I'd just won a pretty fair pot from the older guy to my left. He was from New York and, evidently, an avid tennis player. At one point a Nashville man with an Australian accent offered to play him on the closest courts for $1000. Mr. New York politely declined. By the end of the night, he'd give me more than that at this NL game.
Just few hands later, I've got about $600 in chips with another $600 behind and the young asian player in the 2 seat is ready to test my hand.
I was in the 5 seat and on the button when he led out for a raise, making it $35 to go. I popped it up to $80 and he just called. I figured him for a strong ace. If I'm right then the flop was great for him. It was :
Ad Kh 6h
Oddly enough, he decided to check and I bet $100. He calls.
The turn is :
That puts a SECOND flush draw on the board and if he DOES have a strong ace he can't let this hand go any further. Honestly, by now, I'm worried he may have a set..especially when he checks again. Still, because I'm an aggressive donkey, I bet out another $200. He calls again.
The river is :
He checks again. Both flushes are gone and, while a straight is possible, it seems awfully unlikely given the action so far. He checks again. I bet $400 and my newfound friend goes deep in the tank before asking how much I have left. He then looks to the table, hoping they'll offer a clue about my hand, before complaining "you just sucked out on the damn river!!" and folding into the muck.
I showed the hammer and raked the pot.
It's a 9 hour drive from G-Vegas to Tunica. Badblood and I took turns driving and the man at the wheel had the I-Pod option. Mine was loaded with Phish, Galactic, Particle, and Acoustic Syndicate. His is all Heavy Metal (with the odd exception of Olivia Newton John, I'll let HIM explain that). It's not a bad drive, almost all of it on a single highway, and we made good time. Otis flew into Memphis. CJ drove from another direction.
We often like to brag about our homegame here and it's, frankly, a warrented boast. Blood and I hit about 3 games a week, and the hands we play heads up are always the most fun. I know his moves by now, and he knows my donkey agression. It's a level of thinking we don't use often. Otis and CJ, I've known for much longer and I consider them 2 of my closest friends in the world. When I heard they'd be in Tunica, I wanted to meet them. At first, it wasn't really about poker. Lots of people are more skilled than our G-Vegas gang, but nobody has more fun.
Take Saturday for example...
The Gold **** casino was running games in two rooms. The WPT was done for the day with the main event final table scheduled for Sunday. I spent most of Friday sitting next to Clonie Gowen's mom at a NL table while her daughter played next door. She knocked out Cloutier. Mom wasn't bad either.
On Saturday night, Sunday morning really, the WPT room was used for the really high limit games and Blood and I wanted to see the action. As always, I wanted in. The game was $400/$800 Omaha with 4 players : Mimi Tran, John D'Agostino, Chad Brown, and Tuan Le. I couldn't find an empty chair, but one player, Hasan Habib, stood up to let me in.
When I sat, I spread 3 $20s across the felt and waited. Nobody even blinked. After Le and D'Agostino played one hand, Brown looked at me and asked what I wanted. "Sixty Dollars," I said without a smile.
"This is $400/$800," he replied, "you can't play here."
"Don't you have a $60 chip?" I asked without blinking. I just sat there waiting.
The table played another hand with me watching and waiting. Then another hand...and another. Finally I just tapped my finger on the 3 $20s on the table to remind the dealer of my intent. It had the opposite effect. He made me leave.
It's odd that after driving all that way to see Otis and CJ, I hardly spoke to them at all. Otis was hanging out in the Grand's poker room when we got there that night and CJ arrived an hour later. The place was totally dead by then with the WSOP Circuit events over for the day. The only games they spread by then were three tables of $2/$5 no max NL and a few games of $4/$8. I'd never played $2/$5 before and I'd only brought $1000 to play but I suck at limit poker so I took a stab.
I bought in for $300 while most of the players had almost 10x than much behind. One younger girl, Otis called her "rich bitch", had close to $10k. It forced me off my game. As BadBlood would later observe, the smell of scared money had to be obvious to the other players. The only hand I won was when I played the hammer hard, and the others folded post flop. They just knew a poor beggar like me wouldn't bluff.
Once CJ got there he took my entire stack. I raised pre-flop and he came over the top. The flop was 10-high and I led out $100, obviouly a mistake in retrospect, and he came over the top putting me all in. His KK held up against my JJ and I needed a break. At least I lost to CJ. I took break to donk off another $100 at Blood's limit table before investing another $350 in the NL game.
I should add, once you go broke in Tunica, there isn't much else to do. Here I'd invested almost all of my cash in this stupid game and I still hadn't seen our hotel room. I decided that if I was gonna go broke, they'd have to beat my A-Game and the scared money was gone. I made back all of my losses and finished up $220.
It was a great setup for Friday, my best ever day of casino poker.
CJ, Blood and I drove over to the Gold **** and had "brunch" downstairs. The poker room, just like at the Grand, is an escalator ride upstairs. Unlike the Grand, this room was packed thanks to the WPT main event. I found a seat at $1/$2NL and was comfortable from the start. Clonie's mom was nice enough and the conversation went like this :
Woman in 10s : So, is your daughter playing right now?
Mom : Yeah, she just knocked TJ out.
Woman : Did she win her way here by playing online?
Mom : No, she's sponsored by Full Tilt.
Now the word "sponsored" caught my attention more than anything else, so I just had to chime in...
G-Rob : What's your daughter's name?
Mom : Clonie Gowan
G-Rob : Oh! She's famous. You know, I'm G-Rob, I'm famous too.
Mom : I haven't heard of you.
G-Rob : I'm a friend of Otis.
Mom : I don't know him either.
G-Rob : I find that hard to believe.
I bought into the game with $300 and cashed out with $1300. It felt good to play well. Plus, my table tilting powers were finally intact. After crushing the free buffet, Blood and I went to railbird Otis and CJ in the WSOP second chance tourney.
NOT AS NEWBIE
We found Iggy already watching Otis and CJ play. Both of them were close to the money when our midget friend talked us into a quick and stupid satellite. Buyin was $120 with $1100 to the winner. Starting stack was T800 with 15 minute blinds. It was a donkfest from the start. When we got down to three players (me, Blood, and guyin a visor) with nearly even stacks, I proposed a donkey chop, but visor guy refused.
One hand later, Blood took me out. I wasn't out of the room before visor guy proposed a chop.
So, after checking on Otis and CJ...both were in the money, I went back to the ol' $2/$5.
I sat in the 5s with tennis guy to my left. On the first hand I realized just how agressive he was, straddling the blinds and popping the limpers. He played almost every hand and counted on what was, admittedly, very good post-flop play to profit. He doubled me up fast.
I raised in EP and he smooth called. The flop was Ad 6s 4s and I led out again for another $50. He looked at me and smiled before raising to $150. I re-raised to $350 and he says, "You're on a flush draw!" and pushes all in.
I call and say, "You're right". Then I turn over my AKs. He has QQ. I win $650.
A few hands later I played the hammer hand you read above.
More to come... I've rambled enough for now.