Friday, January 07, 2005

New Year's Vacation Ramblings

Well, 2005 has finally come - amazing how fast the years go by. It's been roughly a year and a few months since I started playing poker seriously and this blog is now 9 months old...
I'm actually surprised that both have lasted so long - but especially the fact that it's been almost a year and I'm still writing occasionally to you all.
I've been out in Colorado visiting my family for the first week of the new year. Of course, since both my brother and father have caught the poker bug - this doesn't mean I'm taking time away from the game.

In fact - since the WPBT in December - I feel reenergized and reinvigorated about this great game we all love. It helps that I've had a few nice runs of cards coupled with a move up to 2/4 limit on a consistent basis where the players (and the game) are much more interesting.
I've managed to build the UB bankroll to a place that comfortably supports this - and will soon begin moving more of my action to Party (as well as a portion of my bankroll) as soon as I clear the rest of my UB bonus.

Also I've recently picked up copies of Matthew Hilger's Internet Texas Hold'em (thanks Ammon) and Dan Harrington's new book Harrington on Hold'em.
Reviews of both are forthcoming - but let me just say that Hilger's book is a solid treatise for the beginning player and contained quite a few insights that I found useful.
Harrington's book is excellent - for you bloggers and players out there, that are at an intermediate level - it's a great book that details not just the plays but the rationale for plays in NL Hold'em. I can't say enough about it here - but I will post some more later on both books.

Well - not much more to say here - I'll be headed up to the Lodge in Central City, Colorado either tonight or tomorrow to try to avenge my losses the past two trips in the wild and crazy $5-$5 games.

Speaking of wild and crazy - following is the first entry on this blog by my brother from the Vegas trip the weekend of the WPBT. This concludes my Vegas stories - and hopefully will not be the last contribution by my brother - who may turn out to be the best poker player in the family... (or maybe just the luckiest)

Please enjoy it - it's a good story, everytime I read it - I wish I had stayed just one more day in Vegas.

ps - On a personal note - I proposed to my girlfriend (the ORIGINAL GotP) on New Year's Eve and she, after some deliberation, actually accepted. Talk about going 'all in'... (whew)
2005 has started (at least for me) on the best of notes.

The Orleans (By The Brother of The GotP)

The last time I saw my brother (before the weekend in Vegas) was Thanksgiving. For the past year every encounter and talk with him has been dominated by poker.

Since last X-Mas when he forced me to open up an account on Ultimate Bet and then proceeded to xfer $150 into it; I have become somewhat of a poker addict. (ed note: yeah - I FORCED him)
Poker has absolutely consumed my life, and greatly contributed to workplace inefficiency for me, as I spend precious work time reading various poker blogs and forums throughout the day.

When he told me he would be playing in the WPBT on Dec 11th, I was jealous to say the least. Going to vegas is bad enuff; but the opportunity to meet and play with the blogger community...well, I was happy for him, yet extremely envious at the same time.

Even though I myself am not a blogger; after reading blogs all day-everyday you start to feel a connection or sense of comraderie thru their writing. Kinda like the 15 year old girl in Singapore that I've been e-maili...uhhh...nevermind. (ed note: more like 13 - and gender is still indeterminate)

To make a long story short, an unexpected chain of events occurred and I had a ticket for Vegas from Fri 12/10 to Sun 12/12 (thanks, Cuz), along with a $1000 bankroll to hit the 6/12 tables at the Mirage and the 8/16 tables at the Bellagio.

I had planned all along on checking out the WPBT tourny sat morn; but when I awoke still drunk sat morn...I knew it was just not to be.

Fast Forward. As i arrived at McCarron Airport for my 7pm flight back to Denver I did a quick audit. I was up $700+ in poker, down a little over $300 in craps and blackjack, but more importantly I had only spent about 12 hours at the poker table. WTF?!? That was my whole point of coming out to Vegas!

Speaking of spending, somehow I managed to spend less than $200 in alcohol, food, taxis, and "entertainment" over the weekend. (Mas, Lolo, and brother of Lolo...I think I owe a bar tab next time). 10 shots of Crown Royal, anyone?

Anyway, as luck would have it, my flight back was overbooked. The good news though...there's a direct flight to Denver @ 11PM, and I'd arrive in Denver @ 1:30AM. Great...but what time is it now, 7pm?

That means I can: A. stay at the airport for another 4 hours or B. taxi it to the Mirage, wait 30 min for a table, play for an hour and change, and then taxi it back to the airport for my flight. Yeah...that ain't gonna work.

In comes Option C. "Uh...hi. I've been put on a direct flight to Denver leaving at 11pm, but there's no way I can get a ride on such short notice @ 1:30AM (lie), and I live 65 miles from Denver (another lie)."

"No problem sir. We can put you on the first flight in the morning. Leaves @ 9AM, and we'll get you a room in Vegas for the nite".


Immediately I call my brother.
"I'm staying another nite. Got a room @ the Emerald Suites. Right next to the Orleans. You in or you out. If you're in, I'll be at the Mirage in 30 minutes. If you're out, have a safe trip and I'll talk to you tomm."

My brother, being the "responsible" one, declined tho; so off I was to the Orleans. (ed note: I was THIS close to staying the extra day - I even ended up calling in 'sick' from home on Monday - but I had such a great weekend - one more night wasn't going to make much of a difference to me)

The Orleans spreads 2/4, 4/8 half blinds/half kill, and 6/12 half kill (at least that nite).

I played 4/8 for about 30minutes before my name was called for the 6/12 game.

Now I'm not the smartest man in the world (ed note: an UNDERstatement)...but how this half kill game on a 6/12 turns into 10/20 is beyond me. 6*1.5=9, and 12*1.5=18, right? (ed note: my brother - the college graduate... community college that is)

So 9/18, right? Apparently not.

Anyway, here I am playing a full, typical 6/12 ring game with what appears to be about 1/2 tourists and 1/2 locals. I play for a few hours and after suffering a few bad beats, getting caught against dominated hands, and dragging down some pots...I'm down about $150.

Players start leaving, as it's now 2AM or so and we're down to 7.

Suddenly, a woman stumbles over to the table, obviously drunk and freshly reloaded with what appears to be (insert liquor) and Coke.

"What are we playing here, boys? Some 6/12 with a half-kill? Well, I'm gonna be the KILLER!!!".

To which Local #1 an older gentleman who's been playing very rockishly grins and says "Please, by all means."

Everyone at the table (myself included) immediately look at each other and you can just see all of us suckers salivating on the inside and trying our best to hold back enormous grins.

First hand. Folded to drunk girl. RAISE! She's got Pocket QQ and they hold up against 2 callers.

Second Hand. Limp, Limp, action on drunk girl. RAISE!

Drunk girl wins pot uncontested on the river.

I could go on describing the next 12 or 13 hands....but for the sake of brevity let's just say drunk girl raised or re-raised every single pot pre-flop. And then she'd follow that up by betting, raising or re-raising every flop and turn.

In fact, when she was first to act she would bet in the dark. Of these first 15 hands or so...drunk girl took down about 10 of them. Some of them being 10/20 kill pots. By this time she's up at least $500...thankfully only about 25 of it is mine.

You could just see the frustration building up in the other players. Her aggression turned the rest of the table upside down.

The fact that she'd exclaim "Well, I played that hand like a little boy, didn't I?", after showing down a hand where she was both the victor and the aggressor probably didn't help either.

After 30 minutes, 3 players had left shaking their heads in absolute disbelief. So, now we're down to 4. Drunk girl, me, tight-aggressive Asian player from Canada, and old guy. I'm now down close to $200, but decide to stay as I know I will get action and can turn this session around.

I'm also thinking...drunk girl might not be so drunk...and although the word call is not in her vocabulary...she is actually making some laydowns (post-flop of course) and is otherwise absolutely running over the table.

Or as she had so eloquently prophecized... she was being the killer. Now I've read and re-read "Killer of Poker". (ed note: I think he means Vorhaus' book Killer Poker - he doesn't need to read this)

It's easily one of my favorite books on poker. I believe raise or fold....calling is for suckers. I also know, as much as my brother and father think that I'm a maniac...I am not. (ed note: my brother IS a maniac)

Drunk girl is a maniac...and she's doing a damn good job at it.

However, we're now down to four.

I can't justify cold calling 3 bets or re-raising to 4 bets with A-10 when there's 7 players....but now we're down to 4.

Time to open up, play my game, and let the chips fling into the pot. Down to four. I'm in seat 2. Asian-Canadian in seat 4. Old guy in seat 6. Drunk-girl in seat 8.

Asian-Canadian has just drove 22 hours straight and is in the hole at least $400. He's buying in with twenties now...so I think he's gonna play more conservatively....as I don't think he got much more to make the trip last.

Old guy is probably also down a few hundred and seems to be playing just for the sake of playing. He plays tight, but he's also passive.

My plan is to try to isolate drunk girl with paint and see more flops.

In a kill game with 2 players, old-guy and drunk girl. Old guy catches the nut flush on the river. No pair on the board, no straight flush possibilities. Drunk girl bets (TPTK, I Believe).

Old guy calls.

"WTF?!? How come you diidn't raise? You had the NUTS!!!" says Asian-Canadian.

"She wouldn't have called even if I raised, so why bother?" says old guy.

To which I reply, "You're right, she wouldn't call. She hasn't called all nite. She might've raised you though!"

Drunk girl smiles and shakes her head laughing. Orders another drink.

A few hands later we're in a kill pot. I'm the BB. Drunk girl posts $10, as she is the "killer". Asain-Canadian calls. Old guy calls. Drunk girl raises (surprise, surprise). I call and everyone else follows.

Flop comes 8 9 2 rainbow. Drunk girl bets. I call (10 J). everyone else calls.

Turn comes 4, no flush draw. Drunk girl bets, I raise, seat 4 and 6 fold. drunk girl re-raises. I call. (ed note: what the hell - why didn't you just cap? Maniac...)

River comes 5. Drunk girl bets. I raise. Drunk girl re-raises.

I debate calling. (Why am I even considering calling? Is there a conceivable hand that she can hold, that I have a winner with Jack high? Why waste the $20? I already misplayed the hand. Cut your losses...stoopid!)

I begrudgingly call. (ed note: not just a maniac but now a calling station)

Drunk girl looks in disgust and says, "You've got me. I missed my draw."

Shows 10 7 and mucks.

I proudly show my J 10 and say "yeah...I missed too".

The rest of the table goes in an uproar. They're both looking at me like they wanna kill me. Obviously they had my J 10 high beat on the turn when I raised and pushed them out. ooops.

Next thing I know it's 5am. I got a plane to catch in 4 hours...and I'm supposed to go to work when I get to Denver. I look around and it's still just the 4 of us....but now I notice there's actually people standing around the table just watching this crazy game.

I get dealt J 8 UTG. Call. Seat 4 and 6 also call. Drunk girl raises. Everyone calls.

Flop comes 9 10 4 rainbow. seat 6 (old guy) bets. drunk girl raises. i call. seat 2 folds.

Turn is a 2, still rainbow. old guy checks. drunk girl bets. i call. old guy calls.

River is a queen. drunk girl bets, i raise. old guy folds.

Drunk-girl ponders...says "Hmmmm....J-8?".

"Raise or fold" I tell her.

She looks at me, "Re-Raise!".

I pretend to think....I'm pretty sure she doesn't have K J for the nut straight. "Re-Raise".

She peeks back at her cards..."Re-Raise".

Now i"m not so sure....maybe she does have K-J. Either way I can't get away from this hand so....


She looks at the dealer..."Is it capped yet?".

Dealer says, " Heads-Up...Unlimited Raises."

Drunk girl decides to call for the first time all nite, I show my straight and she flips over two pair, Queens and Tens.

We continue playing until 6am when old guy leaves penniless.

I decide to also pack it in as i"m now up close to $400 for the session and ready to call it a nite...or a morning. I've never witnessed anyone (man or woman) play as aggressive as drunk girl in a live game...or an online game for that matter.

I did overhear her tell a gentleman (the poker manager, I believe), that she had just come back from playing a tourney at the Bellagio. I wondered to myself if she had been playing in the 4 diamonds tourney (ed note: I think he means Five Diamonds...) and was just blowing off steam, slumming in our 6/12 game at the Orleans. Regardless, Asian-Canadain and drunk girl decided to play heads-up, and I left wishing them both good luck.


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