Monday, November 22, 2010

The Magnolia Classic - Part One: No Scott/Tequilla is a Helluva Drug

This past week was the Magnolia State Classic.  The first tournament sponsored/partnered with Ante Up Magazine (which most of you know I write for).  I made a point to be there every day, and even played four events.  The turn out was kinda average at best for a few of the days, but the Main had a tremendous turnout for the time of year (113 total) and buy in ($500).  This one is on my "home field" at Horseshoe, Tunica and made the commuting so much easier.  I kept a room for the nights I was in no shape to go home, but managed to run back and fourth quite a bit.

Poker trips are something I've been doing with Scott Williams lately (for the last six months or so).  He's an excellent traveling companion/roommate on the road, totally low maintenance and we have similar energy levels.  This is critical, even though it sounds irrelevant, because there is nothing more irritating that traveling with someone who NEVER talks.. or never shuts up. Even though he'd tell you he's the better poker player (and he is, but don't tell him I said so), we also run similar in terms of success.. so it isn't like I have to room with someone who never sits at a final table, or equally.. suffer bad beats alongside someone with endless perfect runs. There isn't any of that male/female awkwardness and for whatever weird reason, I can't lie to him.  So I don't have to keep secrets or sugarcoat things.  This trip, however, he wasn't really around and it forced me interact with new people which lead to more than a few interesting situations. I'm not entirely sure if I can use this to hold him responsible for some of my less than graceful moments, or thank him because I was forced make some new friends.. which is probably something I would have avoided otherwise.  I love poker players, but not so much talking about their ridiculous bad beat tales outside the cardroom. One thing I did learn though.. when Scott isn't around, I tend to get into a hell of a lot more trouble.  Must be his old age that keeps me grounded. ;)

I played four, cashed three. (I forgot about the BHWT Cash Blast.  Which was a disaster. So I played 5, cashed 3). My cash record is pretty high in terms of making it past the bubble.. but I'm not to the point where I can keep my ADD from kicking in at the final table.  I'm NEVER the person with the massive chip stack, and I can't seem to secure that 1st place bragging rights very often. At all. On paper, my cash record is insane in terms of how often I get there vs what I play, but I just can't seem to fine tune my game to get me into anything other than the low end of cashes.  Fortunately, my negotiating skills are top notch and I can quite often get a better deal than I deserve in the chops. All too often though, I find myself being the person who walks with a $600 profit on a $125 7 pm. Which is freakin' aggravating.

One of my final tables, first hand I sit down I witness a 60K pot of so where this ridiculously handsome kid in the 4 seat was running a total bluff.  The kid to my left, Jeff I believe it was, calls with King high on a board with ten million possibilities.  It was either the sickest call I've ever seen in my entire life (because the bluff was excellently executed), or it was the most ignorant. I'm still not sure, and I don't know that I ever will be.  Of course Jeff swears that he knew he had him.  The other kid, Gabe, was cool about the ass beating but I could tell that even he wasn't entirely sure he didn't just run up against the biggest donkey of all time.  The board was something like Ad Ah Jd 7d 8c.. Gabe had 6/3c and decided to run the bluff preflop.  Jeff called down with Kh, 9h.  So one could argue that he was on a busted straight draw, but he called an all in shove on the river. Fortunately Gabe was left standing.  I was about 2nd in chips at this point, and we started doing Tequilla shots.

I lost everything but about $1500 or three purple chips in a flopped straight vs a rivered flush against the same bluffer previously mentioned, and managed to come back to 2nd or 3rd (I think I signed 2nd? We chopped. I don't recall. See aforementioned Tequilla). It was one of the most fun final tables I've ever been at.  Lots of good interactions, a great after party, and a bunch of new friends.

The next day, fighting a hangover, I managed to screw up a couple of one tables and still make it to work.

I pestered Monkey into coming up and playing.  I figured a lot of the locals up here that haven't had a chance to see him since his phenominal run this fall would like to, and that it was just close enough that I could entice him with free hotel rooms.  I was right, and he made the trip. I'll get into the details of our expulsion from the Horseshoe and the BHWT Cash Blast Tournament in the next post.  For now, I've got to get to Southland.

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