Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Poker Musings

I had two lengthy write ups of poker games in the last few days. I played cards until 6am on Monday and last Friday I got to play with a bunch of different poker bloggers online at Party Poker. Visit Tao of Poker to read the complete entries.

Late Night Weirdness at the Blue Parrot
"Swish, I'm right fucking here!" - Ugarte scolding a player for continuously acting out of turn
I had a great birthday yesterday. I wrote for several hours, played a few hands on Party Poker, ate dinner with my brother, then ventured off for a late night game at the Blue Parrot. Signor Ferrari had not hosted a game in several weeks. He pushed back the starting time a couple of hours and suggested that everyone bring a lax attitude this week, along with alcohol. Lots of it. Most of the regulars were back... Coach, Ugarte, and even Swish made the game. He was in town covering the Giants-Skins game and stuck around an extra day to play. Weirdness is the norm when the games get into the late hours. You can imagine what it was like when we left his apartment at 6am. At one point I was down almost $200 and left at 3am. I'm glad I stayed because I stormed back, saved face, and walked away only down $30.

It was a full table at the Blue Parrot, with the MNF game on in the background.
The players:
Seat 1: Joel
Seat 2: Om
Seat 3: Matt (first appearance at the Blue Parrot)
Seat 4: Signor Ferrari
Seat 5: Ugarte
Seat 6: Swish
Seat 7: Diane
Seat 8: Coach
Seat 9: Dr. Pauly
Man, I have lost so much money on Anaconda at the Blue Parrot that I could probably buy an entire bar in Southern Mexico somewhere, a place that Al Can't Hang and Mrs. Hang could vacation, and where the locals would shout out, "Senor No Puede Colgar!" everytime our favorite Socologist entered the premises. I cannot fold hands in Anaconda. I know better too. I feel like one of those battered wives, with two black eyes and a broken collar bone, who constantly runs face first into the fist of her pugilistic husband, unable to break free from the sadistic nature of life that we all crave, yet lack the self-esteem to walk away.

I finished the night only down $31!! It was one of those sessions where I gutted through all the misery and waited until I had the chance to get better hands and take advantage of a short handed table. I was pumped about only losing $30 because it could have been a lot worse. My cash bankroll is more thinner than the anorexic Olsen twin and a huge loss at the Blue Parrot would have made this upcoming trip to AC uncomfortable with a limited bankroll.

It was just a few moments before sunrise when I left the Blue Parrot. Ferrari had to crash for a few hours before he went into work. I grabbed breakfast with Diane where we chatted about the night's game. She made a few mistakes but also made some great calls. She reads people well sometimes and that's her best asset. As I walked past Penn Station to get to the subway, I was nearly run over by a horde of bitter, early morning commuters heading to work. I smiled. I pulled an all night poker session on my birthday of all days, gutting out only a $30 loss after almost losing my buy-in and rebuy. I rode the subway home in silence, my eyes heavy, and my body wedged in between two NY Times reading, Starbucks drinking yuppies. They were just starting their day, while I was ending mine. Well, not really. I got home and wrote for several hours, including this rambling review of another wild late night of poker at the Blue Parrot.

My next big report will be about my tales in Atlantic City on Friday with Senor No Puede Colgar, El Comida del poker, and friends. Stay tuned.

Friday Night Blogger Convention

Last friday night, I went slumming at the 50 cent tables with some of our favorite poker bloggers on Party Poker. It's been a while since I let loose and had a good time. I wonder what the four or five other players thought about the wretched insanity we all brought to the tables? I'm sure they had no idea that we knew each other. It was like that scene from Rounders... except they were playing with some seriously demented, distrubed, drunk, and disorderly people.
The Players:
Seat 2: HDouble (later)
Seat 3: AlCantHang
Seat 4: Otis
Seat 7: Dr. Pauly
Seat 8: Helixx
Seat 9: Iggy
Seat 10: Ugarte
Over an hour, I dropped $19 most of it to a hand with AlCantFold. Party Poker's wild and loose tables at micro limits especially suck when you flop a set and still have five mentally unbalanced players rampantly jamming the pot with two gappers. I flopped four sets and only once did they hold up. Alas, I wasn't really there to win money.

Poker used to be a social event for me. I love a good party. In the last year or so, I adopted a more serious approach to poker. And at times, that new mentality took a lot of the fun out of the game. Sure I have plenty of poker passion, but the fun had slowly slipped away in my most recent sessions. Last night was unlike so many other nights. I actually had a blast... losing. I guess technically everyone was on tilt, playing garbage starting hands and trying to outbluff each other. Maybe it was the liquor or the pain killers or the excitement, but that table was one of the best I ever sat down at. Even the rock-solid Ugarte loosened up a bit. I swear I saw him play A7o in early position! When HDouble sat down, he busted out the $1000 stack. Iggy wanted to show everyone he had a bigger one, so he whipped out his $1000 stack. I wished I could have stayed longer, but I had a few things I had to write before I crashed and got up early this morning to write some more.

As always it was a pleasure to sit at a table with everyone and enjoy such fine table commentary.

Visit tha Tao of Poker to read more.

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