Wednesday, August 31, 2011


She'll let you in her house
If you come knockin late at night

She'll let you in her mouth
If the words you say are right
If you pay the price
She'll let you deep inside
But there's a secret garden she hides

She'll let you in her car
To go drivin round
She'll let you into the parts of herself
That'll bring you down
She'll let you in her heart
If you got a hammer and a vise
But into her secret garden, don't think twice

You've gone a million miles
How far'd you get
To that place where you can't remember
And you can't forget
She'll lead you down a path
Therell be tenderness in the air
She'll let you come just far enough
So you know she's really there

She'll look at you and smile
And her eyes will say
Shes got a secret garden
Where everything you want
Where everything you need
Will always stay
A million miles away

Guess What I'm Thinking!

~ I've always worked very, very hard, and the harder I worked, the luckier I got. ~ Alan Bond

~ Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win. ~ Nadia Comaneci

"Poker is alot like sex, everyone thinks they are the best, but most don't have a clue what they are doing!"- Dutch Boyd

"You have it in your power to turn a bad-beat around simply by realizing this simple truth: The more bad beats you encounter, the luckier you are. It's a sign that you are playing against opponents who continually take the worst of it, and if you can't beat someone who always takes the worst of it, you can't beat anyone."

- Lou Krieger

"It's hard work. Gambling. Playing poker. Don't let anyone tell you different. Think about what it's like sitting at a poker table with people whose only goal is to cut your throat, take your money, and leave you out back talking to yourself about what went wrong inside. That probably sounds harsh. But that's the way it is at the poker table. If you don't believe me, then you're the lamb that's going off to the slaughter."- Stu Unger

No Limit Hold'em. Hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror. - Tom McEvoy
Poker is not a game in which the meek inherit the earth.-- David Hayano (1982)

Anyone have a guess?  :) 

I'm thinking about winning a big poker tourney.  Not just cashing, not final tabling, WINNING.  And you know what they say, If you're not in, you can't win.

I can win.  I'm smart, I'm devious, I'm crafty and I work very hard at whatever I do.  What I'll be doing very soon is going to Atlantic City.

The Borgata Poker Open is happening in AC in September and I just picked the game I'm going to play.  It's called The Black Chip Bounty tournament, so named because the bounty is a black ($100) chip for each peep you knock out.  Right up my alley.

I plan on treading very carefully and then BOOM.  I know I can do this, I mean I did it a couple of weeks ago, didn't I?  Plus I'm very excited to be going to Atlantic City and The Borgata, which is giving very low room rates for those playing in their Poker Open.

Originally I thought I'd be able to fly into A/C, play my tourney and fly out with no problems but I could find ZERO flights to accomodate me.  WTF!

But then a HANDSOME STRANGER came to my rescue.  He told me to fly into Philly and he'd pick me up and drive me to AC.  He might even arrive on a white stallion, I don't know!

It'll be fun to play a little poker with him in addition to playing my tournament.  I figure I'll relieve him of all his disposable cash on Monday and then play the tournament on Tuesday.

I can't wait!!  I'm listed as a winner on FOXWOODS WEBSITE, so the next step is the Bortgata's.  Then onto Vegas to kick Grump's butt.

Play smart.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pocket Kings?

Pocket Kings burning in effigy

Ever hear of Pocket Kings?  If you're like me you haven't.  I'm not talking about the hand pocket kings; I'm talking about Pocket Kings Ltd.  This blog has been getting alot of hits from Dublin Ireland and I noticed the thingy said "Pocket Kings Ltd."  Oooo an Irish blog, I thought.  Except it wasn't.

Pocket Kings Ltd is..........................OMFG

It's Full Tilt Poker's headquarters!  Are you effing kidding me?  FTP, the site that is holding my poker bankroll hostage has been reading MY blog.  Have they read the post entitled FULL TILT POKER SUCKS?  I frigging hope so!

I truly believe that they can find away to pay off little peons like me who thought a secure account was, in fact, a secure account.

I am sooo tempted to click on their little box that says "contact us" just so I can contact them with my fist words.  I'm sure it's not the right place to secure a withdrawal though. 

I'd give you a link to them, but they don't frigging deserve it!

On the other hand.....if there are some nice Pocket King FTP people reading this, get in touch with me!  There's an easy way to stop me from writing bad, but totally true, things about your company.  Have Howard Lederer take a little drive to Boston and open his trunk for me like he did for Todd Brunson.

That'd be a start.

Play smart.  To all my European readers, that means NOT on Full Tilt Poker.


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Answer

Yesterday I wrote a post about a hand that caused a hold up at Foxwoods.  It was a heads up hand; me in the big blind and the other player on the button.  We both checked the river.  I checked first, then he checked and asked "What do you have?"

I answered "A pair of 4s, turning over the first card".  He responded that he had tens, flipping over a Q-10.  As the hand was over I just tossed both cards toward the muck, and that's when this happened:
(If you've already read the info below, skip to the unitalicized font)

the dealer was about to pick up the muck and shuffle, the villian asks the dealer "Can I see her other card? I paid for it."
"No" said the dealer.
"But I'm entitled to see it!" he said.
Then the dealer intentionally took my two cards and buried them in the muck while he said "The hand is over, it was checked down, you didn't pay for anything. You don't get to see it."
Now, had they asked me I wouldn't have minded him seeing that particular hand, but no one asked me.
The guy just wouldn't let up and said the dealer didn't know the rules. The dealer said the player was thinking about cash game rules and this was a tourney. I didn't have to show him my cards once I gave up and threw them in the muck.
The player said that since I was first to act after we both checked the river, I HAD to show both cards. Finally the player insisted we get a floor guy over here. Play stopped while the floor man got a quick recap of the events.
In the end the floor person sided with the player and said the dealer should've shown him my other hole card. The dealer started arguing with the floor person, which is something I'd never seen before. Usually when a floor person makes a ruling, the dealer doesn't disagree. After the floor person left the dealer mumbled "He doesn't know all the rules, but I do! There's a four page rule list in the office. We need a copy here on the floor".

While the play at the table was at a stand still for an insignificant hand, I thought "If Rakewell were here, he'd know what the correct ruling should be."  And I was right!  Poker Grump, lays it all out for us RIGHT HERE, along with a detailed explanation that supports his opinion. 

Poker Grump did not disappoint.  He said......

Final judgment: (1) Josie was wrong to show one card instead of either showing both or mucking. (2) Other guy was wrong for not taking advantage of his position by insisting that Josie either show or muck, and was further wrong for announcing his hand rather than showing, and was even further wrong for claiming that he had a right to see Josie's cards after she decided to muck. Worse, he was a completely douchebag for stopping play at the table while they called the floor to make a ruling on a situation that was so utterly trivial, especially since it was moot and the hand couldn't be retrieved to be shown by then anyway. A better course would have been to wait for the next break, then ask the tournament director what the applicable rule was. (3) Dealer was mostly right, but probably wrong about the cash/tournament point. (4) Floor guy was probably wrong, unless Foxwoods has some non-standard house rule that covers this situation--which is certainly possible, given all the variants that exist.

He actually said alot more than that, so visit Poker Grump for the entirety.

That happened at the end of a long day and the latter half of this day was chock full of losses.  Crazy 2 outer losses that hit on the river.  Over and over again.  Unfortunately, that didn't stop me from playing.  I'm a firm non-believer in luck and believe good playing wins out long term over crazy bad beats, so this couldn't be a run of bad luck.  Except it was like I broke a bunch of mirrors, walked under a few ladders and had someone hit me with Malocchio (the evil eye). 

I was chip leader in the first tournament I played only to be rivered during an all in three times.  Then I sat down to the cash game.  I didn't play smart like I'd played the last two times I'd played the cash game successfully there.  This time I was in a hurry to make my money back.  Haste makes waste!  After thinking on it I decided that many people must confuse playing badly with bad luck.  When I suffer a loss, I want to make it back asap.  Art cannot be rushed people!!!  That's the lesson to be learned from this session at Foxwoods.

I'd won a few hands in the cash game and then split a pot when I jammed all in with A-Q on a Q high flop.  Another A-Q called me.  Grrrrrr.....about 20 minutes later I was in a hand with the same guy who had A-Q.  This time I had K-Q.  Flop was queen high again!  He bet $30 and I jammed all in.  I truly don't know why, except perhaps greed.  He called me with Q-J and hit a jack on the river to take my stack.

So then.......

I decided it was time to play the 6pm tourney.  DUMB!  But I thought I could cash in it and get my money back.  I didn't.  A few hours into it, I felt like I'd trapped a guy but found myself in the trap.  I limped in with A-K and flop was A high rainbow.  I checked, he bet, I raised and he called.  Turn was some sort of diamond.  He bet and I jammed all in.  He had A-3 diamonds and there were two diamonds on the board.  River was the third and I was out.  I hate my play in this hand from beginning to end.  Why?  Because I wasn't playing the way I play when I win.  I'm not saying slowplaying a big hand is bad, but sometimes acting weak gets you action you might not want.  I cannot tell you how many times I've "acted" weak in order to get action.  This is a tricky path to take because when I do this, I invite alot of action on myself.  Not so bad when you have the extra chips to play with, but potentially lethal when you don't.  Even when you're ahead going into it.  That doesn't matter!  NLHE is playing with FIVE community cards, not three or four.

So many times I hear stories about how "I was ahead after the flop...blah blah blah..."  Big fucking deal.  You don't win when you're ahead after the flop; you win when the hand is over.  Of course I never say that.  Instead I nod my head, my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders.  I'm not rude (like some people) but don't give undeserved sympathy either.

Poker Grump, you rock for explaining everything so well, yet I have two words for you:  ten, seven.  Grrrrrrr

Play smart.


This, That, The Other & One More Thing

This:  Above are a couple of photos of the Gloucester MA taken yesterday (Sunday) during the hurricane.  Click on the pictures for awesomeness.  I'm happy to say Irene did not exact her vengence on me.  I never even lost electricity!  Wheeeee!

That:  Tomorrow's post will have Rakewell's answer on whether or not I had two show both my cards before I mucked them.  Stay tuned!

The Other:  My worlds are colliding! SmBoatDrinks is coming to Boston and was looking for tickets.  I hooked him up with a couple.  That's nice, right?  But they're my boss's tickets.  My boss (who is different from the awesome owner) never misses a game and is the nosiest guy I've ever met.  He's already asked me a gajillion questions about Boaty.  "How do you know him?"

"He's a poker friend."

"How can that be if he doesn't live around here?"

"Oh from online....."

"Online DATING?"

"No you effing idiot, from online poker, plus I met him in Vegas in December."

Okay I really didn't call him an effing idiot (out loud) but I did say I met Boaty in Vegas even though I didn't.  Why? Because if I told him I've never met the guy, he may not have given up the tickets....and because I didn't want the boss knowing about the poker blog, so I started babbling.....

Boaty's in for it though.  This guy could give Mother Theresa the third degree, and he'll be sitting next to him for the WHOLE GAME.  And no matter WHAT, Boat's been instructed to not mention the blog, regardless of the duress.  Even if there's water boarding, and there just may be!

Ironically, the same boss was talking about someone he knew in Vermont and I piped up, like my friend that'll be using your tickets!  So the boss says, well this person's name is Mike and I reply my friend's name is too!  And he says "No it's not..." and all of a sudden I got confused.  I mean I think of the guy as Boaty.....was his name Mike?  Am I confusing him with Heff, Hoy, or the gazillion other poker bloggers named Mike?  Shit, I don't even know anymore!

One More Thing:  To the guy who reads my blog from Carlsbad, New Mexico....You rock!  You are the most dedicated reader ever and you are my reader of the month!  Drop me an email so I can thank you personally....and tell you what prize reader of the month gets!

Another One More Thing:  KenP is a total ass.

That's about it for Monday afternoon!

Play smart.


In Rakewell We Trust

I was playing at Foxwoods on Friday and was in a very inconsequential hand that resulted in an hours long debate.  Unfortunately the debate didn't end with a definitive conclusion so I thought our resident smarty pants, The Poker Grump, could give us his judgement.

I was in the big blind with 2-4 of spades, which coincidentally is The Grump's hand of hands.  Everyone folded to the button, who limped in.  The small blind folded and I, in the big blind, checked.  Flop was two over cards and a 4.  I checked and so did the button.  Turn was a 3 and I decided to bet out...perhaps my pair of fours was good.  Unfortunately, he called.

River was a 10 and I decided I was done with this hand so I checked.  He checked behind me and said "What do you have?".

I was sooo done with this hand.  I casually answered his question saying "A pair of fours." as I turned over the 4.

He replied that he had a pair of tens, having caught his pair on the river.  I thought nothing more of this and threw both cards toward the muck.  Hand over.

The thing is, I never turned my second card over.  Not because I had anything to hide, just because I was done with the hand and thought the whole shebang was over. 

So as the dealer was about to pick up the muck and shuffle, the villian asks the dealer "Can I see her other card?  I paid for it."

"No" said the dealer.

"But I'm entitled to see it!" he said.

Then the dealer intentionally took my two cards and buried them in the muck while he said "The hand is over, it was checked down, you didn't pay for anything.  You don't get to see it."

Now, had they asked me I wouldn't have minded him seeing that particular hand, but no one asked me.

The guy just wouldn't let up and said the dealer didn't know the rules.  The dealer said the player was thinking about cash game rules and this was a tourney.  I didn't have to show him my cards once I gave up and threw them in the muck.

The player said that since I was first to act after we both checked the river, I HAD to show both cards.  Finally the player insisted we get a floor guy over here.  Play stopped while the floor man got a quick recap of the events. 

In the end the floor person sided with the player and said the dealer should've shown him my other hole card.  The dealer started arguing with the floor person, which is something I'd never seen before.  Usually when a floor person makes a ruling, the dealer doesn't disagree.  After the floor person left the dealer mumbled "He doesn't know all the rules, but I do!  There's a four page rule list in the office.  We need a copy here on the floor".

The dealer was so adamant about being right it got me curious to know the true answer.  Of course not curious enough to say, do a little investigative work.  Oh no!  I'm too lazy for that, but curious enough to pose the question to Poker Grump and you readers. 

He doesn't look all that Grumpy does he? 
You'd be smiling like that too if I were rubbing your back.

I think smart is sexy. I like smart people. My cat is really sexy. - Gina Gershon

Play smart.  Or sexy, which is the same. 


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Homeless Hoboes R Us

Okay, I hereby promise to never dress casually, like the majority of other poker players.  Having guys like Gary, Lightning or The Elderly in Indiana insulting me is to be expected, but when Mojo says "You look homeless" changes must be made.  He's just too darn nice to be anything but honest.

So I took down the homeless hobo picture of me and to replace it is a couple of pics of me during last week's tournament.

NOT a hobo

Not homeless

I don't think I'll be doing the scruffy look anymore.  It just isn't me.  Last night was another league tournament with the L&BM.  I thought to myself, who would appreciate the hobo look more than the lesbians?  They're always baseball caps, tshirts and jeans, so I tried it one last time last night. (of course with lots of big jewelry)  Anyway, meh.  Didn't get quite the reaction I usually do.  Besides, I feel better when I'm dressed better.

See the gold necklace in the photos above?  At some point I'll try to get a closer shot of it but these will do for now.  That necklace is solid 18K Italian gold and it's well over 50 years old.  My mom and her family came here from Sicilty when she was 15 years old.  Since my mom and my aunt didn't want to move away, they each got a gold necklace as a kind of consolation prize/bribe.  The photos don't do it justice.  In person it's spectacular.

I've loved that necklace since I was a little girl and used to play dress up with it.  These days my mom has been letting me borrow it more and more.  Heh.  Sometimes my mom likes to tease me by saying she wants it to be buried with her and I always respond that I'll rip it off her cold, get the idea.  :)

Oh and the gold earrings in the picture?  They're fakety, fake, fake, fake. 

Tomorrow's post will be about a certain circumstance I found myself in during the second tournament I played.  It resulted in a big debate between my opponent and the dealer and then the dealer and his floor person.  An hour later and still no one agreed on what the right course of action was.

If The Poker Grump were there, he'd know.  He's smaht.  So we'll hopefully get his take on the situation very soon.

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Play smaht.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Losing Sucks

“You must never be satisfied with losing. You must get angry, terribly angry, about losing. But the mark of the good loser is that he takes his anger out on himself and not his victorious opponents or on his teammates.” - Richard M. Nixon

According to Richard Nixon I'm a good loser because I am very angry with myself.  This is a story about losing, in case you haven't noodled that out already, but it's also a story of foreshadowing.  Bad things happened before I ever lost a hand.

For starters I missed my bus.  There's a bus that goes to Foxwoods from Boston that costs $28.  Foxwoods will give you $30 in food and play coupons if you take the bus, so I thought why not?  Except I got there at 7:12am and the bus was leaving at 7:15.  The bus guy processed me as quickly as possible but I missed the bus by like one minute and the next bus wasn't leaving until 11am!  The same time the tourney was starting!  This is a bad sign, I thought.  But I don't really believe in signs, so I focused on what to do.  Hmmm.....

I called and woke up the unemployed Gary and told him about my problem.  He lives about an hour from Foxwoods and I knew I could get a train from South Station (where I was stranded) to a stop near him.  He and Tootsie figured out which train I should take and I'd be in his neck of the woods by 9:30am and in Foxwoods by 10:30am - plenty of time to make the tourney!  Yay!  Gary to the rescue.

Now normally I get a bit dolled up when I play poker, but this time I was underdressed.  Jeans, tank top and my faded black red sox hat.  I asked Gary what he thought of the new look.

"Oh you mead the hobo look?  You hit that nail on the head!"

"What??? You think I look like a bum" (not the look I was going for)

"Was hobo too much?  I'm officially sorry."

Another bad sign!  Missed the bus, and apparently I look like a hobo.  I should've just gone home and napped.  And fwiw I didn't look like a bum.  It was an 11am tourney - was I supposed to be in heels? 

I had Gary take a picture before the tourney started .Granted, after I saw this picture, I agree it's not my best look.

Hobo in a poker uniform

Long time readers know I always play tournaments in a low cut top poker uniform.  Why?  Because it 100% makes a difference.  Maybe not at the beginning of the tourney, but after a while it does.  Men can only think with one head at a time. 

This was a bounty tourney so every time you knocked someone out of the tourney you'd get $50.  By the first break I knocked two peeps out, which means I had 50% of my buy in back!  Woot!

I took out 2 short stacks at once when my KK ran into JJ and 10-10.  10-10 raised, JJ reraised and Mama reraised that.  Flop was 9 high and I jammed all in.  They both called me and out they went. 

And then I got so many bad beats I can't even tell you!  BTW I thought this tournament was going to have more players than it did.  All told there were 49 peeps and the prize pool was for the final 5.  Regardless of that though, I needed to make it to the final table.  If I reached the final table I'd get a something from Hoy.  Remember last time I got my blog linkage?  As I was playing I was contemplating what I'd ask request.  I was on track to make the final table even though I'd already had a few really bad beats.  AA lost vs. J-10...grrrrrr I jammed in TWICE and got called and lost to flushes made on the river.  TWICE. 

Anyway, fast forward a couple of hours and there are twelve of us left.  Final table is fore front as my goal.  I know what I want from Hoy and I'm gonna get it.  Except um, I'm kinda short stacked.  I get A-K of spades and raise to 6 times the BB.  BB is the kid to my left who seems like a total aggro playah.  He calls my big raise.  Flop is A-7-J rainbow.  He bets 3K.  I have 11K left so I hope for the best with tptk and jam all in.  He instacalls and says "I only have a 7".  Nice!  He flips over 7-9 spades.  My AK is spades too so I'm looking good.  7 on the river for trips and I'm was knocked out.  Total shock.  I can kind of understand that he had alot of chips in the pot so he was almost pot committed and I can also understand that he wanted the $50 bounty.  Normally I want this kind of action, but shit happens.

So I get knocked out and to decompress I put $20 into a video poker thingy.  After less than $10 minutes I hit a Royal Flush!  Woot.  I cashed out a few hands later up $200 from video poker.  Who knew? 

Tourney -200
Bounties +100
Video poker +200

I'm up $100 even though I didn't cash in the tourney.  After lunch courtesy of Gary, I hit the cash games.

To be continued........(and the ending isn't happy)

Play smart.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dare I?

A few facts you should know......

1.  My firm is still on summer hours, which means I have tomorrow off.
2.  I have a bit of a bankroll.  :)
3.  Tomorrow at Foxwoods there is an 11am, $200 NLH Bounty tournament.  10K in starting chips.
4.  And I have the day off!!! (see number 1)

So the question is, can LIGHTNING strike twice in the same place?  I'm thinking yes!  You know why?


And I've got mad skillz baby.  But just in case, wish me luck!  ;)

And when men start yelling at me, I'll ask.......

Foxwoods, The Sequel!  Stay tuned for the results.  Imma kick ass.

Play smart.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All Men Don't Suck

Not all the guys at Foxwoods were terrible.  The majority of them were nice and friendly.  There was this one guy Steve, who couldn't be nicer.  We played for hours together.  At one point, he offered me some candy from his Pez dispenser and then offered some to my sister who was sitting behind me.  She happily accepted.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that he had mint pez.  How cool is that?  When my sister told him she liked it, he told her to keep the whole thing, dispenser and all  Nice huh?

Anyway, I gave him one of my new poker cards that advertise this blog and he just sent me this email:

hi Josie....
its Steve...from the final table last the event you still don't remember, I am the one that gave you and your sister the
how are you? what place did you finish?
i just found your i thought i would email you and say hello...
when are you going back for another tournament? i will be at Mohegan sun for the Friday afternoon 200.00...and am thinking about tomorrow afternoon at foxwoods...
send my regards to your sister....i neglected to ask her, her apologies for that...what
look forward to hearing back from you and hopefully seeing you was a pleasure playing poker with you...
It reminded me that I met plenty of nice guys that day and I shouldn't focus on the douchy ones.  I can't make the tourneys he mentioned but I told him I'd definitely be back.
Speaking of my sister, I guess it's time for that sister post!
Since I had a room for two nights at Foxwoods, I asked my sister if she wanted to join me.  Actually the original plan was for both Evan and her to go.  Evan has never been to Foxwoods and he wanted to see it.  At first I thought they could hang out together while I was in the poker room but in the end I dumped the kid.  Why?  Because I thought 2 nights (3 days) when you're not allowed in the casino is just too long.  There isn't a heck of alot more to do.  Yeah they have an arcade, but I knew I'd be focused on playing and it just wasn't a good idea.  So instead it was a girl's weekend!
My sister is a hair dresser and a friend/client of hers was also going to be there!  This guy Mike, whose hair she cuts is a semi-professional poker player and he went to Foxwoods for the entire week of the MegaStack tourneys.  I'd only met Mike once before, about 10 years ago.
It was when I just started playing Texas Holdem and really didn't know what the hell I was doing.  Carmela told me about a poker game that was going on so I went.  I met Mike, I played HORRIBLY, and won all of his money.  I mean like cleaned house, while playing every hand I was dealt.  Playing hands like 2-8, J-3, stuff like that.  I remember ribbing him mercilessly about being to afraid to play a hand just because he was being selective.  Anyway, just thinking about how badly I played embarrasses me.  I was eager to meet him again to show him that I was a bit better now.
He was there to play the cash game almost exclusively.  He was there for a week and played only one tournament.  He lasted 9 hours but didn't cash and thought it a supreme waste of time.  He says cash games are more lucrative.
He was heading back to his room around the time we were heading back to ours after the tourney - my sister all excited that I won so much money and me, a freaking upset, seething, lunatic.  So we get back to the room and I'm still upset but Mike comes over for a visit, which was just what the doctor ordered.  Of course we get to talking and share our tales of misery.  Funny thing is, as miserable as we were, both of us were up alot of money.  Heh.  He's my sister's friend, but we were discussing alot of my hands ad nauseum, and he knew some of those assholey guys too.  He said they were regulars.  Before I knew it, I got comfy in bed, (I was tired!) chatting away with Mike who's sitting on my bed with me.  And this is a shy, quiet guy, and my sister is on her bed twiddling her thumbs, like what's going on?  He's a smart guy and a fountain of information.
We (sis and me) got to talking and thought "If we want to stay another night, we can always stay in Mike's room!  He has 2 double beds and he's only using one.  We can share the other!"  So we're talking about this and then I say - We can't do it!  No Way!!!

Why, you ask?
A couple of months ago, sis and I were shopping and there were these cute cotton nighties on sale for like $5.  Except they weren't all that cute - they were blue striped - but you know, only 5 bucks so what the hell.  We both ended up buying one each.
Fast forward to the weekend - we both brought the same nightie!  We could NOT show up, invite ourselves to stay, and then go to bed in twin matching nighties - that's too weird!  He would've been like wtf!
I couldn't believe we both brought the same damn one with us.  Now just for the sake of my blog, my sister agreed to take a picture in the nighties, just for the total visual effect.
This is a horrible picture of me, but for the sake of my blog....

I don't know if you can tell by the picture, but my sister has blue eyes and her hair's wet but she has light brown hair - and she's like 5 inches taller than me and 5 years older.  I say this because I was playing a cash game Friday night and this Asian man was asking me if my big fake ring was real, and how he could buy me a real one(sure he could) when my sister came by.  The Asian guy says "Are you twins?  You look like twins".  And immediately another guy at the table said "No they don't!"

Of course my sister LOVED THIS.  Because people are always asking us who is older.  :(  I wouldn't mind so much but I'm FIVE YEARS YOUNGER.  I hope it's because she looks young, not because I look old. 

So having a hairdresser in house is a good thing.  Sister could do my hair!  She bestowed alot of pain on me for like a half hour doing this and doing that - putting my hair up like I was going to the prom.  OMFG.  See below....

After all that work and pain, I took the whole thing down, brushed my hair and left, without regard to my sister's advice.  But before I did, sis wanted to take a picture of her handiwork.  Fine whatever!  But see how I'm posed there?  I was like just take the picture and she said NO.  Look at the phone - I want to take your pic while you're looking at the phone, that will be a good angle for you.


Except it's not!  I don't have a big nose but in that pic above I sure look like I do!

My sister gives lots of advice - some of it good, some of it, not so much.  She had a special bit of poker advice for me.  Advice that would lead me to win, she assured me.

"Hold your thumb in your other hand and pinch it."


"Hold your thumb in your hand and pinch it - throughout the entire game. Like this!" 

"Ouch, what the hell are you doing?"
"The pain will remind you to keep your mind on the game".

I told her I couldn't do that.  I'd look like an ass hold my thumb all day - lol, but she kept insisting that I do this.  For hours.  Even during the tourney.  At one point she came up behind me while I was playing and I felt a big pinch.  WTF!

"I got this for you", she said.

It was a shard of plastic.  ROFL Like a broken bit of a hard plastic glass.  "Use this to pinch yourself with!  Then you won't have to hold your thumb."

My response?

"I'm writing all about this on my blog!"
Carmela rocks!

Play smart, or pinch yourself while you're playing.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaky Shaky

There was an Earthquake!

I work in a 10 story building in Boston.  About an hour ago the entire building started shaking.  ALOT.  At first I thought it was me but no, the office plants also seemed to be dancing to a beat.

I think the Earthquake was in Virginia.  Heff, I hope you're okay!  I guess that means there wasn't a quake in Boston, but damn I could feel it.  I'm on the seventh floor and I was thinking "oh crap, this isn't good".


Final Table, Foxwoods 8/19/11

Around midnight we make it to the final table.  We get a short break while combining tables which is nice as we'd been playing since 11am.  For the first time, I'm at the same table as the chip leader who has amassed a huge stack of chips.  I thought my stack was big!  I'm in the 3 seat and he's in the 5 seat and I tread very carefully and doing fine, while peeps start jamming and getting tossed from the game.  The blinds are huge, 25K-50K with 5K antes so there are lots o chips in the middle.  Guys are jamming with mediocre hands and getting called.

Fast forward a bit and we are down to 5 people.  I'm still second in chips.  I was in the 3 seat, a decent sized stack was in the 4 seat and the chip leader was in the 5 seat. I never played with the chip leader until the final table btw. Blinds were 25k-50K with 5K antes. I'm on the button with A-Q sooted and everyone folds around to me. I make a standard raise to 150K. I didn't want to go crazy because the chip leader was the BB and I hadn't been in a pot with him yet. I'd been avoiding situations that could hurt me. SB jammed all in and the BB folded. Now every fucking time I even vaguely considered calling an all in I'd get a chip count, but not this time. I glanced at his pretty big stack and instacalled, like a fucking idiot.

To my credit, there had been alot of jams at the final table with mediocre hands at best. With Ace ten, K-10 shiat like that. But regardless, there was no fucking reason on earth to risk my huge stack. All I can say is I was tired and feeling pressure. So I called and I was up against A-K. Fuck me. King was on the flop and I doubled him up.
He had a helluva lot more chips than I thought he did. The dealer was a novice who didn't speak english well. She started matching his stacks against my stacks. She brought in his stack of 5k chips and matched mine up against his. Let's say for arguments sake his stack was 5 inches high and mine was 8 inches. She took the additional 3 inches off of mine and put them in the other guys general area, like they were his. With the remaining 2 even 5k stacks, she divided them and gave one to him and one to me, like it was a split pot. Right when she gave him my extra 5K chips I said 'Hey, those were mine!" and she agreed, but she was like in a fog, not really understanding what was going on, and then the guy said they were his. I said they weren't. I had more fucking chips than him and he knew it but he started screaming and yelling. The guys in the 8 & 9 seats agreed they were his. omfg. Floor came over and asked dealer to explain it and she couldn't, so all the guys at the table yelled out their version. In the end floor woman said more men agreed with the asshole so those chips were his. I cannot tell you how upset I was at this point. upset about the needless donkey call and upset that I was getting royally screwed. I asked for ANOTHER floor person to come down but I was refused. So the guy gets MY 5k chips and then he says, now match them. you have to match all of my chips. OMFG - I just got fucked again. yep, I had to use most of my left over 25k chips to match those extra 5k chips. How I didn't cry in frustration at the table I'll never know, but I didn't.  Then a few hands later that dealer and that same guy fucked me again - at least he tried to. Again, it was my call that lead to my demise, not the dealer error and the guy's dishonesty, so it's me not him. One bad call after fucking hours of good spot on calls and reads.

So let's fast foward to the next fucking, shall we?

So 5 peeps still left and now I'm severly shortstacked. I'm trying my damnest to wait for a decent hand to jam with and not be too impatient. I know once I do, most of these guys will call me. I run out of chips - blinds 25k - 50k with a 5k ante. I'm in the BB with 45K left - 5k for the ante and 40K for my bb, which is short. The asshole is first to act and he makes it like 200K everyone folds and I'm automatically all in becuase I'm short, so I turn over my hand which is K-3 sooted. Okay. He turns over his hand - Q-10. Everyone looks at both hands - I think I have a decent chance to stay alive, and then.............................

before the flop, the dealer picks up my two exposed cards and puts them in the muck!

 "What are you doing?" I yell. I'm all in!!! She said she thought I folded. OMFG

Not the end of the world, I ask for my cards back and then World War 3 happens. The guy with all my chips starts screaming that my cards hit the muck so they're dead, he wins and I'm out! Screaming and yelling like I don't remember anyone ever screaming at me. I stay calm and say, you saw my cards, you know what they are, I want to play this out.

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he screams - no fucking way - they hit the muck, blah blah blah. What an asshole. The dealer KNOWS what my cards were and it wasn't a matter of me protecting them, they were flipped over! Now every guy on the table is yelling and arguing as to whether I should get my cards back. Clock's stopped again. Floor comes over again. And 20 minutes later they allow me to play the hand.She turns over the flop and first card shown is a 10. Guy turns to me and says "That's what you get!" then she shows the other two flop cards and one of them is a king. I double up.

Still severly shortstacked I went onto play long enough for another guy to get knocked out and I slid into 4th.
But really what an asshole he was. Couldn't play poker like a gentlemen - fuck he doesn't have to be a gentleman, how about a human? I'd never do that to someone else, but that's me.
I was so pissed off when I finally got knocked out. My sister was doing the happy dance "oh you won 4k!" let's celebrate, let's take pics of your money. I WAS SEETHING.  I was too pissed off to even talk, never mind take pics because I couldn't smile!!!!!   She kept trying to cheer me up but I was just crushed.

Now no matter if Im itm or not, it takes me a bit of time to recover from being knocked out - but this. It's all I've thought about the last few days - I need to get over it and just enjoy the win I had, but it's tough.  I'm almost there now.

Oh and I won $4,177!

Play smart.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Poker Tourney at Foxwoods 8/19/11

No chicken dinner here, but we do have a winnner...

The tourney started at 11am.  I was staying at Two Trees, which isn't far but somehow I was running a little late.  I got to my table right before the first hand was dealt but that left me no time to find Hoy, who I knew was there.  I looked around but didn't really know who I was looking for.

The game started four handed.  Although I planned on not limping or playing many pots, because of the short table I just had to.  First few hands I limped into resulted in folding after the flop.  Blah.  Exactly what I didn't want to do.  Soon enough the table filled up though.

There was one woman who played extremely tight but hit a few monsters and she was the early chip leader at my table.  She was a clapper.  She'd clap in delight every time she won a pot.  And she won alot of them.  Play was pretty uneventful until I limped with 3-6 sooted hearts.  Flop had a 2 hearts, 4 hearts and a picture card.  Guy to my left bet min and I called with my flush and inside straight draw.  I did also have a straight flush draw.  Turn was a blank so this time I bet out a little short of the pot just to see his reaction.

Fuck, his reaction was a call.  Didn't I say I wasn't going to limp in alot of pots?  What was I doing in this hand?

River was a 5 of hearts.  Bing!  Straight flush baby!  I didn't want to scare the fishie away so I bet 1,200 which was less than my previous bet.  I was trying to convey "I have crap but want to appear that I'm throwing out a value bet."  His response?

"All in!"

I couldn't believe my luck, but then I thought "This is really a straight flush isn't it?  I don't like to check my cards after I'm in a hand but in this case I did.  I did a quick double check and  yep, I had it.

"I call!"  I sung out and turned over my straight flush.  He had the K-10 of hearts for a nice flush, but not as nice as my hand so I doubled up.  I went into the first break with 28K in chips. (we started with 15k)  I went over to chat with Hoy who was doing okay but not great.  He wasn't short stacked by any means but said he just wasn't feeling it today.  He felt a bit rusty from not playing online.

Back to the action.  I taking down my share of pots with  my usual MO until I decided to limp with crap again.  I limped with 4-6 this time.

Flop was 4-4-2.  Bing!  I checked, check, check and then the clapper who only played with a good hand bet out.  Of course I called and we were heads up.  Turn brought a jack and I made a big bet, more than the pot.  I think about 2,500.

She called.

Not good.  I hadn't seen her call and lose yet but we'd only been playing a couple of hours and she hadn't played many pots.  River was a 5.  Just to be safe I checked - I had trips and all but I had a bad feeling.  She, however didn't.  She bet out 1,500.  What to do?  I called with my 4-6 and she turned over 4-5 for a full house.  Fucking river!  I just lost about 20% of my stack!  I then clamped down and all the limping and looking were over.  I played Josie Poker.  I tightened up, put my head phones and sunglasses on and just watched.  When I had a hand there was no checking or calling.

I won most of my chips back and by the 2nd break I 25K.  Not as much as at the first break but well above average which was 20K at that time.  I used the 10 minute breaks and the average stack posting to my advantage.  Instead of trying to win the tourney I tried to meet small goals by each break.  I exceeded these goals at every break, I'm happy to say.  I was never shortstacked and never had less than the average stack.  NEVER.  Pretty amazing if you ask me.

Hoy was out of the tourney before the third break and at dinner break he was heading home.  He's such a sweet guy, it's hard to believe he's an attorney!  I spent half my dinner break chatting with him and then the second half trying to eat quickly and get back to the poker room on time.

Back to the play.  The biggest part of my game play and the most successful part was stealing the dead money in the pot.  Antes started pretty early and there were lots of chips up for grabs.  Someone had to get them so why not me?  At this point I was a bit of a force to be reckoned with and I could tell who was trying to avoid the big stack (me).  Those people got their blinds raised ad nauseum.  80% of the time it worked, which means SUCCESS!

I got moved from table 2 seat 1 to table 5 seat 1.  Except for the final table, I spent the entire tournament at seat 1.  At my new table the guys in seats 2 and 3 were instantly in love (and a bit of fear), as were the guys in seats 6 and 7.  The others hated me.  Too bad the shorties were the nice guys.  I took their blinds as I gave them compliments.  :)  The guy in seat 3 was from Virginia and he was a sweetheart.  I decided to raise with the grump (2-4) and for the first time he defended his blind.  Flop missed me but I bet out.  He called.  We both checked the turn and I bet the river hard.

He thought for a long while and finally he said "Just this once.  Please!  I'm going to fold but please, PLEASE, can I see what you have?"  He'd been so nice to me for hours...showing me pictures of his dogs and offering me jewelry when I complimented him on his 8 DIAMOND RINGS AND 4 THICK GOLD CHAINS.  "I'll buy one for you little lady if you stick with me."  Apparently he's loaded as he said he's won 750K in casinos this year.

"I'll just win them off you" was my response.  He kept telling me how nice I was and I kept telling him that I wasn't nice, I was mean, he should be running in the opposite direction.  Later on he whispered to me "You're lying about not being a nice person, even if you try to cover it up."

Anyway, we'd bonded and as much as I hated to, I showed him my 4 high winner.  Of course once you show a hand like that, making those kinds of plays are over.  I couldn't do it again....for a few hours anyway.  It worked to my advantage though because I got a little action, which was AWESOME.

The dude in seat 4 was a sour puss.  I flopped a nut flush draw, bet out and he called.  Turn was another heart for my nut flush.  I bet a huge bet - 150K.  He thought for a looooooong time and called.  River was harmless enough and I had the nuts.  What to do?  Value bet, check or all in?

The pot was humungous.  I was tempted to check the river, act weak and disgusted to see if he'd try to buy the pot.  I was leaning toward that but the guy was such an idiot I decided ALL IN!

He thought for a long time but folded.  The hand was over and I'd won AGAIN.  Now my chip stack was sooo  much bigger than everyone elses it was ridiculous.  The guy in seat 10 motioned to me behind the dealers back.  (I was in seat 1) He said "I just want you to know that I informed the floor about your play and they're coming over."

"What's wrong?"

"You have your cards to the right of your chips, they need to be in front of your chips.  You can get a penalty for that."

Wtf?  "Will they spank me?" I asked

Now here's what was going on....see the chips below?

I kept my cards to the right of this stack but that's a no no.

He wanted my cards in front of my stack but see how close the play line is to my stack?  Plus as I explained to the guy, my arms are short, I could barely reach the cards and they'd be almost in the muck there.  (Not to mention that I had to stay out of the dealer's way who didn't leave me alot of room.)

"That's your problem" was his answer.

Plus I had the seat 2 guy all up against me.  It was a crowded 10 man table.  Of course the floor guy came over and explained my offense and suggested I protect my cards very carefully because I was playing so close to the dealer as well as so close to the play line.

I had to then keep my cards where I couldn't really reach them.  Fucker.  The floor guy came back soon enough and brought 25K chips just for me to reduce the size of my stack and make it easier to play around.  But you know, the guy that complained about me wasn't even in a hand with me, which I pointed out to him.

"Yes, but at some point I will be in a hand with you and your cards have to be in front of your chips or I'll say you're all in." 

"Too bad you can't win by playing good poker huh?"

Mind you every exchange we had was YELLED to me.  He yelled and screamed and yelled again, yet I never raised my voice.  I couldn't understand why he was so angry.  I kept joking and he kept yelling.  Ironically, he and I were NEVER in a hand together.  Any pot I was in, I raised and he never played along.

30 peeps were itm and we getting close.  We were down to 34 peeps with huge blinds and antes and no one was playing.   No one except me.  I was using the opportunity to pick up tons of chips until the bubble broke.  I knew the shorties were trying to last itm so of course I jammed all in against a shortie in the BB.  I don't remember what I had but it wasn't great.  He went in the tank for a loooong time and finally decided to fold his Q-Q face up.  The table (and me) was shocked.  The guy in seat 10 yelled "If you have QQ and you're short you go all in.  There's nothing to think about!"  I tend to agree....yet, the same shortie got AA a couple hands later, jammed with it and won.  Actually, the shortie made it to the final table as well, so conservative worked for him. 

 When the bubble finally broke, I think the average stack was about 130K.  I had about 500K.

Let's stop for a moment and talk about bounties.  This was a bounty tournament.  Knock a donkey out and get $50 for your trouble.  I got precious few bounties which is totally unlike me.  The thing is, the chips were alot more valuable that fifty bucks and whenever one person was all in 5 or 6 would call him in the hope of picking up his bounty.  I just don't like those odds for a substantial amount of chips so I didn't join them, and then I'd watch the flop and think "Fuck, why didn't I call too?"  What can you do?  I was there for alot more than $50.  Plus my unspoken rule for this particular game was "Push all in as much as you want but DO NOT CALL ALL IN." 

If you're the one doing the jamming you can win two ways...everyone folds and you win, or someone calls and you win with the best hand.  If you're calling an all in the first way is out the window, plus you never know what you're up against.  I kept to that rule until the last half hour of the game.

The other rule I stuck to was to only play against stacks shorter than me.  Early on this was key to staying in and amassing a stack.  If you have a pistol do you want to fight against a guy with pocket knife or a guy with a machine gun?  I'm not saying the pocket knife won't hurt but the machine gun can blow you to hell!  

Listen to Auntie Josie! 

I have two more posts in about the final table and one about my lovely sister who was with me.   Any preference on which comes next? 

Play smart.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm back!

Take a look at that stack! 
The oranges are 1,000 chips, the purples, $5,000 and on top of those orange chips are my green $25,000 chips. 

I just got home from my Foxwoods tournament and I have soooo much to tell you!  There was alot of controversy and yelling and screaming (not by me!) at the end, so we have alot of ground to cover my friends.  For now I'll give you the highlights.

I went down with my crazy sister Cricket, who deserves a separate post of her own.  Lynne never came down, but guess who did?  Hoyazo!  It was the first time I'd ever met him and I didn't know what he looked like.  Maybe an hour or so into the game I looked up and there was this hunka hunka burning love in a Phillies t-shirt waving to me.  Had to be him, right? Unfortunately even though he and I played in the same tourney, we were never at the same table, nor were we even in shouting distance of each other.  I would've loved to be the one to take his bounty.  Heh.

Now I like Hoy but there's one thing about him that kinda pisses me off.  I'M NOT ON HIS BLOG ROLL!  I've asked him 4,177 times more than once to add me, but that always fell on deaf ears.  I decided to try once more.

"I need a little incentive to win this tourney.  How about if I make it to the final table you add me to your blog roll?  It'll take you 3 minutes and don't say no!"

"Alright, you final table and I'll add you." he agreed although I got the feeling he only agreed because he thought 'no way in heck she's gonna do that.'


Swing by HOY'S PLACE to see me, VERY JOSIE, on his blog roll.  Someone should've told him it was only a matter of time.  You do not say no to Very Josie, right Jordan?

There were about 290 peeps in this deep stack bounty event and I came in 4th.  4th baby!!!!!!!  I was actually on course to win the whole thing.  I was NEVER short stacked through the whole event but I made one bad call/decision after 14 hours of playing and went from 2nd in chips to the shortie.

Game started at 11am and 14 hours later I was knocked out at about 1am.  That's a loooooong day of ups and downs and alot of men yelling at me - more than I've ever experienced in my life.  More on that later though but I must say, it was the closest I ever got to crying in a casino - BUT I DIDN'T.  I think I was just over tired and overwhelmed and I let them get to me.  By "them" I mean the regulars at Foxwoods. It seemed that there were regulars and nonregulars.  The nonregulars loved me, but the others not so much.  Once I got the chip lead I pretty much ran roughshod over the table and they didn't like it. 

Here's the results though:

Click on picture to read details of the win

Yes, you read that correctly!  4th place and $4,177.  4th out of 290 players.  Not to shabbay.
You may have read about the deal I cut with Gary before the tourney.  He paid 1/3 of my buyin to receive 1/3 of my winnings less my expenses.  Yeah, maybe I should've capped his earnings potential like I usually do but this time I didn't.

Why?  I frigging worked him like a dog to create poker business cards to my exact specifications and he did.  Plus he took me to the doctor when I was sick so I'm glad he's getting lots of money.

I have so many hands to tell you about and so many guys to tell you about.  I shiat you not in the 14 hours I played poker I got an offer of jewelry, two dinner invitations and a few other kinds of invitations I'm too much of a lady to discuss.  I just don't understand how me kicking your ass at poker is attractive but I'm not complaining.  Men are funny.  Half of them forgot we were there to fight for money, not date.  The other half; they remembered why we were there and didn't like me one bit. Fuck 'em.
Big poker recap to come. 

In the mean time, play smart.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Okay so I haven't gone yet.  I'm in work in Boston but I'm leaving early! (as soon as my sister gets here) And then it's a road trip to FOXWOODS.  Anyone with balls care to join us?  Huh punk?  I'm talking to YOU.

Speaking of people with no balls, Gary has opted not to join us, although he's staking me for 1/3 of my buy-in. So for a hundred bucks, he could win nothing, a few grand, or something in between.  He's put alot of time, effort, sweat and tears into the making of my business cards, so he deserves this.  I just hope I can make it happen.  I know I can make it happen.

And let me tell you, dealing with me isn't easy.  I knew exactly what I wanted the cards to look like, but no idea how to make it a reality.  Gary would do a draft and it would be close but not exact so it was back to the drawing board again and again.  At the very end, the whole thing had to be redone one more time.  lol  It's done now though.

So why isn't he going to Foxwoods to watch his horse win the race?  I have no idea but I suspect Mrs. Gary forbade him from doing so.  I could be wrong though.  Mebbe he doesn't want an hour drive nor to play in the cash game.  Mebbe it's cuz he doesn't like my sister!  No that's not it, he leers at her giant rack whenever he gets the chance (and then calls me flat chested).  Who knows!

All I know is in five hours I am outa here!  I'm not bringing my lap top with me so tune in on Monday to read all about it.  I am bringing a small notebook and will be recording lots of details.

Play smart.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blast from the Past

Below is the first poker post I ever wrote.  I wrote it as a guest blogger on Hurricane Mikey's site.  Remember him?  It got such a positive response on his site that I decided to attempt my own little poker blog.  I reposted this on Very Josie on Feb. 25, 2010.  I figure if The Crafty Southpaw is recycling old posts, why shouldn't I?  If you haven't read it before, please enjoy.  It has a happy ending.  ;) 

Just over the Massachusetts/New Hampshire border is the Seabrook Poker Room in Seabrook, NH. It’s about 40 minutes from my house and I play there maybe every two months. They have sit n goes, tourneys and cash games. I came up to play the 1pm $150 tournament.

First let me tell you that most of the guys that play there fall into two categories. Older men in their mid 50’s thru mid 80’s and they are in there all time. I dunno if they’re in there playing every day, but I know they’re definitely in there every week. I always see the same faces, regardless of which day I’m there. The other type of player there is the young guy, wearing his ear buds and sunglasses, and thinks he’s all that. Those two categories make up 90% of the players.

Like I said, I’ve played there in the past and have come in the money more than a few times.
I don’t know if this is typical of larger poker rooms, but these men always want to split winnings and never play to the end. Heck they start talking about splitting when it’s down to 5 players. About 6 months ago, we were in the money there were 4 of us left, I was the chip leader and they all wanted a straight split. Um, no. I said let’s play until we’re even and then talk about splitting and maybe let’s wait until we’re down to 3 or 2 people. Anyway, the place closes at midnight, and at this point it felt like the other 3 guys were ganging up on me (all regulars) and insisting I split. It’s about 11:30pm anyway and one of the guys tells me the place will be closing down soon anyway. I decide he’s right and I split. Here’s the thing. I later found out that even though the place closes at midnight if there is a final table in progress they’ll let you keep playing till at least 1am. Needless to say I was a little bitter about that. Nobody told me the guy was handing me a line, not even the dealer. This place is very close knit – and I guess I don’t play enough to be considered a regular, plus I KNOW the woman thing is a factor – with a few of these guys anyway.
Okay, fast forward to the 1pm tournament. Usually when I play there, people do remember me because I’m tight but aggressive, and like to have fun at the table. First 45 minutes go by pretty uneventfully. I usually spend the first hour doing two things; people watching and blind stealing. I like to monitor people’s betting habits. People are creatures of habit. They just can’t help it. So in that first hour I’m identifying who’s tight, who can’t let go of a hand, and I’m only in a hand if I’ve got the goods. Don’t get me wrong, in that first hour I’ll try to steal as many blinds as I think I can get away with, but if I get called and I miss the flop, I’m outa there.

Before the first break, I get my first break. J, 10 suited. I flop a pair of jacks and a flush draw. I make a big bet and I get a call (oh my). There are two people in the hand – me and this middle aged biker chick. The turn comes and it’s a diamond. I hit my flush and I check. Biker chick goes all in. Shit. Either she’s representing a flush because I acted weak by checking or maybe she has a higher flush. I think about it for a while and say puck it, I call. She hadn’t impressed me with her play up till then, but then again, anyone can have two higher diamonds – with skills or without. I call. She has Big Slick but no diamond. It was a total bluff and I get a nice influx of chips right before the break.

Then I get moved to another table….start chatting with the dealer and I tell him he’s my fave dealer (can’t hurt right?) then he gets tapped and leaves. The next dealer gives me a full boat, and I take out another person. I tell the dealer he’s my favorite dealer…and this gets a big chuckle from the table. At this table there are about 3 older guys, 3 young ones and I forget who else. The old guy to my left, tells me I remind him of his ex-wife and she’s dead. I tell him I’m sorry and he says don’t be. He says “I have two ex-wives and they’re both dead. The first one died of mushroom poisoning and the second one died of a hit to the head…..because she wouldn’t eat the mushrooms! Do you like mushrooms?”
He’s playing to my left and has made it his business to try to steal my pots and over bet. I wait and wait till I have big slick. Iconnect with the ace on the flop and hurt him badly. He’s pissed. He tells me “You’re like a snake. Snakes lick and then they bite. I know you bite but do you lick?” I said buddy, if you want to find that you, you’re gonna have to buy me dinner first. Laughter at the table and the mood lightens. I’m easily the chip leader at my table but I don’t know where I stand in the tourney. They update the average stack about every half hr, but it’s hard to see.
Dealer changes again. New guy and he seems nice. I win a quick little pot and I say “You’re my favorite dealer!” All the guys start laughing and say “she says that to all the dealers, don’t believe her”. I tell the guy he could be my real favorite if he gives me AA. Then the old guy to the left pipes up and says “She licks you know, maybe she’ll lick you”. The poor dealer turns red, and I ask the dealer if the old coot is allowed to talk to me like that. Old coot says I wasn’t talking to you I was talking to the dealer. Ugh. I tighten up and wait. No matter what I play he’s raising and I know half the time he has shit, but I’m just waiting for the one time when I have something great and it happens. I flop a straight and he flops top pair. I bet, he raises and I go all in. He insta-calls and I show him my straight. Turn comes and it matches the board…he’s got two pair, but thank God, there was no house made on the river. He’s out. He starts with the f-bombs and tells me how lucky I am and how lucky I’ve been in the whole tourney. I say it was lucky to be sitting next to him.
Fast forward to final table. 8 places are in the money and there are 10 of us in the final table. We take money off of first and 2nd place so everyone’s a winner. Short stacks do the suicidal jump, and we’re down to 5. I have more than double everyone else and they wanna split. NO. Now we’re down to 4. Three men and I and all three men are named Brian. For real. How wacky is that? There’s a nice Brian, mean brian, and a forgettable brian. They wanna split!! I say talk to me when we’re even. Mean brian says he can have me out of the tourney in 5 hands, having more than double the chips doesn’t matter. To a certain extent I agree, but I’ve been playing good, the poker gods are with me so no thanks. Besides, I like my odds heads up, first place is $1,800 and I really wanna buy a sectional sofa…which I can do with $1,800. I tell this to the Brians and they say split and you can still buy a sofa (I never bought the sofa, at least not YET). To mean Brian, I say get close to my chip stack and we’ll talk. Nice brian is just happy to be there. Playing nice, tight and predictably. Nice Brian goes all in preflop and I’m looking down at JJ. I gotta take a chance so I call. NB has ace ten and doesn’t connect. It’s down to me and the meanie. The meanie is young. So 2nd place is $1,000 and if we split it’s $1,400 but I’m not interested in giving this guy $400. We keep playing and I start going all in more often than I should, and steal steal steal. Then I get Pocket Kings and do the same thing, all in baby. He decides this is the hand and calls me with a K,J and it’s over!
Ohhhh I forgot to mention that The tourney took about 10 hrs to play and for about 3 of those hours I was sitting next to this other guy, who was like the mayor. Literally 7 different men came over, said hello and massaged this guys shoulders – every one of them. After his 3rd massage I said dude, all these guys come over and massage your shoulders, what’s your secret? It happened again and again and we’d laugh about it every time. He was a nice older guy whos wife was playing at another table. Anyway, after he was out of the tourney he stayed to watch, was really nice and supportive and actually came and massaged my shoulders every half hour! Sooo nice. Not a creepy massage – just being a nice guy. He’s a definite regular and we became friends that day. When it was over he gave me a hug and said he was impressed with my play.
Awww, I still remember that old man that hugged me when I won.  Too bad I haven't gotten any hugs from THIS OLD MAN.
Countdown: 1 day to Foxwoods!  I'm going with my sister Cricket who's picking me up early Thursday at the office so we can avoid Boston rush hour. 2 days to my big tourney!  and 4 days to my birthday.  :(  I'll be going from my early forties to my mid forties.  Yes, I consider 44 to be early forties and 45 to be mid.
More often than not when I'm playing a tournament I'm doing it on my own.  Lone wolf, as Alan from The Hangover would say, but this trip will be different.  My sister will be there, a lesbian or two from my poker league, and even a couple bloggers may show up.  Should be different!
Play smart.