Saturday, May 29, 2004

A night at The Borgata 

Late Thursday night during the weekly booze-fest, I managed to convince Lewey that we should hit the Borgata Friday. I wanted a shot at their NL game. If I want to improve my NL play, I should at least start playing it live, no?

Plus, since I didn't have the bankroll to play on Friday, Lewey and BigMike decided they would 'invest' in me. wackoos. Don't they read the blog?

Lewey picked me up bright and early at 9am on Friday and we hit the road. We walked into the poker room at the Borgata at 11:39am. (I know this because I took notes like a good blogger should).

The list for the NL table was huge and not moving since they only had one table. I decided to hop on a 2/4 table while waiting for my NL seat. Sort of like batting practice before the game. Just to reiterate, I HATE LIMIT. That's why I went with the small table. Lewey decided he was going donate buy-in to the 3/6 game.

My table was actually very friendly and fun. It almost felt like a home game. For awhile, I was just hovering around my buy-in. No big hands. Just hanging around. (I did have a huge pot when I had JT in BB and flopped the Broadway, UTG had a J and a T hit on the river so we had to split it. D'oh)

Then the main reason why I hate limit. My pocket AA got cracked by T6o when the old fart in seat 9 kept check/calling until he got a set of 10's. Not a good omen.

Then a beautiful run. Starting with T5 in BB and I flopped a boat. Then 4 straight hands with pocket pairs and they all held up. 33 caught a set on the flop and made a boat on the turn. KK caught a set on the flop. 66 caught a set on the flop. 44 I bet and everyone folds to my raise. I showed the 4's to the table to prove that I caught 'em again. When I folded the next hand, the whole table cheered.

Then Lewey the Loose moves over to the 2/4. The 3/6 table was nice enough to print up a receipt so he could write off his donation.

I didn't get to play very much with Lewey because shortly after he sat down, I was called for the NL game. I did beat him once head's up with my AT vs. his KT.


No-Limit at the Borgata. 60min/300max buy-in, 1/2 blinds. I sat down in seat 3 with my nice rack of chips and bought in more to get me to 300. Cranky, losing guy (CLG) in seat 8 made the dealer count my stack twice to make sure I didn't have a dollar over 300. You, first on my list for disposal.

I made a mistake early on with an older Asian gentleman in seat 6. He had just sat down, so I didn't have any kind of read on him and I made a move at a pot. He called me down and kicked the crap out of me. File OAG away for later.

An interesting point for discussion. The old guy in seat 5 looked exactly like Carl Reiner. I kept wanting to call him Saul Bloom. He would only keep 60 on the table at any point. He got in a argument with a lovely gentleman with a Yankees cap on. Ol' Saul kept all his chips in a rack sitting on the table rail in front of him but only 60 on the table. I was always told that chips in the rack are not in play either way. He can't use them, you can't call them into play. Can someone answer this for me?

Anyway, my first good pot. With KK in LP, I raised 5xBB. $10. These raises get absolutely no respect. Saul stares at me with his one good eye, and pushes all-in. Thank you Saul, I'll be with you in a second. Because CLG calls the all-in. Eff both these guys when a K hits the flop. Saul doesn't even flinch, just reaches into his rack for 60 more. Cranky guy is about to lose his mind. He would have thrown all his chips in the air if they weren't already getting pushed to my side of the table.

The rest was good, solid, boring poker. After being down early on, I built my stack up to around 500. The angry Yankee hat guy got into a battle with me. Holding KK again, I raised, he just called. K22 with two hearts. He opened with a decent bet. I put him on a flush draw (I never ever seem to be able to put anyone on a hand, I'm not the good. Yet.) I made the min reraise hoping he would push his chips in. But he just called.

Another heart hit on the river and he couldn't wait to move his chips in. I let him squirm for awhile. It looked like his head was going to explode. I told the dealer I was calling and flipped my K's to show the boat. The whole table got silent waiting for jackass to burst into flames. But he just stood up, walked around and shook my hand.

The Hand

I'm running with around 650, only one other stack near my size, and really feeling good. Poker-wise and drinky-wise. (the cocktail waitresses were LOVING me.) I'm actually considering calling it a night.

I have KQh in LP and called a $3 raise to see the flop. Some wise blogger told me to see as many flops on the cheap as I could. Flop comes out KKx rainbow. Everyone, including the raiser, checks around to me. I bet $10 at a ~$40 pot. Looking for callers. Everyone folds except the other big stack. He raises to $50. Now there is $100 in the pot.

Here's where my mind goes. The raiser is loose/agressive. I know inside that he doesn't have AA, AK, or any Kx, he would have bet them. So I think I'm ahead. Figuring maybe he paired the rag and has an Ace. Maybe he has a smaller pair. Either way, I am counting on the fact them I'm ahead and it's a good size pot.

Doyle Brunson pops up in my head. I think I have the best of it, don't be afraid to put your chips in the middle.

All-in. $650. Two things are going to happen, he's going to fold and I'm going to move up to 750. He's going to call with a hand that is dominated and I'm going to double up to 1300. I don't care if he calls or folds at this point.

After staring at me for 10 minutes, he calls. Here we go. What I'm about to describe may not be suitable for the easily offended and woman who are pregnant.

I flipped my cards to show my set of Kings.

He flipped over his cards to show Ace rag. Nothing but an ace high. Wasn't even paired up with the rag on the flop.

It's taking me 3 hours to write this. It's killing me!

Ace on the turn

Ace on the river

Thank you good night, I'm here all week, try the veal.

The entire table erupted. A couple of floor guys showed up. And there I was, head down, no soul left, can't believing that I just lost to runner-runner Aces.

All the commotion was the rest of the table berating the winner. He was doing the Moneymaker fist pumps. The whole table was standing up calling the guy every name in the book for 1) calling the all-in with nothing, and 2) being a complete ass.

And there I was, just sitting there. The only other player still sitting was Saul. He looked over and winked.

Saul's lucky he still has that one good eye.

Once things calmed down and my chips have been moved, I stood up and headed for the smoking area. Half the players left the table and followed me. blah, blah, blah. If you want to console me, get me a double Soco. They're not free anymore because I'm not a player.

I went over to Lewey, who is back at the 2/4 table, and gave him the details. I just lost all your money on one hand. Being the cool guy he is, he just got a big smile on his face and told me, "Good move, get 'em next time".


8 hours of good, solid, enjoyable poker. 2 minutes of soul crushing, mind-numbing, knee-buckling suckout. That's poker. I guess.

Overall, I played the best 8 hours of poker in my life. I was confident, I played correctly, and I made the most of the cards I was dealt. At least that's what Lewey told me when I was staring restlessly at the Delaware River as we crossed the Walt Whitman bridge. He thought I was going to jump.

If you can get to the Borgata and get on a NL table, you'll enjoy it. It's squishy soft.


Thanks for listening to my woeful tale. Have a good weekend. I'm going to drink this one away and take everyone's money at Bob's house tonight.

side note: while writing this, I had a 1st and 2nd finish in two $10 SnG's I played. That felt more therapeutic than the writing.


Friday, May 28, 2004

Borgata here I come! 

No time to post today. Me and Lewey decided last night that since we're both on vacation today, we need to hit the Borgata.

Look for the hippy in the poker room between noon and Tuesday. I'm taking a shot at their NL ring game.

Who's wit me?


Thursday, May 27, 2004

Paradise(binge) Lost 

Don't bother reading this post if you haven't gone to HDouble and Iggy's writeups from their trip to Vegas. Absolutely hilarious. I can't believe I missed a binge of that magnitude.

From HDub:

"Long ago I'd told the blogfather I could outdrink him, and I wondered if he was making me pay for the foolish suggestion."

Never, ever say that to someone. You usually end up regretting it.

More from HDub:

"Here's where it gets a little blurry. I do remember that the table was empty when we got there, but after a few minutes, people were cheering on the hot roller (Iggy of course) and double shots and beers kept appearing every 10 minutes. I'm not exaggerating here."

My favorite move is shots every 10 minutes until someone passes out, then we move to shots every 15 minutes.

One more from HDub:

"Eventually we ended up at the bar, and I slurred through some idiotic justification of calling 3 bets on the flop in a big multiway pot with pocket 4s. Friends don't let friends argue poker theory drunk."

From Iggy, on the joys of someone saying you look like a celebrity:

"I sat in a fishy no-limit game (obese Georgia guy says to me as I initially sit down and begin pulling my chips out of my rack - "You look like a thin Travis Tritt") - I am mortally offended after learning who Travis Tritt is and decide to rob him in the parking lot later."

Finally, from Iggy:

"Mrs. HDouble was happy to report she had never seen Hank so drunk in her life so if I accomplished anything over the damn weekend, that was it. I am one sad little monkey."

Next year. We need to have a poker blogger gathering for next year's WSoP. I feel very, very strongly about this. Someone will have to make sure Vegas has enough booze.


Quick update from the WSoP, courtesy of the Poker Prof.

Brunson is truly out now. Dan Harrington and Jesus are still hanging tough near the top. They'll play down to the final 9.


Last night at the bar was nice and relaxing. Trading shots and Simpson quotes til the sun came up. Mrs. CantHang bailed early so I hung out with Landow and our recently acquainted friends, Rock Star and Baby Jess. Below drinking the traditional shot of Southern.

Baby Jess was heading out to a going away party for a girl, who was moving to Texas to live with her girlfriend, who she met online, who she's never seen, and met while she was in prison. Now THAT's a party I need to go to.


I uploaded some pics from Mrs. CantHang's big win in the tourney on Saturday. Why does a half gallon of Soco look like a fifth in BigMike's hands? And MonkeyBoy sitting on a pile of money watching the wifey play.


More drinky tinky tonight + vacation day tomorrow = ?????

Please pray to your god of choice.

(And I'm going to find a friggin' red head tonight!)


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Back in the waters 

Last night I made my triumphant return to the PartyPoker waters.

Started off with a $10 SnG and had one of my best performances and was elated to finish 3rd. About 4 hands into the tourney, I was disconnected from the table. Reconnect attempts were failing and by the time I was able to get back in, there were 5 players left and I was a micro-stack.

I clawed my way back up by doubling up a couple times and made the money. I was still really short for the final three and couldn't advance any further.

Happy with my pseudo-comeback, I jumped right back in.

And completely forgot how to play this friggin' game.

If I made a stupid move, I got caught. If I made a solid move, I got sucked out. Unfortunately, too many of the former caused too few of the latter.

Topped off with my exit from the last tourney. On an unbelievably tight table, I got 88 in SB. MP calls, I raise, BB folds, MP calls my raise. The flop came out Q-J-8 rainbow.

I can see the straight draw or maybe even the made straight. I know the right move. But the only thing my one track mind is thinking, If I bet then he'll fold and I won't get paid. So like the big, stupid, lumbering fish I am, I check and give him a free card.

A gutshot 9 to fill his straight with Tx in the hole. I compounded my mistake by betting heavy on the turn and pretty much committing myself to this hand which caused my exit.

Here's my big problem. I know all this after I play the hand but it wasn't translating during the hand. There was enough money from the pre-flop betting to push me into second place chip-wise. No lectures, I know my mistakes.

Then I watched Pauly wait until there were 7 players left in his $20 SnG to turn on the poker moves. He moved from 7th in chips to 1st in 2 seconds. I really need to do some more work.

I'm just going to chalk this all up to sobriety. I haven't had a drink since Saturday night / Sunday morning and it's starting to mess with me.

editor's note: dumbass. Landow is right in the comments. Sunday night into Monday morning drinking. See, I really need to drink.

Welcome to the pimping section of today's post.

HDouble has Part II of his trip to Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Very cool stuff but way to short. Chop chop, get with the writing.

But at least it was longer than the 7 word post from Iggy. "Yup, I made it back. Post pending."

LasVegasVegas (Poker Prof) has another great post from yesterday's round at the WSoP. Alas, Brunson is gone. It sounds like a crazy time.
Correction: Poker Prof has updated this morning. Brunson is still in with $151,000. Still in but a lot of work to do.

BoyGenius has a good post on the fish rocking the Party boat. How about that shrinking field for the Belmont? Good or bad for Smarty Jones?

Felicia has another great post with her experiences at the WSoP.

MeanGene, Pittsburgh's #1 poker blogger, has another fine post.

Chris Halverson is teaching his wife to play Hold'em. Take it from me, when she starts whooping you and finding the holes in your game, just bankroll her and get the hell out of the way. Makes life a lot easier.

Poor Scott from TheFatGuy.com is beat up from his little shindig this weekend. But he does have the picture of the week. Monster School Bus. classic.

Derek has updated in his blog with his latest Vegas trip report. Great stuff.

Has anyone heard from Jeremy at LoveAndCasinoWar?


That's the best I can do today. Sobriety and work have taken the bite out of my posts.

I'm currently writing part II of my Stories from the Bar for Pauly's Truckin' blog-zine. If you haven't seen read the first one, here's the link.

Thanks for stopping by again. Both of you.


Tuesday, May 25, 2004

WSoP writeups 

After a nice relaxing evening with the wifey (no poker, no booze), I have finally been able to catch up on the latest news at the WSoP Main Event.

Some of the best writeups can be founded at the Poker Prof Blog. He's been putting up posts about every event and covering every day of the Main Event. Great stuff and I meant to pimp the site awhile ago.

A ton of big names have been dropped. Doyle Brunson is running in 58th going into Day 4. Harrington, Ferguson, and Hansen were some names that jumped out at me as I scanned the huge table of remaining players. Unfortunately, the stunning Laura Prepon made it to day 3, but did not make it to the 4th day. (She IS a redhead, Jerry. Does that count?)

Check out the Poker Prof for more details.


Thanks to Pauly for the writeup and kind words.

He has the poker writeup on Tao of Poker and the non-poker on Tao of Pauly.

Sure, I never had been to Spain before to run with the bulls... but I went to Philly and drank with Al Can't Hang... and I came home with my liver and kidneys in tact. It was an honor to meet a true legend. Very people live up to their reputation... and Al Can't Hang is one of the rare breeds that I can say was the real deal. TO think, it was just a Sunday afternoon. I wondered what these guys drink on a Friday night? That's my next mission...

FYI. We leave the Friday nights to the amateurs.

It's pretty cool having another perspective on the shenanigans. I feel like English Bob in Unforgiven. I hope I don't end up like him.

Unfortunately, we forgot to get a pic with Pauly and MonkeyBoy. He was stuck in the trunk most of the time (the monkey, not Pauly).

And a big 2 year Happy Birthday to the Tao of Pauly blog.


HDouble and Iggy are back from their weekend trek to Vegas. I can't wait for the writeups from these two guys.


Tonight, it's back to the poker grind. Nothing but No-Limit ring games and SnG's. Time start making improvements.

Thanks for stopping by.


Monday, May 24, 2004

Tao of Pauly in Philly 

... or better yet, Tao of BAD Poker.

Sitting at my desk trying to figure out how I can possibly explain how the weekend went. My head has the standard thumping (I can feel my pulse in my eyes) and we just dropped Pauly off in Center City Philly.

In the last 24 hours, I met Pauly, watched a Phillies game, ate more sushi than one man should ever eat, and introduced him to the loosest, weirdest poker session. And drinking the entire time.

Before I get into everything, time to pimp Pauly's literary blog-zine, Truckin'. A completely selfish reason this time. I finally wrote up the story about the origin of my nickname. Check it out and let me know what you think.


Saturday we ran a $50 buy-in, 2 table NLHE tourney. Hank's friend Rob, from Philly, was able to join us for the tournament and it was great to meet him. Unfortunately, he was unable to get in touch with Hank to see how he's making out in Vegas.

We started with 17 players. Mrs. CantHang was the last one to join, literally deciding at the last minute to take BigMike up on his offer to bankroll her. It would turn out to be a good investment.

The betting was fast and furious. Within two hours, we had whittled the tourney down to the final 8 players. Top 4 got paid.

Mrs. CantHang was still hanging around and was just under the chip average. Then Senly (probably the best player on the table and the favorite going in) pushed all-in ahead of the wifey. Rob (Hank's friend) was shortstacked and called the all-in. Mrs. CantHang thought and thought, then thought some more. And called. Senly had AKh, Rob had mid-pocket pair (I believe), and the princess had KJs. When the flop came out JJx, she knocked Rob out of the tourney and crippled Senly. He didn't last much longer.

After about 5 hours, it was finally down to two players. My lovely poker playing bride, and Phil, a regular tourney player and former winner. And she completely dominated him. Head's up, Phil had a slight chip lead when he pushed all-in with 88. She called with KJ suited again. Only one J hit the board but it was enough to chop his legs out.

Shortly after that, Mrs. CantHang, poker tourney player extraordinare, had her first tourney win for a nice little chunk of change. She had to turn around and split with Mike.

Phil shook my hand and said I did a good job teaching her. Obviously Phil hasn't seen me play, she's a hundred times better.


Around this time, Lewey was on his nnnnth margarita and lost most of him memory (and money) between 9pm and 3:30am. At that point, he remembers looking across the poker table to see Phil sleeping between hands.

If you need proof, read his comments after the last post. Classic Lewey.

I was really looking forward to Pauly sitting down with him and taking his money.


We met up with Pauly Sunday morning at Citizen's Bank Park for some drinking and baseball. First thing Pauly sees when we gets there, a buck-ass naked old black lady standing in the middle of the street. I guess she didn't like the 90 degree heat on an early May morning.

We hit McFadden's in the stadium and started drinking and telling stories. The wifey and BigMike were throwing their new found money around and we quickly reached the point where the bartender was buying us drinks.

Once the game started, we figured it would be a good time to go watch the game. BigMike made it two entire innings before heading for cooler climates and a non-beer beverage. Pauly, myself, and the wife made it to the 5th inning before the heat, booze, and 24 hours without eating made everything a little fuzzy.

We grabbed a hotdog and hit the bar for more shots. What's else was there to do?

Somewhere along the line, we decided to hit the sushi bar before playing poker. I'm still re-thinking that decision. Over-heated, half in the bag, working on being fully in the bag. Why not throw a couple pounds of raw fish on top.

Once Lewey sobered enough to get out of bed, we headed over the his place for some mind-numbingly bad 6 handed poker.

Now Pauly can give witness to the reason I'm not that good. Playing in this game is more like playing video poker. Any two cards have a shot. And it's a good chance Lewey will bet them.

I'll give Pauly the opportunity to explain the pain. His KK got cracked by 23o in a brutal manner. The wifey and myself finished up for the evening. Pauly finished down and I'm not sure how everyone else faired.


We had a blast hanging out with Pauly. We managed to fit quite a bit into the 12+ hours and I'm paying for it again this morning.

In two weeks, it's my turn to head for NYC and have another good time.


Did any of that make sense? Landow already let me know that it's a rambling hangover post. Bastard.