Double Me Up

Thursday, December 27th, 2007, 3:30 am

When I started writing about poker at the end of 2003 the idea of me playing in a World Series event was laughable. I was just this yinzer from Pittsburgh with no game who sat in a cubicle all day. Four years later I’ve logged lots of hands, read a few dozen books, and written hundreds of thousands or words about the game. Even covered the WSOP so I know what it all looks like. And thanks to all that experience…the idea of me playing in a World Series event is still laughable. I pretty much suck. But I do enjoy a good joke, even one that costs me fifteen dimes.

In the hopes of not making a fool of myself in case I do pony up I’ve been playing a tournament here and there. Now, of course you should be playing at UltimateBet, and I’m sure you already are, beguiled by the seductive prose I lay down over at the UB blog. But because I work for UB it wouldn’t do for me to play there as well, so I’ve been slumming. Played a $25 event the other day, finished 72nd out of 1300 or so. Good boy. Played a similar event tonight, 1577 runners, finished 54th. Made about $70 for four hours of work. Got some chips early and then went totally card dead. Like, totally. I think I played two hands in two hours, which didn’t do much for my stack. Whittled down practically to the felt I had to make a move. I just didn’t really want to make it against a pretty good online player:

Yeah, I tangled with Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and lived to tell the tale. Supernova my ass–I showed him how we roll over at the UB. Of course he promptly went on a tear and boosted his stack up over $100K while I floundered in the teens. And then he lost two big hands to bring his stack down below $9K and he let himself be blinded off. Meanwhile I managed to build my stack up to a high of $70K before I made a couple of boo boos. On one, I flopped the nut flush and only managed to extract $4K out of my two deep-stacked opponents. It’s possible that they really had nothing, and I was playing so tight that any raise from my direction would only be called by a huge hand. An opportunity lost.

The other was the hand where I busted. I still had around $55K and I was dealt pocket Jacks in the big blind. The biggest stack at the table min-raised under the gun. The other big stack min-re-raised. My shove was still big enough to make it a tough call unless they were holding monsters. I didn’t like the first instacall and I liked the second even less. I was hoping that both my opponents were holding A-K, and in a manner of speaking, they were. It was just that they cheated and one guy took both Aces, while the other held KK. I guess, in theory, I could’ve flat-called the re-raise and thrown my hand away after the dude with Kings moved in and the guy with Aces called. Easy play there. And had the guy with Kings raised 3x the big blind, and had the guy with Aces made a standard re-raise, I would’ve tossed my Jacks with a clear conscience. Instead I lost my middling stack and went out 54th.

I was pretty depressed for about five minutes. I don’t know how tournament regulars endure the constant disappointment. Every player but one ends a tournament with head bowed and a sigh (or a curse) on their lips. I guess if you play enough you get used to the knockouts. Which kinda takes some of the spice out of playing. I’ll never be so jaded that my elimination from the WSOP won’t be marked by some truly inspired profanity, the rending of garments, and maybe even a little hysterical weeping. Anything to get those ESPN cameras pointed my way. I may even wear a silly hat.

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One Response to “Double Me Up”

  1. So I Didn't Break His Spirit -- Gene, the new home for Mean Gene's poker blog Says:

    […] event and two million bucks. I’d also like to remind everyone that about two weeks ago I frickin’ SCHOOLED ElkY during a tournament. OK, maybe winning an all-in with A-3 against K-4 when you’re brutally […]

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