Don't mess with the kid
I'm not sure exactly what it is about a garage. Maybe it's the fact that city folk consider a garage to be a suburban symbol of a mundane, if not plebian life-too-ordinary. Or maybe it's just the fumes of grass clippings and paint thinner getting to my noodle. Regardless, it's the one place at Mt. Willis I can drink, yell and sling chips at my friends at 3am without fear of reprisal.
A month or so ago I instituted the Mt. Otis Garage Poker game as a means to keep up my live play experience while facing certain fatherhood and fewer trips to the desert. The game is really just a continuation of a home game that had been waning in recent months. Regardless, it's a place where the stories shoot like a shook-up beer and Goliath falls to David on a regular basis.
The first event to the night was a $20 buy-in no-limit hold'em tourney. Thirteen participants bought in for a $260 prize pool.
Table One's first hand set a tilt tone for the rest of the tournament. Greenwood Phil was under the gun and raised about 3x the BB. G-wood (who I later found out is actually not from Greenwood at all) is a well-respected player who makes a regular trip to Tunica for tournament and ring play. As I figured out the most casual way to fold my small blind, G-wood picked up two callers. I watched his face, but found no reaction.
In a voice that was perhaps a little to loud, I offered, "No respect for Greenwood Phil, eh?"
The flop brought K, x, x. G-wood bet the pot and both callers...called again.
G-wood's mutter was just audible two seats away: "What in the hell...?"
The turn was a jack. G-wood bet the pot again and got two callers. The river escapes me. G-wood turned up big slick, G-Rob folded, and Tracy turned over KJo to rake a pot that almost doubled her up on the first hand. For a total of five minutes she was the toughest bitch in the room.
In the interim, a cheer erupted from Table Two. The cindarella story that began the night of CJ's going away tournment took a turn for the worst when neophyte chip-slinger, Twaller got bounced from the tournament in last place. His disappointment was evident.
About five minutes later, I got 64o unraised in the big blind. I checked. Tough-Ass Tracy was in the hand and bet the flop when it game J-6-x. I'd noticed her over-confidence after taking the huge hand off Greenwood Phil. I check-raised her and she called. I figured her for a jack. The turn was a blank. Check. Check. Thr river brought me a four for my second pair. I checked, she bet big, I raised, she called and her chip stack looked none too pretty. A few hands later, she got bounced.
At that point in the night, a story started to emerge from Table Two. The word on the street was that the son of one of my regulars was cleaning up. Rumor had it, the kid was 15, had been playing for a little over a year, and had an uncanny discipline that most people in the room lacked. I promised to keep an eye on the kid, especially after he--with a smile--tried to claim my beer as his own.
"Kid, illegal garage gambling is about as far as I'm willing to go in contributing to your delinquency," I said, not knowing he would bounce me three hands later, calling my overcards with connectors and catching on the turn.
Later that night, he would go on to take third place in the first event and even better in the second event. (Note: In the picture, he's raking a pot while his uncle tries to open a beef jerky dessicate for consumption purposes).
If I'd had more than a couple hours of sleep, I'd offer a full write up on the event and hands, but frankly, I'm shot and want to catch a nap before the WPBT III tonight. I'll leave you with a couple of highlights.
* Since smoking is relegated to outside the poker room door, the smokers among us get a little tilty, asking when the next break is, etc. After Twaller the Underdog got bounced early, he stod on the rail, dragging hard and taunting a fellow smoker about how good it tasted. Noting the buy-in and Twaller's quick departure, the fellow smoker replied dryly, "Enjoy it. That cigarette just cost you $20."
*The final hand of the first event came down to 33 vs. KK. Team Scott Smith didn't just win the hand. He crushed it, making quad kings on the board for the win.
* After watching his 15 year-old son rake a monster pot, Shep muttered, "The kid can't cut the grass, but he sure can play poker." I like that line. Although I liked it less when The kid and I were heads up in the final event with an even chip count. He proposed a chop and I was getting ready to agree when he dad convinced him to go for the gold. See below for the result.
1) Team Scott Smith--$120
3) The Kid--$50
4) The Prosecutor--$20
1) The Kid (yeah, a 15-year-old beat me down)--$100
Next event: The Bradoween 4 Invitational, June 19th, Mt. Otis