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!
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