It’s 3:00 p.m., my phone goes off and I step back from the table. It’s Lucy and says “the room is ready and it’s wonderful”! “Thank you so much Marky. I am so excited, we all really needed this.” Now, before anyone gets any wise ideas, she is the only one that gets to call me that. I look down and I am a winner. It’s about $700.00. This is the perfect excuse to keep the money. “Pete, I have to run. Dinner at FIX tomorrow night at eight right?” I rack up and go to the room. A three-hour nap and the call comes in. The Writer brothers are in town, money and aggression at the table is the horsepower in poker; these two have plenty of both. I always make sure they are to my left. Jason and I are very close. We have one of those friendships forged in the fire of the battlefield. My life is better knowing him…and MAN have we ever had fun playing poker! His brother Gavin is a great guy too. Gavin is mild mannered, generous and happy all the time, until he gets cards in front of him. I have NEVER seen anyone enjoy bluffing and outright stealing people’s money at the poker table with so much childlike glee as Gavin. He doesn’t need the money and I am pretty sure if you told him you did, he would give it back. He just LOVES taking it.
“We all set?” Jason was talking about the show tonight, before we got completely submerged in poker. I promised LuAnn and Lyndsey I would take them to see KA, the new Cirque Du Soleil show at the MGM Grand and Jason was coming along with us. To say I was not real excited would have been mild. I was going so that I could spend some time with them doing something they liked – and that was enough for me. I wondered if they knew that there was a poker game in town. I was wrong and I am admitting it publicly here. The show was AWESOME and I am really glad I went. I highly recommend it. 5000 other folks thought the same thing and the cab line was two miles long. Time for another limo. Back at the Bellagio the girls were headed for jammies and chocolates on pillows and Mr. Writer and I were off to show some tourists that A6 really wasn’t that great of a hand, even if it was “Suited”.
2:00 a.m. Jason had made a killing in the 2/5 NL game and I was about even. I tell Jason “Let’s play higher”. Jason let me know that he didn’t think this was a wise choice. I believe his exact words were “ %$&*^ You, I’m tired and I am going to bed!” “Okay, fair enough, but remember breakfast is at 3:00 p.m. sharp. Night Bro”.
So there I was. On my own with all of the “poker creatures of the night”. My natural body rhythm allows for me to book a bunch of hours at a stretch and then when I sleep, I sleep deeply and bank up. I played another hour or so at the 2/5 NL game and filled a rack (Up $300.00). Screw this, I am playing higher. I picked up. I walked up to the upper deck and asked Ski, the high brush, to put me on the 10/20 NL list. He says “no list bubba, you can sit right now”. I have a seat. How much do you need? I NEED about 30 large, but let’s start with 2k and see where we get. I handed him 20 dead presidents and sat down.
I opted to wait for the blind. While I was sitting there surveying the players, it was short handed. Five of us. I needed info fast. I was also watching the 80/160 limit game and I saw something really sad. Two young pros were cripple shooting this very drunk kid. They had the knife in, it was twisted and time was all it was going to take for all the blood to be on the floor. He had about $5,000.00 in front of him (as far as I could tell), his stacks were pretty sloppy, but it looked like a couple racks of orange and ¼ inch in hundred dollar bills. Ski showed up with my chips and I tipped him ten bucks. (Pet peeve: if you can tip the amount of the small blind to the person that runs your chips, find a smaller game or get the crowbar in your wallet and show some class tight ass). I asked Ski how much he started with and he said the kid sat down with more than 20 grand and he has been Ramming, Jamming chips and slamming drinks all night. He was a happy enough kid and don’t get me wrong, you pray for this to happen, but the way these young pros were acting, I was ashamed for them. They were treating everyone like crap, yelling at the dealer to hurry, treating the kid with massive disrespect. He is paying you off, be a gentleman and let him have his 20 grand of fun. You can get his money and help him save a little pride guys. Who knows, he may come back with another 20 large tomorrow night if you’re nice. These boys were building some bad mojo, and friends, I saw the worm turn for the English pro the next night and I laughed in his face. You’ll learn his fate in an upcoming blog. It’s worth the wait.
I looked at Ski and shook my head, he knew. “Good luck Mark”. “Thanks buddy”. I posted my blind. Welcome to the jungle. The one seat is empty and your hero is sitting in the 2/3 seat. The 4/5 is a young kid, dressing and talking like a rapper, (kind of “I’m white but I wish I was black” feel) a lot of bling and not too strict on the rules he learned in English class. He had about $1,700.00 half-and-half chips and hundreds. He looked pretty easy to deal with. I would find out differently later. The 7/8 seat was a HUGE fat guy, like 450 lbs. at least, nice enough. He was about 50, made solid basic plays and talked like he has played a lot, but NO imagination. I would find a trap later and push Dom Delouise when he was holding top pair and take his ice cream money. He had about 4 grand and I felt like I could see his cards better than he could. The 9 seat was a curly headed kid from Texas, white sweatsuit, with a matching baseball cap. “Yack yack yack, my daddy says this…” and he was moving chips as fast as he was talking. I called him Junior because of all the “daddy talk” and he said, “why did you call me that”? “You just look like a Junior, am I right”? He replies “I AM named after my daddy! That’s AMAZING, how did you know that”? I smiled and shrugged. Junior had around 10 grand in front of him, he was going to be a tough turtle to grab. The 10 seat was a grinder I play with all the time. I could just tell he was STUCK. He was unhappy and speed folding. I knew he was waiting for a spot to put that last $1,200.00 in and hope for the best. Note to self: when Jeff enters a pot, have the goods, because he will. I was happy to have him on my right.
I normally like to play it straight in a game like this because it can get out of hand quick and if I put my babies out there, I like to have cards. I feel okay about moving in with if someone gets cute. Later, when I double or triple up, I have a better feel for the players and I can make some position plays. They have watched me play really tight for a couple hours and I can start speculating with smaller pairs, hoping for sets and suited connectors and brake someone when it comes down right and they are SURE I only play big cards. I play this way for about an hour and I learn some things. The three seat is named Darius. He is from Denver. He is the nicest kid you would want to meet, and he is a total maniac! Every move I made he raised. He went in more than a sailor on a weekend pass. The huge fat guy was just what I thought, solid and VERY predictable. Most of my gain was from him. I was up around $3,200.00 and every time we locked up, I out kicked him. He had KJ, a king flopped. I had KQ. He moved with an AJ. I had big slick. They weren’t big confrontations, but it was costing him three or four hundred every time he messed with me. He finally said “I am not playing a pot with you anymore unless I have AA”. Like I didn’t have enough info on you before – lol. I just smiled and said, “yeah, I have been getting pretty lucky against you”. He agreed.
I went card dead for about a down and a half (45 minutes) and thank God I did. Darius and Junior went to war. We were now playing $300.00 minimum pre-flop and I think they both played for a half an hour standing up. I was about $2,900.00 when it happened, huge fat guy wasn’t so lucky. The boys ground him down to $1,200.00. I picked up AA and was under the gun. I made it $120 to go. Darius made it $240, and BHFG move in for $1200. It gets folded around back to me and I go in the tank a little. I know I am going to play, but do I isolate Mayor McCheese or do I flat call and take my chances with Darius and a bigger payday? “So you have Aces or were you kidding about that before?” He said, “Do I need Aces?” I say nothing and slide out $1,080.00. The dealer announces “that’s a call, its $960 to you sir”… Darius looks right at me and says, “We are both from Colorado and you are trying to bust me? You are the one with Aces and he has Kings and I have to go to the bathroom”. He got up and mucked JJ face up.
The dealer says, “let’s see them” and the big guy makes a huge deal about how we don’t have to do that in this game, only 2/5. I said “awe don’t be like that, it’s 5:00 in the morning”. He says I don’t have to show and I’m not going to. I said “whatever” and told the dealer to peal it. I showed my cards to Darius as he was now standing behind me and the flop was 78Q Turn a 2 and the river was a big beautiful Ace of clubs. He says to me “so what do you have”? “WHAT do I HAVE”? I said “Normally, I wouldn’t be this way, but with all that static you made about the rules are the rules before, I called you and you need to show me now Mr. According to Hoyle!” “Okay, then I will tell you first, your friend was wrong, I didn’t have kings, I have Queens…three of them”! I was so tempted to slow roll him and I would hope that I wouldn’t have stooped that low, but I never got the chance. Darius pipes up from behind me and says “Trip Rockets BITCH, take it down Mark”! I was a little shocked and just turned over my two red aces.
The big man got up and said “You sleep with Angels, Man!” I said, “Angel and her name is Lucy”. I caught up with Darius in the bathroom and said nice read kid. He says to me “Man, you are fun to have in the game.” I told him that I felt the same about him and he was welcome in my home game anytime. We exchanged numbers and I am pretty sure this blog hasn’t seen the last post about young Mr. Darius. We got back and the game was broken, just as well, I needed to get to bed. After all, I had a breakfast meeting with Galt at 3:00 p.m. and, I wouldn’t want to oversleep.
Stay tuned for day two (The Tribe Meets The T.V. Pros). The next day’s action makes this post look like bird watching.