Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Limit and NL hold'em tournies

I came back to Tony's and crashed Monday. The kids woke me up and I played games out in the yard with them. I even tricked Mickey into doing yard work by telling him the sticks we were piling up were guns we were collecting for our "battle." After Sunday's 15 hour session, it was time for a break.

I rose early Tuesday to head over to Foxwoods. I'm not a fan of the 10 a.m. start time for the World Poker Finals events. Please let us sleep in. I wasn't going to sleep in anyway, not with a 4 and 7 year old in this house. So Julia woke me at about 7:30 to go play cards with her. Tony has been teaching her a little Texas hold'em and she managed to beat both of us the other day when we all played. She came within one card of beating me a second time, but I sucked out on her. I am such a fish like that. Perhaps it didn't bode well for my tournament future that I could barely beat a 7 year old.

I got to Foxwoods with 15 minutes to spare and grabbed my seat surrounded by three guys with sunglasses for this LIMIT tournament. Sunglasses in limit, I just don't get it. There weren't many interesting hands for me other than the one I mucked. I picked up pocket kings in the small blind and four bet preflop. An ace flopped and I was called in two places. I checked the turn and folded the river to a bet. Yes, rather than call a guy for 200 with a nearly 2,000 pot at stake I folded and didn't look him up. I agonized over that one for awhile, wondering what he had.

The most amusing aspect of the day was being moved to a new table with the guy who busted me out on the bubble last year, Dave from Virginia. He rivered trips to put me out 42 when they paid the top 40 (see last year for more details on that.) I also spotted Spiro, a restauranteur from Massachusetts that I played most of last year's LHE with and talked with him. Great guy. Dave did not recognize me initially, but finally recalled our entanglement from the year before. He nearly busted me out again, leaving me short stacked and letting the other wolves finish me off. The guy who bet when I had the kings put me out and shared his secret. He merely had JJ on the hand I folded. Great, what a fish I am. If I make that call I probably sit at 2,500 at that point in the tournament, but instead I'm walking up to the poker room to find a cash game.

I spot Ann as I walk to the queing area. She smiles and says hello, but it doesn't seem like the smile of one who is enamored with another. I'm just one of the crowd it seems. I sit in a 20-40 game because the line is much shorter. Twenty minutes later I wonder if I really did just lose $500. It was like a repeat of last year, except the money disappeared more quickly this time. If you lose to pair over pair and kicker over kicker, it doesn't take long for major stack erosion in 20-40. I cower to a 10-20 seat that has finally opened up and see some familiar faces from the days before. The conversation inevitably turns to the "blonde with the green hat" who every guy in the poker room seems to be talking about.

"She's cute, sweet and a poker degenerate," one man says. "What's not to like?"

After I'm moved to another table, another guy, Dick, walks over to talk to Ann after hearing all the talk about her.

"I've got to see what she looks like," he says.

He comes back with a report, "I told her these guys were saying nice things about her and she asked if it was Donnie." Oh great, that's me, Donnie...

Dick, quite the fun goofball, goes over to talk with her several times, trying to invite her over. Ann finally comes to chat with us and says she's going to join our game, but never does. Meanwhile, there was actually poker played at our table and I actually managed to win, $570 in all.

I wanted to use those funds to buy into the $565 NLHE on Wednesday, but I faced a problem -- it's now 1:30 a.m., the tournament registation was closed and there should be mammoth lines in the morning after registration reopens at 7 a.m. And, oh yeah, my gas tank is sitting on empty and I don't know where the nearest 24 hour gas station is. So I get my car from the valet, pull it into a self parking lot and lean the seat back. I've never slept in a car before and I intend not to again if I can help it. I tried the driver's seat, the shotgun seat, the back seat. None of it was working too well in the cramped Dodge Neon. I finally managed to doze off for 20-minute segments, waking up stiff and sore. This continued for about four hours before the dawn broke.

I drove the car off to gas it up and came back to get in line to sign up. There were already a few dozen in line at 6:40 a.m. Back in the poker room, Ann was still going at it in the 10-20 game. I joked with her that she must never sleep.

There were a couple of interesting hands in the tournament. I've posted some info on RGP and will add to this post later. The end result was that I busted out in the third level. It was not my day, or my week for that matter. The winner will get $160,000 and change. Not bad for a $565 investment. All it takes is that one time and I'll be set, but considering how I played this week (especially in the LHE event) I don't deserve to win.

I saw Ann playing 10-20 still before I left the poker room, her back turned to me. I thought I might walk over and say goodbye, but I pictured two dozen other guys doing the same thing. So I didn't for fear of seeming like the blubbering idiot. I quietly walked out of the room for the final time during this trip. I had earlier given her a business card with this blog on it so if you're reading this Ann, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at jkampis@hotmail.com. Either way, it was nice to meet you. It was the most fun I've ever had playing poker. I may be a blubbering idiot, but at least I'm a sincere blubbering idiot.

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