The juice hit me like a mainline cocktail of speed, nitrous, and pure adrenaline. The double down on a greenchip bet drew paint to the blackjack dealer's eventual 19. $100. I was 21 years old, a neophyte chip-slinger, and out for a night of rowdiness on St. Louis, MO's riverboats.
My friends threw me some high-fives and encouragement to head for the bar. They wanted drinks, and I was buying.
That's when I met Parlay Penis.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I didn't expect him to speak in an English accent or be so pompous.
"Good show, man! Good show. Now, let's parlay it, guvnah."
He was nudging me in the pocket, trying to push the four greens out of my blue jeans.
My friends were screaming for drinks.
"Drinks!" That's how they screamed.
We made it out of the blackjack pit before my Parlay Buddy convinced me that the $100 score just wasn't enough.
"You know, guvnah, that's a hundred dollars you didn't have when you came in. Just think. $200. That's twice as many drinks."
He nudged once more. The four greens fell into my hand and rolled onto a roulette table. They landed on black seconds before the little ball fell into a black slot.
My friends screamed, "More drinks!"
I cheered and shook my buddy's hand. He relented and I headed for the cage.
I was bubbling over. I was high on winning and knowing I could buy drinks the rest of the night for free and I had my little friend to thank.
I shoved my chips into the cage with a smile.
The lady behind the counter looked me over with bemusement. She looked at the small stack of chips, looked at me, and muttered, "What's wrong with you? You never seen $200 before?"
I'll admit, I felt chastened for all of 90 seconds before heading into an evening of debauchery...free debauchery.
** ** **
After a recent post, a commenter asked about the origin of Parlay Penis. For me, that was it.
Parlay Penis (n)--origin: St. Louis, MO President Casino-- The exclusively male urge to defy all reason and continue gambling with winnings when the smart money says to cash out, go have a drink, and let the euphoria wear off.
In the ten or so years since that time, my gaming sensibilities have gotten better. I can handle--so to speak--the Parlay Penis, even when he is wicked-mad-influential. My ever-expanding poker experience has really helped.
But there are moments when I succomb. More often than not, it happens when I'm not playing poker.
A couple of Vegas trips back I racked up a pretty good win at the craps tables before beginning a silly night of drinking. Eight hours later, 5AM found me in a fairly empty Flamingo Casino, throwing chips like a crazy man onto the felt and screaming for seven come eleven. I can't remember how much I lost. All I remember is that Parlay Penis always seems disappear about the time my chips get restacked in front of the dealer.
Now that I play few games other than poker, I don't get to see Parlay Penis much. But there are still some nights he'll poke around after I have a good session.
Last night, I was due up at 6:45am, but I was in the middle of a fairly good online session. By 12:45, I was up 37BB in a $4/$8 game. The table was soft and my Parlay buddy was not. I heard his tell-tale voice over the hum of the air conditioner.
"Good show, son. Good show. Really socked it to'em, didn'tja?"
I grunted and pretended I didn't hear.
"I said, good show, boy! Let's do it. Let's make a run! This low-limit stuff is for nuns and school children. Look, a seat just opened at $15/$30. "
It was at that point I remembered the previous commenter. He asked the origin of the Parlay Penis. I remember that fat lady in the cage on The President in St. Louis and her chagrin. I remembered the sofetning feeling inside the Flamingo at 5am.
I played out my blind, stood up, and went to bed.
The only problem was, I had to sleep on my back.<-- Hide More
...So why don't you kill me?
Yep, that's me, a loser. A recent Iggy-fueled post inspired me to re-examine my play. He mentioned something about bloggers being better able to improve because they are honest about their play when they blog.
Actually, there's not much play to examine. I haven't set up any internet at home yet. I think I'll buy a computer this weekend, and get started down that road. But I digress...
This is about my play. And right now, it's not real good.More in this Poker Blog! -->
I'm not playing to win.
Does that sound stupid?
I don't think I'm the only one. Poker is fun. I love playing. I love winning, but at that limits I'm playing, or the tourney entry fees I'm paying, I don't have that fear of losing.
Does that make sense?
Recently, I've played the Omaha HiLo tourneys. As I've mentioned, I've finished in the money a couple times. I also finished in the money in the first PJK tourney I played in. That's money I've won.
In the grand scheme, however, I've lost about $50 since depositing at Planet Poker.
In fact, last night, I played in a $5 Stud HiLo tourney. Stud!?!? Are you kidding me!?!? I might as well have eaten a five dollar bill. I hate 7-card stud. I think it's a terrible poker game (mainly because I suck at it). I don't know how to play stud poker well. I haven't learned how to play NLHE really well, and I've been playing that regularly for more than a year.
Needless to say, I finished nowhere near the money. I did get about 2 hours of enjoyment out of playing, but winning cash was never a possibility.
That brings me to a larger point. In the 5 weeks I've been playing poker at Planet Poker, I've lost $50. That's about $10 a week. If I were going to the movies each week, I'd spend at least that much, if not more. Hell, even two Blockbuster rentals are close to ten bucks. And the bar scene? How much can you really drink for $10.
Am I rationalizing now? I think I'm an okay NLHE player. I think I could be really good if I spent the time. I think I could play limit hold 'em pretty well, too. But I'm torn.
I feel the itch to grind and learn, but I worry that I don't really have the patience. That lack of patience costs me money. I'll start a tourney and play smart and patient for awhile, building an above average stack, but then I'll get dumb and bored and go all-in with Q-10o. That's no way to play poker.
So where does that leave me? I think I'm going to take a couple hundred buck this weekend and head to a live poker room. There are a number of casinos within driving distance and I'm determined to find one. I'll have a write-up when I get back.<-- Hide More
I'm not a tourney report writer. Grubby is good at that. So is Pauly. Me, I'm a trip report writer, which sucks when I've just taken second place in a True Poker multi-table tournament. I didn't take a trip. I sat here for hours while my back turned into a giant monkey fist and I let some chump (actually, he was a helluva player) take first place. Now I'm all jacked up on adrenaline and testosterone. It's almost 2am. I have to get up in five hours for a very important court hearing. And I can't move from this chair.
It's at this point that I quite seriously asked myself, "What would Pauly do?"More in this Poker Blog! -->
Unfortunately, I have no frame of reference. I'm southern (by marriage anyway), he's city. He just went to Vegas, I haven't been in seven months. He would have something interesting to say here. Damn it.
The True host wouldn't let me and my opponent chop. I didn't belabor the point because I was trying to keep up with a flurry of raises, check-raises, and the ever-feared check-yo-mama-raises. Note to all opponents: I always fold to the check-yo-mama-raise.
Now, I'm a few hundred bucks richer than I planned to be before bedtime. My manparts are screaming, "Parlay, my good man. Good show! Parlay it!"
But, I've seen and experienced the folly of Parlay Penis. It always ends up with a better part of my manhood on the felt and a giant Lorena Bobbit avatar looming over it with the Hammer.
Still, I just sat down at a $4-8 (6max). The Parlay Penis assured me it will be for just a couple orbits.
Hand 1--56o. (checked pre-flop, folded to one bet from SB)
Hand 2--45o (did not complete)
Hand 3--K6o (folded pre-flop)
This sure doesn't feel like a parlay attitude.
Hand 4--Q4h (folded pre-flop) A Q and 4 come on the flop. Parlay Penis slaps me in the stomach and calls me a wus.
Hand 5--26o (fold pre-flop)
Hand 6--86o (fold pre-flop)
Hand 7--96s in unraised BB, flop open ended straight. Miss it, but catch pair on the river for the win.
Hand 8--TT runs into an ace and flush on the board. I have to fold.
Hand 9--AT on the button, raise to three callers and miss.
Hand 12--AT UTG...um...call. Three clubs hit the board, my ace is a club which completes the flush on the club turn. I, the damned chaser, win.
That's two orbits and I'm nearing the point of having to go to bed and the wife is threatening to cut off my parlay attitude.
Sure wish this had been a trip.<-- Hide More
The PokerProf has had a new blog going for the past two weeks, and he's currently providing some coverage of the World Series of Poker events. As he said in an email to me:
Well, since I discovered blogging I also discovered that WSOP considres bloggers to be offical media (with a business card). As such I feel the need to live up that litttle press badge and after a very exhusting day just finished posting up the first days news and events.
I don't know how popular poker is in Nebraska. Most gambling is illegal in the state (although you can play the lottery and keno just about anywhere). I've always thought it interesting that Nebraska legalized two forms of gambling with the worst odds, but I digress.
My point is that you're not likely to find much poker action in the Cornhusker state. So how, then, did one of the most popular poker games get named after Nebraska's biggest town?
That's for another day because, frankly, a quick google search provided no answers. Instead, I'd like to let you in on my second Omaha tourney money-making experience since picking up the game.More in this Poker Blog! -->
It's another Planet Poker tourney with 34 entrants. It's a $5 buy-in this time instead of the $1 tourney I played in last time. And this time it's limit instead of pot limit.
I'll pick up the action at the final table where I've come in with a slight chip lead over second place. I'd like to say it was my skill, but I think I'm a pretty lucky Omaha player right now. Top three places pay...
I'm dealt 3h, 2c, 4c, Jc in a late position. Everyone folds to me and I call the big blind of 500. The small blind folds and the big blind checks. The flop comes A-2-2. I'm not sure the flop could have been much better for me. I've got the golden low draw and a set of deuces. The BB checks and I bet 500, he calls. The turn is an 8, that completes my low. He checks, I bet 1000, he calls. The river is the J of spades, and that puts three spades on the board. That also fills my boat! He checks, I bet 1000, he calls, and shows the nut flush. Well, it would have been the nut flush except for my boat! With the high and low, I take a 7600T pot.
A little later, I'm dealt Ad, Kc, Jc, 7s and I decided to force a small stack all in. When the flop comes 3-4-5, his A-2 beats my high and low. Not even the K's on the turn and river help me. I lose about 2000T.
Next I'm dealt 3h, 6h, 7h, Qs in the big blind. Only the small blind calls, and I check. The flop is 3s, 5h, 9h. I've actually got an inside straight flush draw. And when the 8h comes on the turn, it's complete. I actually thought I was about to knock the other player out of the tourney, but he got the low and we split the pot.
A little later, my poor Omaha play rears its ugly head. I'm dealt Ad, 5d, 9s, 10c. I like playing Ace flush draws. There are six players left, and four of us see the flop. It's a flop that really doesn't hit me well: 4c, 5c, 10s. I do have top two pair, but that's fools gold in Omaha. Three of us stay for the turn, and it's the 2d. I'm still got top two pair, and a bit of a low draw. At this point, the other two players are forced all in, and I think, "What the hell" and call. The river is the 6d. The player I thought I put out last hand rakes a huge pot when his A-3 gives him the high and low. I never should have called those last bets. Hell, I should have been in the hand.
Next I'm dealt Ah, 4h, 4c, Qd. The flop gives me a set: Tc, 4s, 2s. I'm betting pretty strong when the turn brings the 5h. Apparently my strong betting was enough to scare the other two players away, and I take a 3500T pot. At this point, I'm at about 10,000T and in 2nd place out of 5 remaining players.
Then I knock out a short stack who's all-in preflop. My K-high flush beats his small flush. And we're down to 4, and I'm still in second. Soon, we're down to three and I'm in the money! It didn't take long for the big stack to knock out third place, and we're down to two. It's the same player I thought I knocked out with the straight flush earlier. He's got a pretty big stack advantage over me.
I made a bit of a comeback on this hand. I'm dealt 2c, 3s, 4h, Jh. He raises the blind and I call. The flop is Qc, 6d, Ad. That's perfect for my low draw, so I'm going to get all my money in the pot and hope to catch the high, too. The turn is the 2d, which completes my golden low and the river is the 5c which gives me a straight. That puts me back at about 10,000T. He's got a 2.5-1 chip lead.
The last hand was pretty similar. I couldn't get the history for it for some reason, but I was on the gold low draw, but it didn't come and I had nothing for the high. I'm not sure my heads up strategy is good in Omaha, but that's my first experience with it. Either way, my $5 investment brought me $46. I'll take it.<-- Hide More
It was my second attempt at the Poker Journal Keeper's NL Texas Hold 'Em tournament on Planet Poker, generously organized by Felicia Lee. Apparently most bloggers have become frightened of the talent because they all stayed home!!!
Come on, grow a pair and get in the game. This week, we had just 8 players. I'm a little disappointed in our blogger community for not making a better showing.
Now on to the action...More in this Poker Blog! -->
First marginal hand I get is the 6-7 of hearts. I simply call the big blind of 50 and the big blind is the only one who stays. The flop comes Q-J-7, no hearts. Iâ€™ve got bottom pair and for some reason I bet 50. Anxious for action? It gets raised to 150, and even more inexplicably, I call. The turn is a 10. I figure Iâ€™m in deep now anyway, maybe I can buy it. I bet 400, and, mercifully, the other player folds.
Next playable hand is the A-7 of hearts. I merely call the big blind of 50. Why didnâ€™t I raise? Limping in begs for someone to steamroll me. The flop doesnâ€™t hit me and when the other player bets big, I simply fold.
A little later itâ€™s my first of many premium hands. Pocket rockets. Itâ€™s raised to 200 in front of me and I re-raise to 300. The original raiser is the only caller. The flop comes J-10-6 rainbow. He bets 100 and I raise to 600. He folds.
Next premium hand is a pair of Jâ€™s. Itâ€™s raised to 200 in front of me, I re-raise to 300 and gpoker calls. The flop is 6-7-10, two hearts. I go all-in (I donâ€™t want to encourage anyone to chase a flush). gpoker calls with 10-8 of clubs. Heâ€™s got top pair and an inside straight draw. The turn and river both bring a Q, and gpoker is first out. Weâ€™re down to seven and Iâ€™m up to 3375.
A little later, itâ€™s American Airlines again. Itâ€™s raised to 200 in front of me, and I re-raise to 400 and the original raiser calls. The flop is 10-7-6, two hearts (same as with my jacks!). I go all-in, and he folds. Iâ€™m up to 3925.
Next I get some pretty ladies in the big blind, but everyone folds and my Qâ€™s donâ€™t do me much good.
Next time I get QQ on the button and I raise from 150 to 450 and they all fold. Punks.
Soon I get 66 and call a raise. I donâ€™t hit the flop at all and itâ€™s full of overcards, so I fold to a big bet.
I get a pair of Jâ€™s again and I raise to 400. Maudie goes all-in for 850 behind me and I call. Sheâ€™s got K-J off, and my pair holds up when the board shows A-6-6-5-2. Maudie is second to go and weâ€™re down to 6.
Later I get a pocket pair of 8â€™s. I raise pre-flop and get called by minorthird. The flop is Q-5-6. He bets big and I stop and think. Does he have the Q? He called my raise, so heâ€™s probably got big cards. My gut is screaming re-raise all-in, but I fold. I wonder what he had.
My next playable hand is A-8 off. The flop is 6-7-8, two clubs. minorthird bets big and this time I donâ€™t let him bully me. I go all-in and he folds. Itâ€™s a big pot for me.
Later, I get A-J off. Itâ€™s raised from 200 to 400 in front of me, and I re-raise to 800. Itâ€™s called behind me by minorthird and called again by the original raiser. The flop is J-x-x rainbow. Itâ€™s a perfect flop for me. minorthird bets big again, and I stop to think. He already knows he can bully me, but he also knows that Iâ€™m willing to come back over the top. He called my raise so heâ€™s got a hand. Is it also A-J? It could be just K-J, he'd play that hard. For a moment â€œoverpairâ€ flashed before my eyes. I raise all-in and he calls. Heâ€™s got Q-Q. Iâ€™m down to just 100.
Next hand I get pocket 6â€™s and bet my 100. Someone catches a straight on the river, and Iâ€™m out, in 4th place.
A little later, minorthird thinks RicksCafe has been bullying him and calls with bottom pair. RicksCafe, however, has top pair and minorthird is out. I blame myself. Shortly after asking who would end up on the bubble (top two paid), I mentioned minorthird is a shark for playing well two weeks in a row (finished second last week).
I feel I played well, but I was also blessed with a series of premium hands (Rockets twice, QQ twice, JJ twice), although they were all relatively early. I bought a pot very early, which is uncharacteristic of me. And I was inconsistent towards to end on reading whether I was being bullied or if I should run from the pot. However, I don't think I would have played that next to last hand any other way.<-- Hide More
I don't play Omaha Hold 'Em Hi-Lo very often. When I do, it's with the guys at the friendly game I used to play back in G-ville. I'm not very good at it, and I never practice it.
Tonight, I got in on an Omaha tourney over at Planet Poker. It only cost a buck. There were 60 some players. I finished 3rd. Not bad for a novice. That's two tourneys at planet, and I've got two 3rd place finishes. I like that place!
I finally got an account set up at Planet Poker so I could take my seat in the PJK weekly tourney. I've been pretty much out of action for awhile, so I anticipated being rusty. I think I was, but I was also playing really, really tight. That was either going to kill me, or carry me through.More in this Poker Blog! -->
Just 16 people registered this week and I blame Jesus. Well, I mean, I blame the Easter holiday. Don't want to get struck by lightning or anything...
I fold, fold, fold for a long time until I get dealt AQs. I raise from 50 to 200 and everyone folds. The blinds get me back to 1925T (started at 2000T).
The very next hand, I get cowboys. I raise from 100 to 300 and get two callers. The flop is J-7-3, two hearts. I bet 750 and get one caller. The 2 of spades comes on the turn and I bet 850. The other player folds and I'm up to 3325T.
Seconds later, I switch tables. Damn. Waste time establishing an image and I'm moved.
My first hand to play here is pocket 8's. I raise from 100 to 200 and the big blind calls. The flop is 9-9-7. I bet 500, the other player folds and I'm back to 3325T.
If you can believe it, those are the only hands I played before 6 players went out and we moved to the final table.
My first hand to play at the final table is pocket deuces. I simply call the big blind and three are in the hand. The flop is full of rags, 8-7-4 rainbow. I bet 450 and they all fold. I'm up to 3550T.
A little later, I get my second set of cowboys, but my raise to 600 scares everyone away. I've getting blinded down, and that little pot got me back to just 2875T, that's 7th out of 8 players remaining.
Soon, I get pocket 8's again. A really short stack in front of me goes all-in and I call him. He's got just Q-8o, and gets no help at all. I'm at 2975T now.
The very next hand is A-10o. I raise it to 800 and minorthird calls me. The flop is 8-7-3 rainbow, lots of rags tonight. It's checked to me and I bet the minimum of 400. minorthird calls. I should have bet more. The turn is an Ace. Great! minorthird bets the minimum of 400 and this time I go over the top all-in. minorthird folds and I'm up to 4775T.
A little later, I get my third cowboys of the night. It's raised in front of me to 800 and I raise to 2000. Everyone folds and I'm up to 5575T, 2nd out of 7 remaining.
Later, after I've started getting blinded down pretty bad, I get A-5o. Not a great hand, but I'm in the small blind, and Felicia is in the big blind and has only 425 left before she's all-in. I raise her and she calls all-in. Not sure what she had, but the Ace on the river was enough for me. She's out and I'm up to 4400T, 3rd out of 4 left.
The good news is top 3 pay. It cost $20 to get in, and third pays $60. I figure I'll wait for a premium hand and try to double up, if it comes in time.
Don't have to wait long because the first hand with 3 left is pocket 10's. I raise and it's re-raised. I re-raise all-in, and both call me. Each had a significant stack advantage over me, but I really didn't want to face both of them. The flop is 9-7-5, all diamonds. Damn.
At least I have an overpair, and one of my 10's is a diamond. The turn is the 2 of spades, harmless. The river is the 8 of diamonds. Suddenly my overpair doesn't matter, and I'm hoping there are no diamonds out there higher than my 10. Unfortunatley, minorthird had the Q of diamonds. The only consolation is that it was one of two Q's in his hand, so I was dead either way.<-- Hide More