Popping the Cherry
“After a few minutes of playing I felt totally comfortable at the table, like I had been playing live for years. I felt certain I was the reincarnated soul of a old west gambler, I knew I belonged here.”
- After a few hands at Foxwoods at his first live game ever
It was a great day. Everything worked out according to plan. I jumped in my car, holding Pauly’s lucky Word Series of Poker chip, his cell phone number, and directions to Foxwoods. After a little bit of traffic in Providence I arrived at Foxwoods almost an hour and a half later at 4:30. What the hell is up with Providence traffic anyways? Do these people not have jobs?
I figured I would either have to wait a few hours until the good Doctor arrived or possible he would want to play a little earlier. I dialed him up and found out he was already in the car and on his way. The earlier time worked out MUCH better for him.
I parked outside of the casino, took a deep breath, and headed to the game. First I had to piss like a racehorse though. Long ride. I renewed my Wampum card and headed over to check out the Poker room. It was interesting. There was a loud craps game going on before I even hit the room. Once past that I stopped to see if I could tell what was being played. None of the colors meant anything to me. The first games I paused to view were Stud games. One heated discussion erupted over a hand. Someone spurted off all kinds of crazy numbers and the other person was like, “I agree, now fuck you, and give me my money!” It was amusing.
I wandered past the check-in desk and into the land of the Holdem and Omaha games. I stopped by a table where a guy had a pyramid yellow of chips going. He had stacked them up very neatly and it looked impressive. I have no idea if he was winning or not. I later found out that these were two dollar chips and was less impressed.
I was a little nervous about sitting down and playing by myself so I just watched until the good Doctor arrived and took charge. As many of you know Pauly is an average looking guy. He does not dress fancy. His appearance might even be called a little disheveled, much like my own, but I have to say there is something special about him. Call it an aura or a sense of hidden power. A force that flows out from him, making you instantly comfortable in his presence. It has nothing to do with external appearance or what he says or does, it just emanates from his being. He has done a lot of remarkable things so far and I predict much greatness from him in the future.
It was open seating at the HE tables and we just sauntered up to a table and sat down. No wait. Sweet. I originally thought the table was going to cash us in but Pauly put his coat down and walked to the cashier. I followed and we talked a bit. I asked what the red chips were. Those are five dollars. Umm.. So why are you stacking up with those for a 1/2 NL table? It makes no sense to me. No problem Sir, they change the blinds on the table. It turns out that buying in for one or two dollar chips would have been a bad idea for our table.
Pauly got seated again and after a few minutes of squinting around I found my way back to the table with my $140 in chips. I stacked my chips on the table, tossed my rack on the floor, and sat down in the number one seat for a fun night of gambooling. I soon learned about the rent on the table. Five bucks every ½ hr. Pretty steep paying 2.5BB hr since most good players make barely that much an hour. Oh well, no rake at least. Unless you count the tips to the dealer. DOH!
The table was laid out in the following manor for the majority of my stay there:
1: SirFWALGMan (Fully decked in Bright Red Sox Shirt and Patriots Hat)
2: Tight Ass Cute Pink Red Sox Cap Chick
4. Fat Red Sox Guy filling a seat
5. New Yawwwk Yankees Fan
6. Crazy Idiot who did not last long
7. Somewhat decent guy
8. Guy with Shades and No Clue
9. Aggro “Min the Master” Wannabe
It really did not take very long to get used to the styles of the players. The cute pink girl was very nice. I enjoyed her company. She spent several orbits folding and whenever she raised nobody would call her and several comments would go around the table saying in effect “I would not even call her if she had Aces, cause she is so tight she would have better”. She ended up down slightly.
The New Yaaawk Yankees Fan started out playing somewhat solid. He was a tough opponent. He busted out Crazy Idiot guy with his AK when Idiot guy pushed all in with AJ. It was cool. I congratulated him. One other interesting conversation went sorta like this:
Sir: Damn, your way to nice for a New Yaaawwwwker
NY: Yeah, how’s this, Fuck you.
Sir: YA! That’s the spirit!
Aggro “Min the Master” Wannabe was the typical call any raise pre-flop, be any card that hits post flop moron. He got lucky A LOT too. As his stack increased he got more aggressive. He was very interesting and any hand I was in with him I wanted to see the river with since he was just as likely to call as fold the river.
The table started out really aggressive and I am not sure I would have enjoyed playing. After idiot guy busted I found myself with “The Hammer”. So like I would online, I raise it twenty bucks pre-flop. Three callers. So what is a guy to do? A king hits the flop and I bet out twenty more bucks!!! I get re-raised and have to muck it. I mouth to Pauly “The Hammer” which gets a sympathetic grin.
I am down about $90 when Pauly decides to take a break. He is down a lot more. I can tell he is not playing well and, while I did not know it, he took the break to clear his head. He defiantly needed it. Up until now some of my being down was getting used to the chips and the bets by the other players. Some was on a little too aggressive play with OESDs and the like. Oh well. I then end up going on a nice run where I find two AK hands. One gets called down to the river by a guy holding bottom pair of threes. That hand paid off in spades. Thank you Somewhat decent guy, I think I may have to think of a new name for you.
The next big hand that Pauly missed was my one and only all-in hand. I am in EP and I look down to see a lovely AK s0000ted with two hearts. I bet twenty and I am INSTANTLY raised one hundred more by the Newwww Yawwwker. As people decided what to do around the table I start talking to the New Yawwker. I absolutely have decided he has a low pair. I know he has a pair. I know he is ahead. I know I am at best a little over 50%. I tell him I think I know what he has. I almost consider folding the third best hand in Holdem because I do not want to lose all my money that quickly and have to stand around watching Pauly or go home. I say to the New Yawwker. I put you on a pocket pair. Not Aces. Not Kings. I have a good hand. It will be 50/50. I am going to call you because I will not be able to live with myself if I do not. After I call he says, you are right, I have a pocket pair. It is a 50/50. He flips his tens and I flip my AK hearts. The LOVELY turn is a king and the river helps nobody. I now have some chips to play with.
One of the things I was concerned with was making a stupid mistake. Luckily, besides having to be kicked in the shins for a few BB, I made no real mistakes. I left them to Dr. Pauly. I am on the button and the good Doctor fires out a twenty dollar bet from EP. I have A8 clubs but something about his raise has me suspicious. It could be the fact he will not look at me. It might be a touch of a mischievous grin on his face. It was not the large bet, because 10-20 bucks was the normal raise at this table. So while I am in the tank thinking, Pauly is not paying any attention and he turns over his 72o. THE HAMMER! I quickly call and laugh at him. I thought about showing him my cards to make it even but the hell with that. The flop misses both of us. So I push all in. He says “I know that flop did not hit you”, and I retort “It does not matter; I KNOW for a FACT I have a better hand than you”. He obviously does not call and try and suck out on me, easiest hand of the night. He said I should have checked him to the river but no way am I letting him see any free cards. This is Poker beeatches not knitting class.
The rest of the night was fairly uneventful. I won a nice hand with JJ. I raised twenty pre-flop and bet out fourty on an all small board flop.
I had AA and KK. Both held up. The AA hand I re-raised thirty bucks pre-flop, had one caller, and on a JJx flop I bet out sixty bucks. How did I know he did not have a jack? I did not but if he called a bet of that size I would know he had a jack and be able to compensate.
I raised fifteen bucks pre-flop with AT and Min calls me. The flop is K2x and I bet twenty bucks here and on the turn. Min calls me down and flips over his A2o for the winning hand. Brilliant play there fucktard. I was fuming over that for a while. It basically took me from $230 to $190 and hurt .. a lot. I definitely overplayed the hand but have no idea how he could possible call.
I bet into a boat once. I have a knack for wanting to do that. I guess I mistake indifference for weakness sometimes and decide to make a play. At least it did not cost me too much.
Dr. Pauly played an excellent game also and we both ended up ahead. I was up a paultry $31 and he scored a bit more than that I believe. He had a secret strategy. Play crap. Any position. For a min limp and have it flop monster hands. It paid off BIG TIME against a slow playing QQ and again with someone else. I heard a little peep of “How could you play that crap” from someone, but hey, it was working. I beleive his biggest money makers were 47o and 69s or something..
I enjoyed myself A LOT tonight. It was a blast. I felt like I belonged there. I had some trouble with bet sizes and adjusting to big re-raises and I probably folded a few good hands. I bet out on a few flopped trips and just took down small pots. It is ok. I am not much for slow playing, but it would be nice if someone did not believe me. I bet, checked, raised, and played a good game and did not embarrass myself. I pretty much hit all the big hands tonight, the Aces, the Kings, the AK s00ted. The only situation I did not try out was the vaunted check-raise. I was waiting for a good time but it never came. I was a little nervous with all-in bets for some reason. Probably because I did not want to leave early.
It was EXTREMELY nice to play a game that had nothing to do with Bankroll management or online statistics. I played for the love of the game and had a great time. We ended up wrapping around 9PM and I made it home before midnight.
Dr. Pauly and I had a nice little chat before I left. It was very inspiring. I will not bore you with the content however I appreciated it. As I said before Pauly is a stand up kind of guy and I am glad he is the first Blogger I met. Truly a great person. Thanks for inviting me! It really makes me excited to meet the Iggy’s and Al’s of the world.