $52. It folds to me, and I decide to gamble and call. The original raiser calls, and one of the other callers calls. It's four players to the flop:

There's $200 in the pot, and I'm in second position. The woman who raised in early position checks. I bet out $65, hoping to get raised. It comes from the next player to my left. He makes it $165. The other player folds, and the woman goes all-in for about $250!. I go all-in over the top (making it about $325 total), and the guy who made it $165 calls the other $160 or whatever it is.

his hand:

she never shows her hand, but afterwards says that it's KK.

And then the turn and the river:

And all I can do is say "wow" as I watch the dealer push him the $1125 pot.

But of course I don't leave! No! That wouldn't be like stubborn me. I sit back down at another new table with $250. (I went to the club with $2000 on this night... which is probably not a very smart idea.). I play for about 45 minutes and nothing's happening. It's 6:00 AM and I see that a seat has just opened up at the 2/5 NL table. I buy another $400 in chips and move over to that table with $650 (you're only allowed to take $600, but nobody noticed I took more.). I see a couple of flops and lose a few bucks, and I buy another $100 in chips (the last of my money). I brought $2000, and all I have left is the $650 sitting in front of me.

It's now 6:15 AM. SSSS usually calls last hand at 6:45 AM.

I have:

The blinds are $2 and $5, there's a straddle to $10, and the next player makes it $40 and immediately gets a caller. I'm next to act and make it $120. It folds around to then, and they both call. The flop:

They check to me. I bet $150. I get one caller. The turn:

She goes all-in for $350. I'm positive it's a stone-cold bluff. I call. The river:

The dealer says "showdown" and points to the girl. She says "I missed". I say "What do you have?" and the guy sitting next to me is whispering "make her show, make her show!", but she just says "I missed" again" and mucks her cards. I turn over my 9's, and take down the $1250 pot. I have no fucking clue what the hell she had. Either AK or A5 or A6 maybe like 10 6? I don't know. I really don't get it. But I appreciate the gift.

Two hands later I'm in late position and limp with 57clubs. It goes around to the blinds, one of which raises to $25, and there are two callers to me. I call and close the action. The flop comes club club club. I'm feeling pretty good. The guy bets out $50. The other two players fold, and I raise him to $150. He thinks about it a second and calls. The turn comes a rag, and he checks to me. He has about $400 in front of him, so... I go all-in for $400. He thinks about it a second and calls! The river comes a blank, he turns over Qspade Qclub, and I show the made flush and take down another $600 in profit.

Alfonse starts yelling "Buddy... you just got two gifts in a row! That wasn't poker, those were just gifts!" Whatever. I hate him.

I proceed to get AA two times in the next twenty minutes, and they win both times. The a hand later I flop a straight with Q9, only to get counterfeited on the turn, but still end up chopping for half the pot.

And then maybe the most satisfying hand of the night. About three minutes before closing I look down and see AA AGAIN. Somebody makes it $30, I'm next to act and make it $90. Alfonse makes it $250. It folds around to me, and I go all-in. He's got $500 total. He turns to the guy sitting next to him and says "he can't have Aces every hand" and throws in the rest of his money. And I turn over the AA and half the table laughs and half gasps, and Alfonse turns over his KK and just gets up and starts walking away. He's muttering and bitching and yelling and dealer deals out five rags, and I tip the dealer $40 from Alfonse's stack as he stands there and watches me do it.

I get up five minutes later with $2800. I just had a $2200 swing in thirty minutes.

I've never had anything like that happen before, and it's unlikely I will ever have a run like that again.

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."


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.

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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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