Monday, November 20, 2006

Worst Poker Players in the Texter

A couple weeks ago I read a book called Hunting Fish - A Cross-Country Search for America's Worst Poker Players by Jay Greenspan. In the book Jay basically goes on a 3 month journey across the country to raise a large enough bankroll to play in one of the bigger games out in California. He is trying to figure out if he has the poker "chops" to become a poker pro, he even makes a stop in my hometown of Houston, Texas. If you're a poker book junky you may want to check it, if not then you should probably give it a pass since there are other books you should check out first (Positively Fifth Street for one).
Well Jay, I think I've found the worst poker players...let me give you two words...Cruise Ship! I went on a 7 day Caribbean cruise with my wife and played 3 sessions of poker against the worst players I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the ship only had one poker table and the game spread was $5/$10 Limit Hold'em (the first night was $3/$6 to entice people to try it out). I basically played by the book pre-flop unless I was on the button, then I would play pretty much any hand that held some promise.
It was no-fold'em hold'em at it's finest, guys would call raises and re-raises on the river with bottom pair low was beautiful. Unfortunately, this style of poker will lead to some wicked beats, I had my Aces cracked by 10-6 offsuit when the turn and river came Ten, Ten, but overall it was pretty much like printing money. One night I was down to $16 and was starting to steam a little when I had a vision of Phil Hellmuth in my head telling me to stay patient...sure enough on my next button I get KT and more than triple up to $89 when I get a King on the flop and River. The cards finally start coming and when they shut down the table I walk off with $485.
I ended up winning each session I played and had fantasies of living on this ship and just paying my way by fleecing the wife vetoed that idea. I think the lethal combination of too much sun and fruity cocktails did more to pad my bankroll than my skillful play, face it these guys are on vacation and want to have if I thought a bad player was about to quit or was playing too well, I'd buy them a drink with their money and that would basically force them to stay a couple more rounds or play worse. So if you want to make some easy money...take a cruise...

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

WSOP Final Day...for me by Texter

Well it's the final day of the WSOP for me, but the first day of the main event (Notice how I'm pretending that I'm not a lazy slob and took a long time to write this post). The main event starts at noon so I head down from my luxury suite at the Gold Coast for breakfast..which I may have mentioned is the only meal worth eating there. There is a $50+$5 tourney at the Palms at 10 am which I decide to play in, who cares if I miss "shuffle up and deal" I'd rather be playing than watching. The early stages of the big one are not very exciting anyhow.

So I signup for the tourney and end up on the alternate list (there ends up being about 60 people), I get a seat in the second round of blinds, the blinds go up every 20 minutes, so there isn't too much play, the old fold or make a big preflop raise seems to be the order of the day. I'm pretty patient and win a decent sized hand with trip aces. Once it gets down to 3 tables it's an allin fest and I am on life support by the time the final table comes together. One guy suggests a $100 save for everyone where we all get $100 and play for the rest...I am all for the deal since I'm short stacked but one guy says no. I am in the big blind when their is a raise allin and a call in front of me...I look down at the lovely J2. I call since I don't have enough to cover the next round of blinds and catch JJ5 on the flop to more than triple up. The tournament pays the top 5 players and I'm still on the short stack with 6 players left and have been card dead for awhile. I'm in the big blind with player goes all in ahead of me...and like an idiot I call. Terrible play. Going all in with QJ is one thing...but calling an allin...what was I thinking! So I get busted on the it's off to the Rio.

I head over to the Rio and find out that they won't let any additional spectators into the amazon room due to the crowding and the difficulty of getting players out of the tourney for breaks, so I head over to the Bodog lounge and get a drink. I meet up with Smoothcaller and we hit the Poker Expo. We end up meeting up with the Bluff Magazine guys and we exchange free shirts. We borrow some press passes and they take us back to see their radio operation...which is basically two guys jammed into a tiny closed behind the amazon room. It's crowded but they can see the TV table and do commentary. They let us hear our radio ad and we check out their seats on press row. We chill out in the amazon for awhile watching the TV table but then an hour break starts so we head back to the Poker Expo. We check out the booths and booth babes and hand out the rest of our world famous "Donkey's wear shades" shirts. We contemplate playing in some more tourneys and decide on one at Caesar's palace at 8.

We head over the Bellaggio to eat some dinner at their chinese restaurant, the food was really good and then headed back to the fabulous gold coast to shower up. Smooth heads over to Caesars to signup for the tourney...but it's full so he plays some $1/$2 No-Limit. My girl wants to see some sites since the tourneys full and she's sick of poker so we go check out the Venetian, which was pretty spectacular.

We head back over the Palms because she wants to play Pai Gow Poker but will only play if they have the bonus payout...which I keep telling her is a sucker bet...but she won't believe me. I end up losing $30 playing Pai Gow and then head to the poker room. I'm playing next to this really nice guy who said he fell into the jacuzzi at some party in the hotel and that he's a reality TV show producer...he ends up ordering a steak from room service and they deliver it to the poker table, he is also very drunk and throwing money around. Unfortunately I don't get any of it and lose $ now I'm pissed from losing money at Pai Gow and Low limit hold' like any rational degenerate I decide to win it back playing blackjack.

I sit down at the $25 BlackJack table and win two hands in a row, I then make my best decision of the night and quit. I then go eat in the diner at the palms where my girl admits (after losing $100) that pai gow is for suckers. That was the end of our WSOP trip this year...if you see a guy in a pokerlizard hat next year say hi.